Havana Blames the United States for the Ten Cuban Migrants Killed in Mexico

Havana accuses the United States of encouraging migration from the Island through the Cuban Adjustment Law. (PL)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 4 October 2023 — On Tuesday, the Government of Cuba blamed the United States for the accident in which ten Cuban migrants were killed in southern Mexico and urged it to adopt the “necessary measures” to prevent similar events.

This message came in a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which recognized that the irregular migratory flow of Cuban citizens through the Central American corridor destined for the U.S. has experienced an “obvious growth” in recent months.

In that sense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs considered that this situation “increases, in turn, the probability of an occurrence of unfortunate events,” like the overturning of the truck last Sunday that was transporting 20 Cuban migrants on a road in the Mexican municipality of Pijijiapan, 93.2 miles from the border city of Tapachula.

Cuba has repeatedly warned about the risks associated with the illegal smuggling of migrants and human trafficking, which place migrants in a vulnerable situation” 

“Cuba has repeatedly warned about the risks associated with the illegal smuggling of migrants and human trafficking, phenomena intimately linked to irregular migration, which place migrants in a vulnerable situation and makes them victims of organized crime, traffickers, extortion, abuse and illicit activities associated with this scourge,” the statement says.

The Foreign Ministry added that it has alerted the Biden administration about its “responsibility” for “the irregular and disorderly emigration of Cubans who arrive or intend to reach its borders.”

The statement also criticized U.S. immigration policy, because it  “privileges” the irregular Cuban migrant with the Cuban Adjustment Law, which grants a “differentiated and unique treatment” by providing “an expeditious way to obtain residence, regardless of the forms and means used” on the way to reach the United States.

“This behavior affects not only Cuba, the Cuban emigrant and the U.S. itself, but also has consequences for several countries of transit in the region,” the statement stressed, adding that this issue “has been repeatedly discussed” with the U.S. government.

Despite this, both countries continue to coordinate the returns of migrants intercepted at sea. Recently, 38 irregular migrants were returned to the Island in two groups by the U.S. authorities, 23 of them yesterday. There have been 4,380 Cubans returned from different countries in the region so far in 2023.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard delivered five women and 18 men to the port of Orozco, in Artemisa, who had participated in two illegal departures by sea, according to a statement released by the Ministry of the Interior.

The majority of this group of rafters are residents of the provinces of Holguín, Camagüey and Matanzas. The statement indicates that one of those returned was arrested for “an alleged commission of a serious criminal act,” for which he was being investigated before leaving the country irregularly.

On September 30, another 15 rafters (14 men and one minor) also arrived at the port of Orozco after being returned by the U.S. Coast Guard.

On September 30, another 15 rafters (14 men and one minor) also arrived at the port of Orozco after being returned by the U.S. Coast Guard

Since October 1, 2022, U.S. Coast Guard crews have intercepted more than 6,500 Cubans at sea headed to the coasts of Florida, according to official data. During the last fiscal year, which began on October 1, 2022 and ended on September 30, 2023 about 7,000 Cubans have been intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Both the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs underline Cuba’s “commitment” to “a regular, safe and orderly migration” and say that they will continue to “work and cooperate” with the region’s governments to warn against irregular, unsafe and disorderly migration, to prevent risky departures and to fight against acts of violence associated with this phenomenon.

Cuba has been experiencing an unprecedented migratory exodus for more than two years, linked in the first instance to the severe economic crisis that the country is suffering. According to data from the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (Comar), Mexico is on its way to establishing a new record for asylum applications during the current year, now more than 129,000, and one of the largest groups of applicants are Cubans.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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