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Militant Cuban Communist Trades Ideology for a Spanish Passport in the Blink of An Eye

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Photo: Silvia Corbelle

The whole neighborhood called him by the peculiar last name he'd inherited from his Basque grandfather. Vertical for ideological reasons, he always made it clear that he was "a man of the cause." Meeting after meeting, report after report, complaint after complaint, few exceeded him in offering proofs of faith in the system. He was also characterized by his severe face against the protestors and the hugs he gave to those who shared his ideology. And so it was, until a week ago.

The family tree bore fruit and the combative man just managed to get his Spanish passport.* In his Communist Party nucleus they told him to choose: foreign nationality or continuing to be a member of that organization. Faithful, but not stupid, he chose the first. As of a few days ago he premiered his new life without red card or statutes. He has already started to wink at some of the dissidents in the neighborhood. "You know you can always count on me," he blurted out at someone who, until recently, he'd always kept a watch over.

It's a curious party organization that brags about exercising internationalist solidarity, but doesn't want dual nationality communists in its ranks. At least such narrow-mindedness is helping to convert certain extremists into "meek foreigners." Given the speed with which they change, one wonders if they previously believed in what they were doing, or were simply opportunists. Perhaps in preferring an EU passport they are just choosing a different mask, a new tone for their chameleon skins.

*Translator's note: Spain's Law of Historical Memory set a limited period during which Cubans who could prove a Spanish grandparent qualified for Spanish citizenship.


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