By Eddy Montilla.
Especially during the last decade, the world has seen an unprecedented migratory flow. Like birds that migrate in the winter, people from Mexico and Central America go to the United States. People from China and India do the same or pack their case aiming their thoughts at England. Africans who did not die in their attempt to cross the sea by turning into exquisite delicacies for sharks are today in Spain or Italy. And those who escape from the consequences of the war in Syria, Afghanistan, Kosovo and other countries, are living between frontiers waiting for the slightest opportunity that can take them to their beloved Germany.
No matter what the reason was, the bait of wealth or safety, people are emigrating and failing too because they do not understand what their role as emigrants should be: To help others in their respective countries, so that they do not have to leave for money or war. When I was in Spain, this banner hanging in the Cibeles palace welcoming emigrants puzzled me. Why do so many of them want to go to Germany, Sweden or England despite Spain’s well known hospitality, excellent food and good weather? A ball will always be a ball no matter how many times you spin it or from what angle you see it. So, the main reason those countries are chosen as preferred destinations is higher salaries and better welfare systems.
I do not deny that in many cases, people are just running to save their lives, but most of the time, the ultimate goal is money because once emigrants settle in one of those countries, what do they do? They bring their families, forget the terrible conditions they lived in their hometown and, by doing so, forget their country and compatriots’ poverty too. If their family cannot go with them, they will spend the rest of their lives sending money to them, going from time to time to the place they were born “to vacation as foreigners” and bragging about their real or fictitious economic position. If this situation cannot be called ironic, please stop reading this article because it is, in fact, the real story of emigrants all around the world and something different from this is as imaginary as the book of Harry Potter.
How many Latin American emigrants who actually live in some slum in New York have used a single dollar to help people in the countryside from where they once left? How many Chinese people, scattered throughout the world, have helped to solve the problem of over-polluted rivers in China? Undoubtedly, some “good Samaritans” can be found (there are some of them everywhere), but in general, most of the emigrants have been bitten by the “snake of oblivion to forget their past, to be indifferent to their country’s present and only think about their own future.
This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.
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