14ymedio, Havana, 21 September 2023 — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico will assign 6,960 appointments for Cubans to process their visas at the Mexican consulate in Havana from this coming September 25. This process will be based on “user registration order, privileging family reunification, work and study visas,” according to a statement.
The Secretariat of Foreign Affairs clarified that people who already have a user in the Citas Cuba system “will not need to create a new account or perform additional steps.” In the month of December, appointments will be scheduled for the first quarter of 2024.
The Mexican agency specified that this online system “automatically assigns appointments to previously registered people in chronological order and until the availability is exhausted.”
The platform, however, has provoked complaints from users about the slowness of the process. In April of last year, several Cubans spent hours in front of the computer without being able to obtain one of the 16,000 appointments that were delivered at the time. To this was added the annoyance of the drop in internet browsing speed.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry reiterated that “the appointments are free, personal and non-transferable,” in addition to the fact that any “suspicious” appointment will be canceled, and the user will be “blocked.” Therefore, it recommended avoiding sharing personal data with third parties who offer to schedule appointments on another person’s behalf. If the process is detected, “the appointment will be canceled without prior notice.”
Those who are not registered users in the Citas Cuba system must access the website through this link and enter their biographical data, the procedure they require and wait for an appointment to be assigned.
The announcement of appointment allocations coincides with a new saturation of migrants on the southern border of Mexico. In Tapachula, Cubans have complained that those who have a confirmed CBP One appointment are being denied a flight permit, despite the fact that the National Institute of Migration (INM) authorized it last March.
These same Cubans were waiting for an appointment in the offices of the Mexican Refugee Aid Commission and were deceived by an alleged official, who informed them that the INM will issue them a Multiple Migration Form “so that you can move around the interior of the country.” The Cubans then went to Migration headquarters and were told that it was not delivering any documents.
In Tapachula, about 20,000 Cubans are stranded waiting for a document that allows them free passage to reach the border with the United States.
On the other hand, the U.S. border city of Eagle Pass (Texas) declared a state of emergency after thousands of migrants crossed through the Mexican state of Coahuila on Wednesday. “The declaration of emergency gives us the ability to request financial resources to provide the additional services caused by the influx of undocumented migrants,” said Mayor Rolando Salinas.
The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) scheduled a vehicle closure at 6 p.m. on Eagle Pass Bridge 1 with Mexico. The CBP also has suspended cargo processing at the port of entry of the Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) in El Paso (Texas) since last Monday, which is usually open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The temporary suspension was also ordered to send the agents to help the Border Patrol of the El Paso sector to process the migrants.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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