Six year-old daughter of Cubans is not allowed to study in Cuba

Yuleisy Nodal Bardoquín

On September 9, 2016, Yuleisy Nodal Bardoquín lodged a complaint: “A todos los que piensan que en Cuba todos tienen derecho a la Educación” (“To all those who think that everyone in Cuba has a right to Education”), explaining how her then five year-old daughter, whose mother and father are Cubans, is not allowed to begin school in Cuba because she was born in another country (Ecuador).

Nine months later the situation remains the same and now the girl’s mother addresses the Education Minister asking her to intervene and put an end to this injustice:

Palo Bonito, May 19, 2017

To: Ena Elsa López, Education Minister in Cuba

From: Yuleisy Nodal Bardoquín, a neighbor in Comunidad Palo Bonito, Manacas, Santo Domingo, Villa Clara

Ms Ena Elsa Lopez

Minister of Education:

I hereby address you and state that I do not intend to be disrespectful since regardless of your hierarchic rank, you as myself, are women and Cuban. After having gone through all the relevant channels without committing any violation, only trying to obtain help for my case which has obviously not been solved, I want you to hear about my situation.

As I mentioned before, I live in a batey or community in the Santo Domingo Municipality in Villa Clara. In the year 2009, I travelled to Ecuador with my husband in search of an economic improvement, and in that country I became pregnant and had a girl who of course is an Ecuadorian citizen.

For personal reasons we returned to Cuba because of my son who had been left under my mother’s care. Upon our return, we found my mother with serious health problems, so we had to extend, but later lost, our return ticket. Hospital and food expenses were so many that, logically, we were left with no money to return. With help from relatives and friends, I was able to repatriate myself, since both my husband and myself were permanent residents in Ecuador and had no right to anything in Cuba. My husband has not been able to obtain his rights as a Cuban since we have no money for the procedure, therefore he is undocumented in his own country. Melani Alejandra Cuba Nodal, my daughter, turned 6 years old precisely today, the date of the fall in combat of José Martí, who said “We work for the children, because the children are the ones that know how to love, because the children are the hope of the world.”  She was supposed to begin her schooling now. My daughter is an Ecuadorian citizen, and I am convinced that in Cuba she simply does not exist or is entitled to nothing. She can only obtain residence in Cuba if I can submit her birth documents which we can only acquire in Riobamba, the place where the girl was born. It is illogical that this document be requested, because if I could or simply had money to travel I would not have reached this situation. I have addressed all educational institutions and authorities in the province, and they have simply told me that the education system has nothing to do with my daughter’s schooling or education.

Melani Alejandra Cuba Nodal

Madam Minister, I have listened to your statements regarding the new school year and I have always heard that in Cuba no one is left without the right of going to school or without the privilege of having a teacher. Therefore, I ask you: is it my daughter’s fault that she was born somewhere else? It does not matter whether she was born in Ecuador or in Japan, if her parents are Cubans and she lives in Cuba, a Cuba that helps other countries with their education systems. Why so much injustice? Or is it that I am censored for not sharing the same ideas? Must my little girl’s situation become a political problem? I reiterate that I know that according to the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba my girl has no rights, but I ask that my situation be analyzed and illiteracy not be allowed to grow, because in this way you are violating the human rights of a minor who did not ask to be born outside the place of origin of her parents.

Waiting for your reply,

Yuleisy Nodal Bardoquín.

By Sara Cuba Delgado, Defensora del Pueblo (People’s Defender) and CID Provincial Delegate in Villa Clara, and La Nueva República (The New Republic) Coordinator Carlos Rodríguez Becerra.

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