U.S. Welfare Flows to Cuba 3

The money “is definitely not to be used … to go have a great old time back in the country that was supposed to be oppressing you.” — State Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. of Hialeah

The money “is definitely not to be used … to go have a great old time back in the country that was supposed to be oppressing you.”
— State Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. of Hialeah

“They’re taking benefits from the American taxpayer to subsidize their life in another country.”

By Sally Kestin, Megan O’Matz and John Maines with Tracey Eaton in Cuba

Cuban immigrants are cashing in on U.S. welfare and returning to the island, making a mockery of the decades-old premise that they are refugees fleeing persecution at home.

Some stay for months at a time — and the U.S. government keeps paying.

Cubans’ unique access to food stamps, disability money and other welfare is meant to help them build new lives in America. Yet these days, it’s helping some finance their lives on the communist island.

America’s open-ended generosity has grown into an entitlement that exceeds $680 million a year and is exploited with ease. No agency tracks the scope of the abuse, but a Sun Sentinel investigation found evidence suggesting it is widespread.

Fed-up Floridians are reporting their neighbors and relatives for accepting government aid while shuttling back and forth to the island, selling goods in Cuba, and leaving their benefit cards in the U.S. for others to use while they are away.

Some don’t come back at all. The U.S. has continued to deposit welfare checks for as long as two years after the recipients moved back to Cuba for good, federal officials confirmed.

Regulations prohibit welfare recipients from collecting or using U.S. benefits in another country. But on the streets of Hialeah, the first stop for many new arrivals, shopkeepers like Miguel Veloso hear about it all the time.

Veloso, a barber who has been in the U.S. three years, said recent immigrants on welfare talk of spending considerable time in Cuba — six months there, two months here. “You come and go before benefits expire,” he said.

State Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. of Hialeah hears it too, from constituents in his heavily Cuban-American district, who tell of flaunting their aid money on visits to the island. The money, he said, “is definitely not to be used … to go have a great old time back in the country that was supposed to be oppressing you.”

Feature continues here: Sun-Sentinel Investigation

 

Advertisements

3 comments

  1. And the US Government doesn’t attend the fiscal crisis @ the island of Puerto Rico even though they are US citizens and have fought in US wars since 1917…

    • We have Cuban American fighting for the Union since the civil war,this is not the point here. Those Cubans need to be return to Cuba because they are committing fraud. Puerto Rico is in bankruptcy due to the mishandling of resources by Puerto Ricans, The rest of the Union does not have to carry their expenses.

  2. Our authorities need to start doing a crack down on all these Cubans that are using their issue US Benefits to live in Cuba,what our government needs to do is to revoke the benefits of all the Cubans that are travelling to the island on the regular basis and profiting from our benefits. Let’s prosecute them for fraud and let’s return them to Cuba.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s