The deputy director general for the US of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Johana Tablada, confirmed this Monday that the deportation flights of “inadmissible” Cubans who enter through the border with Mexico will resume “very soon.” The Cuban authorities hope that the measure will serve as “a deterrent to irregular emigration,” the official assured OnCuba.
in a long interview Regarding the recent negotiations between Cuba and the US, Tablada celebrated the collaboration between the Island’s Border Guard Troops and the US Coast Guard, which have accelerated the rate of returns. He also admitted that the cause of this rapprochement is the “increase in the migratory flow” – more than 200,000 emigrants in one year – which “harms the interest of the United States” and affects the regime in Havana. “Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t even be talking,” he acknowledged.
Tablada explained that the progress of bilateral exchanges with the US is undeniable and blamed the Joe Biden Administration for a diplomatic “paralysis” that Havana did not expect after Trump’s departure. However, she insisted, the stampede of Cubans to the north practically forced both delegations to talk for the first time since 2018.
Among the “pending issues,” said the diplomat, is the request to reinstate non-immigrant visas
The official made a recount, along the same lines as the recent statements the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Fernández de Cossío, on the steps that both governments have taken in their most recent rapprochement: the reopening of the Havana consulate, the granting of 20,000 visas to Cubans, the closure of operations in Guyana and communication between the border guards of the two countries. In addition, he assured that there would be “new rounds” and spaces for conversation to solve common problems.
Among the “pending issues,” said the diplomat, is the request to reinstate non-immigrant visas. “If a person who has his life in Cuba, who has a business, who has a job, wants to go to the United States to visit a relative and then return here, we don’t see why he can’t do it. It seems to us that granting those visas it can also contribute to discouraging illegal emigration,” he said.
However, Tablada assures, Havana is “dissatisfied” and attributes to the US a “state of denial” about the blocking“neuralgic point in bilateral relations” and which, in his opinion, is the cause “that has triggered this migratory flow.”
He accused the United States that the embargo forces Cubans to leave due to the “economic pressure” they are experiencing on the island, and said that the United States government has come to affirm that the migratory flow is an instrument of Havana to “change the US policy towards Cuba.
He accused the US that the embargo forces Cubans to leave due to the “economic pressure” they experience on the island
“This accusation is absurd,” lamented Tablada, “because we are losing human capital, we are losing young people, we are losing family members, people who could be with us, together with us, working for the well-being of their families and their country.”
The last straw, the official affirms, is that the Cubans who manage to arrive enjoy “exclusive incentives” that the US “does not have for other countries.” Taking these benefits into account, “it is not strange that many Cubans decide to emigrate, even illegally.”
As for the human rights situation on the island – an issue, in his opinion, “very manipulated by the US” – Havana will continue to be intransigent. Tablada described the Cuban opposition as “two or three favorite people of the United States” who justify their “maximum pressure policy” with the “Cuban dictatorship.”
He recognized that the government prevents the entry of a “tiny” number of Cubans, who “cannot enter the country when they want” for reasons of “national security,” but noted that this is not an “immovable decision.”
“We have told the United States that, under conditions of equality and respect, and even with our differences in perspective, we would be willing to hold an honest and unconditional dialogue on human rights. On that and on any other issue. All issues are open “, he pointed.
For Taboada, as long as Biden does not lift the ‘blockade’, Cuba will maintain its “red line” regarding the dialogue
For Taboada, as long as Biden does not raise his blocking, Cuba will maintain its “red line” with respect to the dialogue. “In practice – and that’s the surprise – there has been no other president of the United States who has applied the blockade in such an efficient and aggressive way as Biden,” observes the diplomat, following the opinion already expressed by the head of Foreign Relations, Bruno Rodríguez, who also attributes to the Democratic Party an “overestimation” of the Cuban-American voters in Florida.
Asked about the recent inclusion of Cuba on the US blacklist of countries that violate religious freedom, the official considers it as a “prelude” to new coercive measures that are yet to be announced, such as “restrictions on religious exchanges that have been maintained in all these years between churches and organizations of the two countries”.
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