Cuba blames the Central American Immigration Crisis on the US Cuban Adjustment Act

Migrantes cubanos en la frontera entre Costa Rica y Nicaragua ante la vigilancia de policías costarricenses. (Natasha Cambronero/La Nación)
Cuban migrants at the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, under Costa Rican police vigilance (Natasha Cambronero/La Nación)

Citizens who are trying to reach the United States from other countries on the continent are “victims of the politicization of the immigration issue by the Government of the United States,” Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) said in a statement read on Cuba’s primetime news Tuesday night.

MINREX commented on the “complex situation” created at the borders of Costa Rica, where some 2,000 Cubans arrived from Ecuador, having crossed Colombia and Panama. On Saturday, the Costa Rican government granted them a special visa valid for seven days, to reach Nicaragua, on their trip to the United States.

However, on arriving at Peñas Blancas, on the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the Nicaraguan government denied the Cubans entry and on Sunday afternoon the Nicaraguan Army forcibly stopped about 800 who tried to enter illegally.

According to MINREX, the United States’ Cuban Adjustment Act and the implementation of the “wet foot-dry foot” policy “are incongruent with the current bilateral context, impeding the normalization of migratory relations between Cuba and the United States, and creating problems in other countries.” This is “because it confers a different treatment on Cubans, the only ones in the world, by admitting them immediately and automatically, regardless of the paths and methods they use, including if they arrive in the country illegally.” MINREX further argued that, “it constitutes a violation of the letter and spirit of migratory accords in effect, whereby both countries assume the obligation of guaranteeing legal, secure and orderly migration.”

MINREX also “denounced” the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program, created by George W. Bush in 2006, saying that it “encourages doctors and other Cuban health workers to abandon their missions in third countries and emigrate to the United States.” MINREX said that it is “a reprehensible practice aimed at damaging Cuba’s programs of cooperation and depriving Cuba of vital human resources, as well as the many countries that need them.”

In its public statement, MINREX says that currently “the Cuban authorities have maintained permanent contact with the governments of the countries involved, with the objective of finding a quick and appropriate solution that takes into consideration the well-being of Cuban citizens.”

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