Photo: Cuban expats
Only a “very small proportion” of the roughly 2 million Cubans living abroad - 75 percent of them in the United States - are thinking about ever returning to the island to stay, although they would cooperate in the reconstruction of the country amid a process of democratic change, a leading Cuba scholar said Thursday.
At most, only about 20 percent of Cuban exiles are planning to return to their country at some point, Jorge Duany - the director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University in Miami - told Efe.
Most of the expats, however, “would be ready to travel to Cuba to support the economic development and reconstruction” of the island or to buy a second home there, the anthropologist said.
Duany spoke Thursday at an FIU seminar on the Cuban diaspora.
Anti-Castro sentiment has stopped being the only identifying element for Cuban expatriates, he said.
In the end, this is a socio-economic phenomenon of “circular migration” that has substantially modified the profile of the Cuban diaspora, making it “more similar to the classic ones” where people emigrate above all for economic reasons and wind up assimilating themselves into the countries that welcomed them, he said.
With regard to the recurring question of reconciliation between Cubans outside and inside the country, Duany said that “although in the first decades of the revolution there was a confrontation within families,” starting in the 1980s “there has been an emotional, personal and family reconciliation between friends and relatives.”