Cuban Stranded in a Colombian Airport is Forced to Return to the Island

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14ymedio bigger14ymedio, November 4, 2018 — The Cuban Lázaro Miguel Gutiérrez Bacallao had to board an airplane bound for Cuba this Friday after remaining stranded in El Dorado airport, in Bogotá, Colombia, since October 14, as confirmed to 14ymedio by an official of Colombian Migration.

The source explained that Gutiérrez Bacallao was not deported because he never entered Colombian territory and specified that he had only been “returned” to the Island. “Not having a Colombian visa, he never entered our territory and so he was not deported but rather transported to his country. Cuba did its procedures to verify that indeed it was a matter of a countryman of theirs and then accepted his entry,” he said.

A friend of Gutiérrez Bacallao told this newspaper that the migrant was already home in Cuba, with his family. “They let him enter without any problems at José Martí airport. He’s calm, apparently happy. In a few days he’ll have his identity card. He let me know yesterday in a voice message at 9pm,” explained the source.

Lázaro Miguel Gutiérrez Bacallao spent 20 days sleeping on chairs in the waiting area of El Dorado airport. The loss of Cuban residency, after spending several years living away from the Island*, and the rejection by Mexican authorities of his entry to the country, placed this Pinar del Río native in a legal limbo that has been resolved this Friday.

Cuban migratory legislation determines that a national loses his permanent residency on the Island if he spends more than 24 months abroad. From that moment he needs an entry permit that the Government may or may not grant arbitrarily and based on motives that may be economic but may also be political.

Gutiérrez Bacallao lived for six years in Ecuador and, at the beginning of this October, decided to embark on the route toward the United States to reunite with his current partner.

He passed trhough Peru and Brazil before arriving in Cancún (Mexico) from Bogotá but Mexican authorities, upon finding irregularities in part of his documentation, decided to reject his entry into the country and returned him to Colombia.

Translated by: Sheilagh Carey


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