Cuba Rises From Tenth to Fifth Place Among Those Seeking Asylum in Spain

The increase in asylum applications has caused the website for managing previous appointments to collapse in Spain. (Government of Spain)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, October 17, 2023 — Some 2,430 Cubans have applied for asylum in Spain so far this year, according to data presented by the Ministry of the Interior of that country. The Island exceeded the 2022 statistics by 1,038 cases, when 1,392 applications were submitted, going from tenth place on the list to fifth.

However, the number of Cubans who have been granted protection has been extremely low: just 10 at the end of the third quarter of the year.

The data also reveal that about 622 applications from Cubans have been rejected so far, and in no case has asylum been granted for humanitarian reasons, a process from which Venezuelans have benefited, with 38,179 cases approved so far this year.

Another 3,619 files of migrants from the Island are pending approval by the Office of Asylum and Refuge of Spain.

With Cuba in fifth place by the number of applications submitted, the list is headed by Venezuela, with 46,585 cases, followed by Colombia (41,769), Peru (11,116) and Honduras (2,957).

The list is headed by Venezuela, with 46,585 cases, followed by Colombia, Peru and Honduras

Months ago, in March of this year, this newspaper documented the collapse of the Spanish Government’s website that grants appointments for the Immigration offices, where asylum is requested, among other procedures.

Interviewed by 14ymedio, Irene, a Cuban who has been trying to access the system for weeks, said that she had contacted the Spanish authorities due to the malfunction of the page. The answer left her stunned: “The system is overwhelmed because Cubans themselves ask for an appointment and then sell their turn to other migrants.”

The officer then commented that the collapse of the system has been taking place for a long time, with the avalanche of Cubans and Venezuelans going to Spain. In addition, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused hundreds of thousands of citizens of that country to flee the conflict for countries of the European Union, including Spain.

For the young woman, it was a surprise to learn that Cubans had managed to export their “scams” to Europe. “It makes it worse for Cubans,” the Foreign Ministry officer then said, in an angry tone, “because they are the ones most harmed by those who make a business out of this.” According to the agent, the “resellers” have managed to grab the appointments as soon as they are posted, usually on a Monday, and in a few minutes they have grabbed all the requests.

Last August, the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration told EFE that Cubans occupy eighth place on the list of migrants in an irregular situation who have been granted residency by establishing themselves in Spain in the last twelve months, and they take, on average, only two years to achieve it. This is considered quite short compared to the average for other Latin Americans, which is around three and a half years.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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