With the passing of Roger Conklin, the world has lost a decent man. He was also a relentless advocate for ALL Americans and for the United States as a whole. He influenced many posts on this blog. For many years, Roger was involved with “American CItizens Abroad“. Roger posted numerous comments on online articles. He generously educated others with his numerous emails. He was a true American Patriot who was a keen observer of the “aging of America”. What follows is an email that he composed during the last few years of his life. This email is a “wake up call” and a true gift to those who care about the future of America.
“Stephen, Victoria and All,
I recall a few years back when Fidel Castro introduced an Exit Tax on Cubans that were university graduates who applied for permits to leave the country to relocate elsewhere. This tax was to compensate the Cuban government for the cost of their government-paid-for university education.
The world screamed bloody murder! The US, in front of the US Interests Section building in Havana erected a huge electrically illuminated sign quoting the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (Cuba is one of the UN member states that ratified that Declaration), which affirms that every person shall have the right to freely leave from and return to any nation, including his own.
Cuba erected another sign on the outside of the fence for the purpose of blocking the view of the sign the US Interest Section had erected, but the world reaction against Cuba was so strong that Cuba relented and eliminate that Exit Tax.
Today, Cubans no longer require an exit permit to leave the country. With a Cuban passport and a visa from the country to which they intend to travel every Cuban is now free to leave the country either for a temporary visit abroad; or permanently.
The United States has replaced Cuba as the nation with an Exit Tax collectible from its citizens if they renounce their US citizenship. And under the provisions of a bill introduced by Senators Schumer (D, NY) and Reed (D, RI) the US citizen who renounces US citizenship in order to avoid paying the unique US citizenship-based income tax levied on US citizens living in a foreign country, would be blacklisted and denied any right to ever visit the United States for the rest of his life, even to visit a dying relative in a nursing home, to attend a funeral, for medical treatment or for any other purpose. This bill has not yet been enacted into law, but don’t be surprised if it is tacked, as was FATCA, onto some totally unrelated legislation just minutes before the vote is taken and is passed without those who vote “aye” realizing what they have approved with that vote.
Did you ever expect to see the day when it was easier for a Cuban Citizen to leave that Communist country and become a citizen of another country than it is for a US citizen to do the same. Cubans who become naturalized citizens of another country by that action automatically loose their Cuban citizenship. But Americans who do this must formally renounce their US citizenship before a US Consular official located outside of the United States; and pay the required renunciation fee and Exit Tax to do so.
Strange but true, the exit tax rules which Communist countries implemented to prevent or severely penalize their citizens who wished to leave, which were so strongly criticized under US law, are now standard US practice with the United States.
As far as I know neither Cuba nor any other nation has erected a sign in front of its Interests Section building in Washington or an Embassy, highlighting how this Exit Tax constitutes a violation by the United States of the UN Universal Human Rights Declaration, the author of which was none other than Eleanor Roosevelt, the widow of our 34th President.
It indeed matters whose ox is being gored.