US-Cuba tensions persist after high-level migration talks | Migration News

Discussions on migration held in Washington this week amid growing numbers of Cubans making an attempt to enter the US.

Cuba’s overseas minister has referred to as on america to totally adjust to bilateral agreements between the 2 nations on migration and cease what he stated are insurance policies that stop Cubans from travelling to the US and overseas.

International Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Friday stated the US ought to cease “violating the rights of Cubans to journey” within the area.

“Cuba reiterates that the US ought to stop hindering and violating the rights of Cubans to journey to 3rd nations of the area and requires complete and non-selective compliance with the bilateral migration accords,” Rodriguez stated in a tweet.

His remarks got here a day after the US and Cuba held their highest-level diplomatic talks in 4 years, after a extreme disruption in ties through the administration of former President Donald Trump.

The discussions on Thursday in Washington between senior Division of State officers and Cuba’s deputy overseas minister centered on migration, with the US aspect desperate to rein in a rising variety of Cubans making an attempt to enter the US, typically with out documentation.

Cuba’s overseas ministry stated US policies and sanctions create “social and financial circumstances that incentivize emigration”.

The island’s authorities has additionally demanded the US issue more visas for Cubans wishing to journey to the US in step with prior agreements, and faulted the US for providing solely restricted consular providers in Havana, forcing Cubans to file for visas in Guyana as an alternative.

“These measures, together with these related to the acute tightening of the financial blockade, are resulting in the lack of human lives and … crimes comparable to illicit alien smuggling, migration fraud and people-trafficking, which have an effect on each nations and the area,” the overseas ministry stated in a statement.

In the meantime, the US Division of State stated the talks had coated areas of profitable cooperation but additionally recognized obstacles to making sure protected, orderly and authorized migration.

Cuban migrants
US Customs and Border Safety stated it had stopped Cubans greater than 79,800 occasions from October by means of March [File: Ranu Abhelakh/Reuters]

The assembly additionally occurred only a day after US border authorities reported that the variety of Cubans in search of entry into the nation had doubled from February to March to 32,500 and is now 5 occasions the quantity it was in October.

Experts have said an economic crisis within the nation, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, is likely one of the main causes persons are leaving.

“We have now seen, and this I feel underscores the crucial of enterprise these talks, we’ve seen a big improve in irregular migration on part of Cuban migrants coming to america,” Division of State spokesman Ned Value informed reporters on Thursday.

Nonetheless, tensions between Washington and Havana have been growing over different points, as properly, together with the Cuban authorities’s crackdown on protests and persevering with US sanctions towards the Caribbean nation.

Circumstances of what turned referred to as “Havana Syndrome” have been a significant sticking level through the Trump administration, which additionally rolled again the rapprochement between the US and Cuba that had been initiated by former President Barack Obama.

President Joe Biden, who had supported Obama’s efforts whereas serving as his vp, had been anticipated to revive a few of the Obama-era initiatives after he took workplace in January 2021.

However he has but to take action and US restrictions on Cuba stay on the stage to which Trump had restored them. Migration talks between the 2 nations had not been held since 2018.

In the meantime, the Biden administration has been leaning on different regional governments to do extra to cease migrants from reaching the US, most just lately during a visit this week to Panama by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The summit in Panama City, which included representatives from greater than 20 nations within the Americas area, didn’t embrace Cuba.