Young People Want to Leave Cuba to Escape the Deception

Says a Camaguey youth accepted in the US under the parole program

Oilime Esquivel spent several days at the US border in Matamoros. (Screen capture)

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – On one side of the Rio Grande, dozens of migrants set up an improvised camp from where they wait for a response to the request they made through the CBP One digital platform. Among them was Oilime Esquivel, who had arrived in the US only a few hours earlier when he applied for asylum.

“We young people have to leave the deception that is Cuba”, says this native of Camagüey to “Young people have to get out of the deception that is Cuba,” says this native of Camagüey speaking on video to Ricardo Quintana, a journalist for Radio and Television Marti. “Necessity forces us… Imagine that in Cuba you may have a family member to help you, but you have nowhere to buy food. There isn’t any,” he laments.

Esquivel left the Island and undertook the journey as thousands have done, on foot through Guyana. His route took him through Brazil, Uruguay, the Darién, the dangerous border between Panama and Colombia, where 45,727 irregular migrants have crossed to North America so far in 2023, according to official Panamanian figures.

“Migration in Cuba is not going to stop, it will always exist,” laments Esquivel from inside his “house,” a blanket, some sheets with plastic and cardboard that are held up with tree branches. “In winter it is terrible. You make your sacrifice but everything is for the well-being of the family,” he says, because on the Island “you just can’t go on.”

Emigrating “is what we can do and now that we are young we can leave the deception of Cuba,” says Oilime while showing the cans of food that they have given him in the churches: “Thanks to this I am eating.” In bags there are some shoes and clothes. Esquivel says that in Tapachula, there are many Cubans waiting for a permit to reach the southern border of the United States.

Others, such as Yudith Mandina, Roberto Montero and their son Roberto Mario remain detained at the Acayucan immigration station, in the Mexican state of Veracruz, despite having humanitarian parole from the US. Two others also have US permission and a Mexican safe-conduct, Luis Ángel Sánchez and Noelvis La O Pereira, and are in Las Agujas. Luis Ángel’s father, Luciano Sánchez, denounced that they demand 5,000 dollars each for their release

Meanwhile, as of Wednesday, Costa Rica has available the Temporary Special Category for Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans, for those who have the refugee process pending and those who were denied it. With this, people “will be able to carry out any paid work activity on their own account or dependency relationship, as well as being able to leave the country at the time they decide,” highlights the General Directorate of Migration and Immigration of the Central American country.

The agency specified that it will review the criminal and police records of the applicants, as an additional requirement to be granted that category.

Translated by Translating Cuba


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