Authorities Finalize the Repatriation of Cubans Stranded in Haiti

The thousands of Cubans who reside in the country remain, as well as 53 doctors on an international mission

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published a multitude of images promoting the return of Cubans stranded in Haiti / Cuban Foreign Ministry

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Port-au-Prince, 22 April 2024 — The Government of Cuba, on Sunday night, “successfully” concluded the repatriation of the 248 citizens who had been stranded in Haiti for more than a month due to the serious security crisis in that country. The last three groups – out of a total of six – arrived today on two flights of the Haitian airline Sunrise, two to the city of Camagüey and one to Santiago de Cuba.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel wrote on X that he “successfully concluded the safe transfer to Cuba, by air, of Cuban citizens who were in Haiti.”

In similar terms, the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez, thanked “the Haitian entities involved” and congratulated the Cuban embassy in Haiti.

Bruno Rodríguez thanked “the Haitian entities involved” and congratulated the Cuban embassy in Haiti

A statement released by the local Foreign Ministry explained that the Cuban diplomatic legation made “systematic arrangements” with Sunrise Airlines, which had transported the Cubans to Haiti and agreed to”keep the option of returning them to Cuba” when “the conditions were created to do so.”

He said that the Cuban State “paid for this unique operation for all stranded Cubans who voluntarily took this alternative” on six flights to Camagüey and Santiago de Cuba since last Friday.

He also stated that because Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint Louverture International Airport has been closed, it was not possible to guarantee repatriation by that route.

Therefore, the embassy “coordinated the voluntary departure of Cuban citizens by land to the city of Cape Haitiano,” from where they returned.

In addition to the Cubans who had traveled to Haiti to buy items that are scarce in their country and resell them on their return, several thousand Cubans and 53 Cuban health professionals on a medical mission reside in Haiti.

One of them celebrated the operation on the Foreign Ministry’s website but also remembered those who remain there. “Excellent mission, but there are still more than 200 Cubans living in Haiti. It is worth noting that these flights were planned by Sunrise Airlines for passengers who had tickets to Cuba before and after the date of the closure of the Toussaint Louverture international airport in the Haitian capital,” he said.

“Excellent mission; there are still more than 200 Cubans living in Haiti

The new episode of violence in Haiti broke out at the end of February after the escape of 3,000 prisoners from two prisons in Port-au-Prince, including gang leaders who regained control of their territories.

Since then, the governments of different countries have proceeded to evacuate their citizens by different means, while Cubans have had to wait more than 50 days, desperate due to the lack of money.

At the beginning of April, several of them published a video on social networks in which they urged the Island’s authorities to take more forceful measures to rescue them. “All countries have already taken their citizens out of here. We are the only ones left,” they claimed.

The Haitian Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, resigned shortly thereafter, and a nine-member transitional presidential council must now seek a replacement.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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