Granma International
October 22, 2002

Cuban government convenes 3rd Nation and Emigration Conference

                   THE Cuban government has convened the 3rd Nation and
                   Emigration Conference for April 11-13, 2003 in Havana.

                   Participation in the event will be by invitation, extended to
                   Cubans and their descendents residing abroad “who love and
                   defend a free, independent and sovereign Cuba,” states the
                   note datelined October 20.

                   The text highlights that for the first time the conference is to
                   include young people born abroad who identify themselves
                   with the country of origin of their parents or grandparents, “as
                   proof of the extension and strengthening of Cuba’s relations
                   and its emigration.”

                   This call takes into account that current relations between the
                   increasing number of Cubans living abroad and the island are
                   multiple and fluid, and notes that advances made during
                   these years have confirmed the need to maintain and deepen
                   this process.

                   It is also highlighted that since 1994, some 600,000 visits by
                   emigrants have been registered and in 2001 alone, the
                   number of expatriate Cubans visiting the island was triple
                   that of 1994, when the first conference took place.

                   Likewise, the call is especially directed toward Cubans
                   resident in the United States, who constitute the majority

                   Reasons given by the government for organizing this
                   conference in six months include the growing presence of
                   emigrants in multiple aspects of the country’s social life, the
                   increase of family contacts and their presence in the nation’s
                   cultural life.

                   Authorities also point to the number of Cubans in movements
                   of solidarity with the island in the countries where they

                   The principle objective of the meeting will be to provide an
                   opportunity for open and direct exchange between emigrants
                   and the government, to identify new steps in search of
                   normalizing relations between the two, to exchange ideas on
                   shared aspirations, to debate and reduce differences and work
                   together for the independence, social justice and the
                   well-being of the homeland. (Félix Capote)