The US delivered almost 30,000 visas to Cubans since the beginning of 2023

Nearly 30,000 Cubans have received US visas since January through a new immigration program, the US charge d’affaires in Havana, Benjamin Ziff, announced this Friday in an interview with AFP.

To combat illegal immigration, Washington launched a program in January to accept up to 30,000 immigrants from Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba and Haiti.

In the case of Cuba, a country from which 313,000 islanders arrived illegally in the United States in 2022, “more than 29,000” visas “were issued from January to date,” he said.

At the beginning of January, the embassy resumed issuing visas for Cubans, four years after the closure of the consulate due to alleged health incidents that affected diplomatic personnel.

However, he did not give figures on the total number of Cubans who have applied for the program.

Simultaneously, Cubans are still unable to apply for tourist or business visas in their country, as was the case before the consulate closed in 2017.

Recently, some 300 independent workers and small business owners sued in an open letter to President Joe Biden to honor his commitment to support the nascent local private sector, particularly with the issuance of business visas.

“I have less than a third of the staff that I had five or six years ago in the consular section. Until I have the full staff, I cannot give a full service,” Ziff replied.

Likewise, he blamed the “Cuban government” for not allowing the diplomatic mission to “obtain accommodation for the new consuls” and “import materials to repair the embassy.”

“It’s more of a logistical obstacle than a political obstacle,” he said.

Read Also:  Demonstrators Call for Justice Amid Investigation of Fatal Shooting of Delivery Employee

He also indicated that the number of illegal migrants who try their luck crossing the Straits of Florida, which separates Cuba from the United States, “has decreased” since January, going from “dozens a day” to “dozens a week.”

“There is no illegal way to get to the United States. Arriving by sea or by land (…) you will be repatriated,” he warned.

Ziff rejected the accusation made by Havana that the US embargo and the intensification of sanctions under the administration of Donald Trump (2017-2021), barely eased by his successor, stimulate the unprecedented migratory wave that has left the island since 2021 in the midst of a serious economic crisis.

“The Cuban government is responsible for the Cuban economy (…) a democratic and prosperous Cuba, that depends on Cuba, not the United States,” he replied, considering that “emigration is driven by a lack of hope.”

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here