A new round of migration talks between Cuba and the United States was held in Havana on July 14, 2016. The delegations were respectively headed by Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, Director General of the US Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and John Creamer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

The Cuban delegation expressed, once again, high concern over the persistence of the “wet foot /dry foot” policy and the Cuban Adjustment Act, whereby Cuban citizens are granted a preferential migration treatment which is unique in the world, since those who manage to arrive irregularly in the US are automatically admitted in that country, regardless of the ways and means they use, in violation of the letter and spirit of the Migration Accords in force, which commit both governments to ensure a legal, safe and orderly migration.

The Cuban representatives emphasized that these political and legal provisions encourage irregular migration to the United States directly from Cuba and also from third countries, even by Cuban citizens who travel abroad legally. They also emphasized that the implementation of said provisions have led to the loss of human lives and favored the commission of crimes such as alien smuggling, traffic in persons, migration fraud and the use of violence, whose extraterritorial impact have led to destabilization situations in other countries in the region.

The Cuban delegation reiterated its rejection of the “Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program” encouraging the Cuban medical staff working in third countries to abandon their missions and migrate to the United States, which is a reprehensible practice that affects the health programs of those countries and is out of keeping with the present bilateral context.

The Cuban delegation reiterated that there could be no normal migration relations between both countries as long as the “wet foot/dry foot” policy, the Cuban Adjustment Act, and the “Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program” continue to exist.

During the round, other aspects were considered, including the current status of the accords in force, the implementation of the Cuban migration policy, the granting of immigrant and temporary visas to travel to the US as well as the actions taken by both countries against irregular migration, alien smuggling and document fraud.

Both delegations agreed to acknowledge the positive results of the technical meeting on prevention of migration fraud and traffic in persons and of the technical meeting between Cuba’s Border Guard and the US Coast Guard held in February and June of 2016 respectively, in Miami.

Cuba reaffirmed its disposition to maintain these talks.


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