Legislative Proposal Would Grant Spanish Citizenship to More Cubans /
Juan Juan Almeida
Juan Juan Almeida, 29 December 2017– On December 21 a leftist coalition
led by Spain’s Podemos party introduced a legislative proposal that
could benefit thousands of Cubans, as well as people of other
nationalities, who are descendants of Spanish citizens born outside of
If approved, the bill submitted to the Chamber of Deputies would grant
Spanish citizenship to descendants of Spaniards who had emigrated.
Spanish law had already made a person whose mother or father were
native-born Spaniards eligible for citizenship. Law 52/2007, also known
as the “Historical Memory Law” or the “Grandchildren’s Law” expanded the
opportunity and, within two years and eleven months, some 446,277 people
had acquired citizenship under the law. 95.2% of them were from Latin
America, with more than half of the applications made through Spanish
consulates in Cuba and Argentina.
If approved, this legislation will greatly expand the number of
descendants eligible for Spanish citizenship. It would allow the mother
country to legally recognize, among others, grandchildren of Spanish
women born in Spain and married to a Spaniard before the adoption of the
1978 Spanish constitution and children of those who obtained citizenship
through Law 52/2007.
“Thousands of legislative proposals are made by various parliamentary
factions and not even 10% of them manage to get the necessary support in
the Spanish parliament. The Podemos proposal does not have this
support,” says a source within the ruling party.
However, the proposal by the leftists comes at a significant as well as
opportune moment for thousands of Cubans of Spanish descent who were not
covered by the Historical Memory Law.
The year 2016, which is quickly coming to an end, was an important year
for the Cuban government. In terms of marketing, it was excellent.
President Barack Obama’s visit at the end of March aroused people’s hope
for a change. With the resumption of relations, they watched high-level
US officials parade through the Havana airport. The Old World’s interest
in strengthening political-economic dialogue with the island culminated
in the repeal of the the EU’s “Common Position” towards Cuba. And the
visit to Cuba by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan was the first by a
head of government from that country.
But in spite of all the publicity and the VIP visitors, the Cuban
people’s prospects for development are obsolete and the arrival of much
anticipated changes is nowhere in sight.
This legislation would encourage many Cubans to look for an alternative
emigration route in light of the still ambiguous outlook for relations
between the United States and Cuba.
I personally am unaware how this law in the land of Serrano ham would
work. But I do know that, today, Spain is not prepared to handle an
influx of 100,000 new citizens, who will surely arrive seeking assistance.
Source: Legislative Proposal Would Grant Spanish Citizenship to More
Cubans / Juan Juan Almeida – Translating Cuba –