Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hundreds of Cubans apply for Spanish citizenship

Hundreds of Cubans apply for Spanish citizenship
27 Dec 2008, 1313 hrs IST, IANS

HAVANA: Hundreds of Cubans are applying for Spanish citizenship as part
of Madrid's new "law of grandchildren", which comes into force next week,
EFE reported on Saturday.

The new law makes provision for grandchildren of Spaniards born in Spain
or exiled during the regime of Spanish dictator late General Franco.

According to estimates of the Spanish consulate in Havana, in the two or
three years that the law will be in force, some 100,000 Cubans a year
could obtain Spanish nationality.

Spain's Law of Historical Memory opens the possibility for grandchildren
of Spaniards to acquire Spanish citizenship either by showing that a
grandparent was a Spaniard born in Spain, or by being the grandchild of
someone exiled from the Iberian nation after Gen. Franco's victory in
the 1936-1939 civil war.

"We have to be ready for anything. That's what you have to do to win at
anything," Francisco, a 48-year-old Havana resident, told EFE.

Francisco wants to become Spanish thanks to the right given him by being
the grandson of a Spaniard and with the idea of seeking his fortune in
Spain, where he has Cuban friends.

For Teresa, the 56-year old granddaughter of natives of Spain's Basque
region, the Spanish passport will enable her to travel to the United
States because "you don't need a visa."

Others, like William, 38, do not make secret their opinion that Spanish
citizenship for them is the chance to leave Cuba and find a better life,
because in Spain "you can work, make money and live comfortably".

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