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Cuba: Diaspora Discusses New Real Estate Law

Bloggers, primarily from the Cuban diaspora, are having a field day with news of a new law that will allow Cubans to actually buy and sell real estate legitimately. While this significant reform has the potential to open up a whole new world to Cubans, who may now leave property to relatives in their wills, many feel that there are still too many restrictions and more importantly, that there are more pressing issues.

El Yuma publishes the official PDF document of the new law, accompanied by this sardonic comment:

Let the games begin!

Laritza Diversent does the same, but reserves comment.

Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter, however, does not hold back, beginning his post by saying:

Without human rights the ‘right’ to buy and sell property is a right to expropriate the poor.

The post continues:

Newsrooms around the world are reporting with great excitement that Cubans will be able for the first time in half a century to buy and sell property. It is being hailed as an expansion of economic freedom. The reality is much more somber. Human rights are non-existent in Cuba. There is a powerful elite known as the nomenklatura that has the power, in practice, to do whatever it wants regardless of the “law.” Property rights are human rights. Human rights are non-existent in Cuba.

The blogger goes on to say:

In reality, property can be taken from one owner and given to another with greater political influence. What has until now been a de facto practice for decades will be given a legal veneer in order to give the rich, powerful and politically connected…in Cuba the right to plunder the island.

Meanwhile, the level of violence against human rights defenders is increasing.

Confirming this claim is Pedazos de La Isla, who publishes first-hand accounts from dissidents who were recently arrested.

Against the backdrop of ongoing arrests like these, Uncommon Sense calls the whole thing a “scam”, saying:

The headlines were buzzing…with reports that the Castro dictatorship was about to start letting Cubans buy and sell property, most of which was stolen by the dictatorship some 50 years ago.

But I had a hard time giving a damn, much less taking the news seriously because I knew that there were again Cubans being beaten, threatened, harassed, arrested, etc. because of their political opposition to the regime. Allowing real estate deals just seems like another way for the regime to hold onto power, and to earn more cash for itself, without changing the fundamental nature of its rule.

He continues:

Whatever the exact numbers [of politically motivated arrests], they reflect the reality of Cuba today much more than a ‘new law’ allowing Cubans to buy property stolen from them with money they don't have.

Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter has the last word, acknowledging that while “changes are taking place in Cuba…it is going from bad to worse”:

Without the rule of law, respect for human rights and escalating violence against nonviolent activists things are bound to get a lot worse.

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