Today’s Editorial January 04: Memorandum with Cuba doesn’t work

One would assume that when a memorandum of understanding agreement has been signed, both parties will abide by it.

But that’s not happening in relation to the Cayman Islands and Cuba.

The Cayman Islands Government has taken a lot of flak over the issue of repatriating Cubans who travel to Cayman on their way to freedom from their communist homeland.

But the Cayman Islands is legally bound by a memorandum of understanding between this country and Cuba that any Cubans arriving on our shores will be repatriated.

It’s an agreement Cuba has with many other countries, including the United States.

Most memorandums of understanding work.

But this one seems to have a flaw.

Cayman is keeping up its end of the bargain. Cuba is not.

And by being the good guy and living up to its word, Cayman is suffering financially.

The Cayman Islands Government bears the brunt of the costs of security, housing, feeding and repatriating illegal Cubans.

Many Cubans have been housed at the Agriculture pavilion and at civic centres. What kind of a quality of life is that for them?

Cuba is gumming up the works by not responding to repatriation of her people in a timely manner. It appears that the Cuban government is in no hurry to complete the paperwork to get its compatriots back on Cuban soil.

The system is clearly not working, which begs the question of why the Cayman Islands Government doesn’t get out of the memorandum of understanding.

Before the pact was made Cubans travelling to Honduras for freedom would stop in the Cayman Islands for food, fuel and any other help that was needed.

It was gladly given to them by the Government and the people of the Cayman Islands.

Our Government is to be commended for holding up its end of the bargain, but to what expense?

Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts is concerned about the influx of Cubans and the pressure being put on the Cayman Islands Government.

He has a right to be. From what he’s learned, the flow of Cubans isn’t going to stop anytime soon.

Cubans need to know that if they come here they will be sent back home.

We need their homeland to reinforce that message.