By Alexandra Cohen
Las Vegas Tribune
The Island of Cuba was a melting pot. You could find almost every race and nationality, in addition to Spaniards, in almost every corner of the island.
The Hebrew community was very extended. The Sephardic Hebrew Center in Havana became the second synagogue in the country to affiliate to the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. The community also has the Chevet Ahim Synagogue, built in 1914 and the oldest in Cuba.
Almost every neighborhood had grocery stores and laundries owned by Chinese business people. On the island also lived people from Lebanon, Poland, Greece, and Canada, as well as many, many Americans.
It was totally shocking to hear the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, say that Cuban asylum-seekers will not be allowed to enter the United States.
This man, Mayorkas, was born in Cuba. His family fled to Florida as refugees in 1960, shortly after the Cuban Revolution and later settled in California. His father was a Cuban Jew and his mother was a Romanian Jew whose family escaped the Holocaust and fled to Cuba in the 1940s. The Cuban Revolution marked the second time his mother would be forced to flee a country she considered home. They owned and operated a steel wool factory in Havana, which most likely was confiscated by the Castro brothers and the rest of the revolutionaries.
It is hard to believe Alejandro Mayorkas’ words that he said last week: “Allow me to be clear, if you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States. Anyone from Cuba or Haiti trying to escape to the U.S. by boat will be intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard and return immediately to their homes. In addition, even if those seeking asylum manage to land an interview with U.S. immigration officials, they still won’t be allowed into the country, no matter the outcome of their initial screening. If individuals make, establish a well-founded fear of prosecution or torture, they are referred to third countries for resettlement. They will not enter the United States.”
It is a wonder what Mr. Mayorkas is doing to control the crisis at the Southern border when not hundreds, nor thousands, but millions from Central America are entering the country with blessings under his watch.
Most likely his parents were very happy when they were allowed to enter the United States as Cuban refugees, instead of being referred to a third country for resettlement.
We wonder if Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas’s parents ever taught him the horrors of the Holocaust where millions of innocent Jews were killed, the same fate Cuban people are presently suffering. It could have been devastating for his mother’s family if Cuba at the time had referred them to a third country for resettlement.
It is a shame that the Mayorkas family never taught their son, if not love, at least respect then, for the country that once opened its doors to them.
Most likely the Mayorkas donated money to the Castro’s Revolution, which later took their business, home and life savings and forced them out of the country without consideration and now the younger Mayorkas is retaliating against the Cuban people for what the Castro Crime Family did to his own family. In the eyes of many, Mayorkas’ actions look like a vendetta against the Cuban nationals.
By Alexandra Cohen