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As never before, Cubans ask for refuge in Brazil

CDMX, Mexico.- The Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo published this Saturday that 4,241 Cuban migrants requested refuge in Brazila record number.

After Venezuelans, Cubans were the second nationality that made the most refugee requests, according to data from the Observatory of International Migration of Brazil (OBMigra).

The previous record of refugee applications for Cuban people occurred just before the start of the pandemic.

The outlet specifies that the South American giant has recognized 1,043 Cubans as refugees. Most of them (843) attributed that they could not return to the island for fear of expressing their political opinions. The other disaggregated data indicates that 58 Cubans received refuge for belonging to a specific social group; 15, for religious reasons, and one, for racial reasons.

A part of these asylum seekers are doctors or other professionals who were in Brazil through the More Doctors project, signed by the Havana regime and the Brazilian regime in 2013. The agreement was intended to provide health services in the least served regions of the country, but It was canceled after Jair Bolsonaro came to power.

Folha points out that these numbers do not have to be consistent with the number of Cubans who still remain in Brazil. Many nationals have this destination as a place of transit to the United States; while others do choose to stay.

Brazil has more favorable immigration laws for migrants than other countries in the area.

Once a refugee application is made, immigrants acquire a status that allows them access to work, health and other rights while their applications are evaluated.

Why are they asking for asylum?

As the fundamental cause for the requests for refuge, the newspaper points out those of economic origin and the serious crisis affecting Cuba. The text extensively mentions the drop in tourism and how it has affected the national economy.

It also includes, although it gives less relevance, statements by the principal investigator for the Americas at Human Rights Watch, Juan Pappier, which underscores political repression, among other human rights violations.

The migratory crisis that Cuba is currently experiencing is the largest to date since 1959. Not only in Brazil are the records historical, the number of Cubans who entered the United States by water or sea last year pulverizes any previous record.

In short, the economic hardships and the lack of elementary freedoms that Cubans suffer is the basis of the bleeding that the Island is experiencing, by sea and land. Cubans know, as demonstrated on 1July 1, 2021which is a structural crisis without a medium-term solution.

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