The Narco News Bulletin

August 15, 2018 | Issue #67 - Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America

Oh Cuban Citizen, Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Some thoughts following the deportation of Cuban migrants from Ecuador

By Cinthia Galán

September 18, 2016
This report appears on the internet at

It was naive to think that the Ecuador's historical memory wouldn't be fragile. The collective expulsion of about 151 Cubans from Ecuadorian territory is now just a memory. It's been over a month now since the State demonstrated the calamity and precariousness of human nature.

Photo used with given to Cinthia Galán

In fact, freedom of movement is on the decline. Its sparkling origins have been forgotten amid the humanitarian crisis in Central America, which resulted in border closings among the territorial limits of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia, and establishing the imposition of visas for Cuban citizens in Ecuador beginning in November 2015.
In June 2016 dozens of Cubans gathered to camp outside the Mexican embassy in Quito, without realizing that the authorities take action against any demonstration involving a public space, using violence to dislodge any disturbance. Even so, they appeared at the El Arbolito park to express to the Mexican government their passionate desire for humanitarian visas, to travel to Mexico, and then to the United States where current legislation allows them to obtain a US residency.

Once at El Arbolito park, the authorities make it clear that the demonstration had "unwelcome moral overtones," clearing the park and justifying actions violating all kinds of civil rights.
Of course none of this was necessary. However, they were taken to be arraigned, and from there to the "Hotel Carrión", which is officially considered a "shelter," but which to my knowledge is in fact a detention center where its "guests" are stripped of their liberty. All of this in a country whose constitution states that "it will not identify nor will it consider any human being as illegal due to his/her migratory status" (Art. 40), and which stipulates "freedom of movement" and "universal citizenship." I suppose that progress has taken a great leap backwards.

Photo used with permission given to Cinthia Galán

The scandal took its place in the sun. Fancy Hollywood-grade cameras were used by the Ecuadorian police and authorities, as were the armed forces, to consummate the collective expulsion of Cuban citizens from Ecuadorian territory (which is supposedly banned by the constitution). No one ever said this was paradise, but overkill has descended into vulgarity; when faced with the tyranny of time constraints, the right to trial is denied amid the ignorant complexity of modern democratic societies.
"We're lucky to have been born in these egalitarian times," says the Ecuadorian government while simultaneously behaving unfairly in the real world. What are we really facing? Simple mediocrity, where progress is futile and expectations have been lowered. Freedom of movement as a cornerstone of international relations has been left behind, despite having been a prominent feature of the constitution of Montecristi, the Ecuadorian constitution that once shook the world.

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