Cuban and US authorities talk in Havana about the smuggling of migrants

Cuban and US authorities talk in Havana about the smuggling of migrants

(EFE).- Authorities from the Cuban Border Guard Troops and the United States Coast Guard Service met in Havana on Thursday and this Friday to talk about migration.

The meeting discussed ways to increase cooperation between the two services to deal with the smuggling of migrants, according to a note published this Friday by the Ministry of the Interior.

Illegal departures, illicit drug trafficking and maritime search and rescue operations were also discussed.

“The delegations of both countries highlighted the usefulness of these meetings and agreed on the importance of advancing cooperation in this area,” the note adds.

Likewise, he points out that the meeting took place in a “respectful and professional” atmosphere.

Information published by the official newspaper Granma cites that, according to reports, “both parties agreed to continue these technical meetings in the future.”

These talks have taken place at a time when the exodus of Cubans has skyrocketed, both those who bet on the migratory routes through Central American countries and those who embark on the sea in precarious boats. All with the goal of reaching the United States.

The US Coast Guard has detained some 4,500 Cubans on the Florida coast since October 1, 2021

The US Coast Guard has detained some 4,500 Cubans on the Florida coast since October 1, 2021, when the current fiscal year began, according to data from the Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP).

The Department of Customs and Border Protection of the United States (CBP, for its acronym in English) has registered the arrival of 177,848 Cuban migrants to the territory of that country.

The figure exceeds the largest flow of Cubans so far, reported in 1980, when 125,000 people left through the port of Mariel in just seven months.

Last April, delegations from Cuba and the United States resumed their bilateral dialogue on migration issues in Washington, the first at a high level since the arrival of President Joe Biden at the White House in January 2021.

These meetings had been suspended in 2018 during the Presidency of Donald Trump (2017-2021), who reversed the historic rapprochement process with Isla launched by his predecessor, Barack Obama (2009-2017).

The Cuban government described as a “positive sign” that the United States held a meeting on migration issues with a delegation from its country, and, for its part, the Biden Administration considered that these migration talks between both parties were “productive.”

The Havana Executive blames Washington for the irregular flow of Cuban citizens and illegal departures by sea and other routes

The US Democratic government has recently implemented several measures, including increasing the consular services of its embassy on the island and reestablishing a family reunification program that had been suspended since 2017.

However, the Executive in Havana blames Washington for the irregular flow of Cuban citizens and illegal departures by sea and other routes, and attributes it to the breach of the bilateral agreement that stipulates the delivery of 20,000 visas a year for Cubans.

In addition, he attributes the increase in migration to the validity of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, which allows Cubans to apply for permanent residence in the United States after one year and one day of staying in that country.

Cuba is going through a serious economic crisis due to the combination of the pandemic, the tightening of US sanctions and internal errors in macroeconomic management.

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