News and Facts about Cuba

Mexico Is Not Deporting Cuban Migrants Despite Minrex Announcement

Mexico Is Not Deporting Cuban Migrants Despite Minrex Announcement /
14ymedio, Mario Penton

14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 4 May 2016 — Mexico continues to grant
“exit permits” to Cuban migrants arriving in Mexican territory from
Central America, according to comments made to 14ymedio by an official
of the National Institute of migration in Tapachula, Chiapas. On
Tuesday, the Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex) released in a
statement saying that a memorandum of understanding between the two
Nations to “ensure a regular, ordered and safe migration” was now in effect.

The document Minrex is referring to is part of a set of agreements
signed by Mexican Enrique Peña Nieto, during Raúl Castro’s
last visit to Mexico with the purpose of strengthening relations between
the two countries.

The publication of the official note triggered alarms among the
thousands of Cuban migrants scattered across the continent, for whom
Mexico is a necessary stage on the way to the southern border of the
United States. The media never had access to the document, signed last
November during Raúl Castro’s visit to Mérida, although the note of the
Cuban Foreign Ministry clarifies that its purpose is to “enhance the
cooperation between the two countries in the fight against

This newspaper got in touch with Chiapas’ 21st Century Immigration
Station, and an official who asked not to be identified said that they
have no instructions to stop granting exit permits to Cuban migrants.

Mexico’s Foreign Secretary confirms that he is aware that the agreement
has taken effect, and said that it is an update of what was already in
effect. However, officials were surprised by the Minrex announcement and
said they are considering issuing a public statement.

Luis Enrique Pastrana is the owner of the Plaza Emmanuel Inn in
Tapachula, Chiapas. He has devoted himself for some years to hosting
dozens of Cuban migrants seeking to reach the immigration station. As he
said to 14ymedio, “Cubans fear that the exit permit will be withdrawn
but so far everything remains the same.”

According to Pastrana, on Tuesday 21 Cubans who were staying in his
hostel received the document, and this Wednesday another 11 guests have
arrived who plan to follow the same path.

“Every day many Cubans arrive and replace the ones who leave, although
people are fearful since a rumor is spreading saying the laissez-passer,
as they call it, won’t be issued anymore,” he said.

After crossing the Guatemalan border, Cuban migrants gather outside the
immigration offices from six in the morning and into the afternoon to
receive the document authorizing them to through Mexican
territory, with the condition that they must leave the country within 20

Rosmery Valledor is a Cuban architect who was stranded in Panama. From
2012, she lived in but she decided to emigrate because of the
difficulties she was going through there. As she says, “the situation in
that country is unsustainable.”

Valledor spent more than one month in Panama until she succeeded in
continuing on her journey across Central America in a clandestine way.

For her, the most difficult thing about the journey was “the terror to
which we are subjected by the coyotes (guides).” The young woman says it
is “a journey for which you need not only money but also a lot of courage.”

“We were afraid that once we got there they would not want to grant us
the laissez-passer, but we went to the immigration station and they
agreed that the next morning we would be assisted without any problem,”
she added.

According to the Mexican daily La Jornada citing IMN (Mexican
Immigration), since the end of October of last year 7,455 Cubans have
appeared before the country’s immigration centers, an unusually high
number since records have been kept. Of these, 243 were sent back to the

Contacted by telephone, an official of Cuba Embassy in Mexico said he
knew nothing about the matter and referred it to the press officer, who
did not answer calls.

Translated by Alberto

Source: Mexico Is Not Deporting Cuban Migrants Despite Minrex
Announcement / 14ymedio, Mario Penton – Translating Cuba –

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