The Cuban Embassy in Quito Accuses Migrants of “Seeking Points” From The US / 14ymedio, Mario Penton

Cubans in El Arbolito Park, where they were moved by Quito authorities. (14ymedio)
Cubans in El Arbolito Park, where they were moved by Quito authorities. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 2 July 2016 — With the language of the Cold War, the Embassy of Cuba in Ecuador has responded through an official statement to the situation of thousands of migrants from the island who are undocumented in Ecuador and are asking for a humanitarian bridge that allows them to reach the United States.

The answer comes after dissimilar attempts to obtain information from the embassy that kept a veil of silence over the protests carried out by migrants which included a demonstration in front of the Mexican Embassy and requests to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the embassy of the United States in the Ecuadorian capital for assistance.

“The embassy of Cuba wishes to clarify to public opinion that these people left our country, overwhelmingly in a legal way, and none of them is persecuted for their political ideas,” says the document, which also accuses the undocumented “seeking points” from the US government.

The document, which was published unsigned on the embassy’s social network site, directly accused the Wet Foot/Dry Foot policy of being responsible for the current wave of migration affecting Central and South American countries. “Once again it is demonstrated that the current immigration policy of the US government towards Cuba is inconsistent with the current bilateral context.”

Reactions to the embassy statement by the Cubans in Ecuador were not long in coming. The social networks are filled with messages of both repudiation and support of the statement.

A migrant living in Ecuador, Carlos Ramirez Durades, explains that “it such is the disappointment that, even being in situations unfavorable for their lives, no one decides to return to Cuba.” That is a sign, he says, that “the sheep are not as tame as they want to paint them.”

A political organization established in Ecuador to support freedom in Cuba, the X Cuba Movement, issued a statement in solidarity with the undocumented migrants and asked the Cuban embassy to stop being “an instrument of the regime and put yourself on the correct side of history.”

Ephraim Mateo Sanchez, leader of the Cubans who installed themselves in front of the embassy of Mexico in Quito, said meanwhile that they are preparing “a clear and strong response” to the statement issued by the Cuban embassy.

Several Cubans living in Ecuador, such as Lucía Camacho Ríos and Karel Gómez Velázquez, have expressed agreement with the statement issued by the embassy. Some have also come out against the actions of the protesters. “They want to be put on plane, shouting ‘down with Fidel’ in the streets of Quito, but they didn’t do that in Havana. All my friends who went to the United States, took the ‘little road,’ it is best that they do the same,” Maritza Suarez, a Cuban who has lived in Ecuador for 26 years, told 14ymedio.

“With or without the Cuban Adjustment Act Cubans will continue leaving Cuba. When one goes sometimes we don’t know if they do it for political reasons, because on the island we don’t even know what freedom is. Finally, whether for economic reasons or not, when the essence goes, the people leave Cuba because the system doesn’t allow them to be what they want to be. In the end, everything has to do with politics,” said Lazaro Ramos, a Cuban who is a member of the Cuban National Alliance of Ecuador (ANCE) who emigrated to Ecuador less than a year ago.

Recently, Cuban migrants who have been evicted from outside the Mexican Embassy in Quito, received authorization to move to El Arbolito Park in the Ecuadorian capital. There they have established what they call “The Cuban Encampment,” or “The Mambí Encampment.” Several hundred people live in tents in precarious conditions in hopes that some country will serve as a trampoline to enter the United States, where legislation allows natural persons from the island to be admitted.