Are thousands of people every year risk their lives trying to escape Cuba -- just because they want more money? It's an interesting thought that I hadn't considered before, but I have to admit there's something to it.
Thousands of people risk their lives every year to escape Haiti, and for the most part what they're leaving for is economic opportunities, plain and simple. The political persecution -- such as it is -- for the most part doesn't seep into the fabric of everyday life there. Most people in Haiti are more concerned with having enough food to eat from day to day than they are with which group of boujwa is busy fattening itself on their backs this year.
The few that do worry about political persecution -- and they are there, of course, there always are in oppressive regimes, whether they be socialist, military or religious dictatorships -- are worried about that because they're in some way involved in the political process and dialogue, by running a radio station, printing a newspaper, or organizing political activities that are considered to be in opposition to the government du jour.
Cuba has the distinction of a better-respected lobby in the U.S., and of course it has that policy that lingers from our days of fearing the Great Red Menace.