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CLARIN

Spain-Latin America Migration: A Two-Way Track

Hundreds of thousands have left Spain, until recently a land of plenty with a booming real estate sector, to seek work abroad. American countries are favored destinations, even if recession is now raising its ugly head there.

In Buenos Aires. Need a return ticket?
In Buenos Aires. Need a return ticket?

BUENOS AIRES — More than five years of recession in Spain have sent thousands of Spaniards migrating in search of jobs across the world. Latin America, with a shared language and cultural affinities, has been a favored destination. Spanish government figures show that the region received 65% of the 81,000 Spaniards who left their country in 2014.

About 10% of these were former migrants from Latin America who were nationalized in Spain after arriving in search of job. The economic tables turned at the end of the previous decade as Spaniards have sought work in countries like Ecuador, Peru and Argentina — which until recently had been sending them migrants.

There were times in the recent recession when despondency in Spain must have reminded many of the state of generalized poverty and melancholy that afflicted Spaniards in the 1940s and 1950s. Thousands also migrated then, or fled to countries like Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela, either to seek work or escape the regime of General Franco.

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In Madrid, Spain — Photo: Juanedc

Today Argentina, often cited as "the most European of the Latin American countries," is the favored destination in terms of numbers. About 423,000 Spaniards are registered as living there now, from a range of educational backgrounds.

But Estrella Sánchez of the Federation of Spanish Societies in Argentina, which brings together Spanish associations there may offer a hint of the tide turning again: "I would advise them not to come," she said. "This is not the moment to try to set up a new life here, even with university qualifications and everything. They come to try their luck and find the reality is difficult and often don't find work."

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How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

American and Southwest Airlines have been refusing to allow Cubans on board flights if they've been blacklisted by the government in Havana.

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

Boarding a plane in Camaguey, Cuba

Santiago Villa

On Sunday, American Airlines refused to let Cuban writer Carlos Manuel Álvarez board a Miami flight bound for Havana. It was at least the third time this year that a U.S. airline refused to let Cubans on board to return to their homeland after Havana circulated a government "blacklist" of critics of the regime. Clearly undemocratic and possibly illegal under U.S. law, the airlines want to make sure to cash in on a lucrative travel route, writes Colombian journalist Santiago Villa:

-OpEd-

Imagine for a moment that you left your home country years ago because you couldn't properly pursue your chosen career there. It wasn't easy, of course: Your profession is not just singularly demanding, but even at the top of the game you might not be assured a stable or sufficient income, and you've had to take on second jobs, working in bars and restaurants.

This chosen vocation is that of a writer or journalist, or perhaps an artist, which has kept you tied to your homeland, often the subject of your work, even if you don't live there anymore.

Since leaving, you've been back home several times, though not so much for work. Because if you did, you would be followed in cars and receive phone calls to let you know you are being watched.

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