The desperation to flee Cuba causes riots in the queues for visas

The desperation to flee Cuba causes riots in the queues for visas

The desperation of Cubans to leave the island is becoming more and more evident. Some thirty people staged an altercation this Wednesday at the gates of the Colombian consulate in Havana when they were informed that their transit visas, necessary for the trip they intend to to Nicaragua via Bogotá, they were not ready.

Some of them travel this Thursday, but the officer who guards the consular headquarters -Cuban, not Colombian- no longer let them pass. “I’m going to say it once, I’m going to hand over 44 passports. When I finish with this list, everyone can go, because we’re not going to attend to anyone else,” he said harshly.

The discomfort grew when a security agent joined the official, who tried to dispatch them in a bad way. “Out of the man’s list, all personnel who are not included there, please have to leave the area, you can’t loiter around here and the embassy’s decision is irrevocable,” he told the crowd, exacerbated. “Everybody sleep and rest, I’m very sorry but nothing is going to be done,” he insisted.

“You are violating our rights; we cannot be inside the embassy, ​​but we can be here outside, no one can tell me that I cannot be here”

Faced with the agent’s attempt to get them off the street as well, one of the men waiting rebelled: “If in the end they won’t attend to me, I’m going to stay because I haven’t bothered anyone and they can’t. prevent”.

The agent looked surprised at the man, who repeated firmly: “You are violating our rights; we can’t be inside the embassy, ​​but we can be outside here, no one can tell me that I can’t be here. I’m leaving today, but the day before my trip I am going to stand here”.

The discussion repeated the scene of the day before, when, a witness assures 14ymedio, the police evacuated the place after the nervous breakdown of a lady who is traveling soon.

What happened in front of the Colombian embassy is not the only sign that, now more than ever, the exodus is unstoppable. The main destination is, of course, the United States, and the springboard, Nicaragua, which was established last November the “free visa” for Cubans.

The stories multiply throughout the country. In the capital, Rosa María has already sold her house and other properties and only kept a few clothes. While waiting for her flight to Managua, scheduled for next month, she is staying at a sister’s house. Her plan is, together with her children, to reunite with her husband, who is already in the United States.

In Sancti Spíritus, on an entire street in the San Luis residential area, almost all the young people have sold their motorcycles and their belongings to leave the Island.

“Never before have I known so many people who are leaving, not even during the rafters’ crisis,” said a resident of El Vedado when she saw, this Tuesday, the queue with hundreds of people waiting to enter Immigration and Immigration.

“Never before have I known so many people leaving, not even during the rafters’ crisis,” said a resident of El Vedado when she saw, this Tuesday, the queue with hundreds of people waiting to enter the Immigration and Aliens offices of the Calle 17, between J and K, which issues passports.

“I’m tired of living here, I need to leave because in this country there is no future, and in order to have something you have to live with a rope around your neck all the time,” Alejandro, a 40-year-old Cuban who is waiting to make your passport for the first time.

In his case, his journey north will be a little more convoluted. According to him, he wants to use his savings to travel to Russia to bring articles and sell them in Cuba. If everything goes well, and with the money collected, he plans to leave for good. “What I want is to go to the United States, via Nicaragua, but I need more money to achieve it,” Alejandro asserts.

Tickets to Managua have been selling for prices ranging from $1,500 to more than $3,000.

José, who is also waiting in line for his passport, lives in Sancti Spíritus, and reports that he has sold his house and a car to leave with his family, including minors. “This decision has not been easy to take, but it has been necessary,” he argues. “Here I go out with 2,000 pesos to the street and return with practically nothing for my children.” He does it for them, he says, because “the years go by and nothing changes, we are getting worse and worse.”

“We gave my uncle a power of attorney to take care of my husband’s house for at least two years, in case something goes wrong and we decide to return,” she explains, crossing her fingers.

Others, like Kenya, instead of going to the US, will head for Europe. Spanish citizen and with a brother living in France, this will be her final destination. Until now, he has had to pay two extensions of his passport for a value of 500 pesos each. “We gave my uncle a power of attorney to take care of my husband’s house for at least two years, in case something goes wrong and we decide to return,” she explains, crossing her fingers. “In Paris we have the possibility of working thanks to friends of my brother. He will pay us the tickets and then we will repay the loan.” And he trusts: “I hope we can get ahead there, because there is no one who can stand this.”

A block further from that place, on the corner of 17th and J Street, a similar tumult gathers in front of the La Rampa University Polyclinic, where PCR tests are carried out for Cubans who intend to travel abroad, to prove that they are not infected. of covid-19.

Without naming the long queues at the doors of the polyclinics, the Havana authorities determined that as of this Wednesday the PCR tests and the antigen tests for “people who will temporarily or permanently leave the country” will be held in the municipality of residence of the interested party. To do this, report Tribune of Havana, they will need to present the identity card, the travel ticket and the passport.

Between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm they will take the samples and deliver the results between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm.

Cubans who do not live in Havana but are in the capital awaiting their departure through the José Martí airport, says the official note, will be tested “according to the municipality where they are residing before their departure abroad.”

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