Cuban Migrants Crossing the Darien Jungle Double

A group of Cubans during their journey through the Darien jungle in 2020. File photo: Facebook

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – Cuba is the country with the second most migrants (10,742) who have crossed into Panama through the Darien jungle in the first eight months of 2021. The only country that surpasses it, which is far ahead, is Haiti, with 43,623, according to statistics from the National Migration Service of that country.

Since last June, Haiti and Cuba report a considerable increase in irregular migration through Panamanian territory with the aim of reaching the United States. Cuba, with 2,600 a month, doubled the average of those who entered each month between January and May.

The increase in the transit of Cubans through South and Central America is also reflected in the latest figures published by Mexico’s National Commission for Refugees (Comar). In total, 7,375 nationals of the Island have requested refuge, which are surpassed in this case by Honduras (29,699) and Haiti (18,883).

Given the delay in refugee processing in the city of Tapachula, the land port of entry for migrants, in the south of the Mexican state of Chiapas, bordering Guatemala, many choose to continue north, moving through the country without documents.

The most recent were those that gathered by the thousands in the middle of this month under a bridge on the border that connects Ciudad Acuña, in Mexico, with Del Rio, in Texas. They were mostly Haitians, but there were also Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans, according to authorities’ reports.

In this regard, the Biden Administration announced last weekend that thousands of Haitians and other nationalities requesting asylum in that country have already been released into the United States.

Alejandro Mayorkas, Mexico’s secretary of National Security, told local media that at first 12,400 migrants were released and said that his office follows current law when determining whether to deport them or not. In addition to this figure, some 2,000 Haitians have been returned by plane to their country, 8,000 returned voluntarily to Mexico and 5,000 were transferred to US reception centers.

While the migratory crisis on the US border seems controlled for the moment, in the south of the continent, in Necoclí (Colombia), the tensions continue to center on the thousands of foreigners who crowd in that municipality while they wait to continue on their way to the US.

The authorities report that in that area there are around 20,000 people waiting to cross the Colombian border with Panama. With quotas restricted to 500 people a day, many will have to wait more than a month in this town on the Gulf of Urabá.

Wilfredo Francisco Menco, representative of the Public Defender of the People, told El Espectador that many migrants are in a very vulnerable situation because not everyone can rent a room and several have had to set up camps on the street. “These precarious conditions in which they live are generating health problems for them.”

Added to this are, among other problems, the shortage of drinking water and the increase in garbage production, which went from 15 to 45 tons per day. According to Canal RCN, the health system is on the verge of collapse due to the fact that the municipal hospital does not provide enough to care for locals and foreigners. In addition, the food that reaches the area is not enough to feed everyone.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.


4 thoughts on “Cuban Migrants Crossing the Darien Jungle Double

  • September 30, 2021 at 1:28 am
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    Mr MacD, you clearly had only the briefest of glances at my comment.
    I would kindly suggest that you read my comments properly prior to embarking upon your latest criticism.
    The smartass people smugglers in their fleet of boats I mention is in reference to Europe.
    Quite clearly. Immigration is not a Cuban thing. The vast majority of immigrants trying to get to the richer capitalist countries come from the poorer and failing capitalist countries.
    My reference to Cuba is that immigration has been used as a political tool.
    Until recently if you had six people arriving in a boat seeking a more prosperous future in the USA . Five Cubans and one Haitian. The Cubans would be welcomed and the Haitian sent back to Haiti. That is the sad fact.

    I must point out that Ido not criticise democracy. But I frequently criticise capitalism.
    Democracy has always been a threat to capitalism.

    But please Mr MacD, try to read my comments properly before you jump in to criticise.

  • September 29, 2021 at 6:14 pm
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    Didn’t some Cubans try to enter into Florida this year and were turned away? How are they getting from an island to south american countries?

    Biden did not announce that the people were dispersed into the US. He stated they were being returned. It took pressure from US Congress to get real answers and even then the administration did not have the real numbers and would have to “circle back”.

    I am all for people coming to the United States. Its a slap in the face to those who have worked hard and done it legally. Is this all really for votes?

  • September 29, 2021 at 3:30 pm
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    The suggestion by Nick that it was the US which motivated Cubans to flee their country and not only risk their lives, but in many cases lose them in their endeavors, is obviously deliberately misleading.

    According to Nick a group of capitalist “smartasses” operated a “thriving industry” producing a “fleet of boats”. Just imagine such an industry operating unobserved in Cuba, a country under the constant watchful eye of the MININT goons and the CDR.

    The reality was that small groups cobbled together rafts made from oil drums and planks, or roughly repaired aged fishing boats sometimes but not always, powered by old salvaged engines. Into those they loaded some water, some food, wives or girl friends and sometimes children. Then at night – for by day there are patrolling helicopters, they set off risking discovery by the manned posts that lie along the coastline and the patrolling police craft.

    Does Nick not remember the group of some 32 young people from I think Candalaria, who ran out of fuel, then food and finally water, resulting in I think I recall correctly, some 14 deaths, prior to the survivors being returned to Cuba? It was reported in HT – about six years ago. Were they a part of the “fleet of boats” to which Nick refers?

    One understands that Nick will with alacrity, seize upon any opportunity to criticize the democratic capitalist system, but that does not justify utilizing those who endeavored to flee as a basis for such attack. The most accurate summary is to repeat his own final sentence!

  • September 29, 2021 at 2:20 pm
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    There are huge discrepancies between the richer and poorer parts of the world. Historically, the predominant causation is those at the top and bottom of the capitalist ladder. The system is designed to be that way.
    A capitalist system will always produce the ultra rich and the ultra poor. It is designed to be that way. That’s why across the world and throughout the ages there have always been those who take issue with such an inherently unequal system. There have always been those who forsake the own innate greed for the betterment of society at large.

    In Europe, each and every day, there are boat loads of those wishing to emigrate from poorer to richer parts of the world.
    Sadly this results in far too many fatalities.
    This fleet of boats is in itself a thriving industry. The smartasses exploit the desperation. This is the crux of the capitalist system.
    Smartasses exploiting the desperate.

    For decades those who wished to exit Cuba for a new life in the USA had it easy in comparison to, say, their Haitian counterparts.
    It has always been politically expedient for the USA to punish Haitians. To punish them for daring to have a slave revolt during an era in which slavery was big business in the USA.
    By contrast to this, it has alway been politically expedient for the USA to reward potential Cuban emigrants. They were quite literally beckoned into the sea for political purposes.
    It would seem that nowadays the USA has demoted potential Cuban immigrants to the level of potential immigrants from Haiti (one of a great many examples of failing capitalist states).
    It’s all about politics and about politicians pleasing whoever they gotta please.
    It seems that post-trump, the need to kiss the butts of the general anti immigration lobby has superseded the traditional need to appease the Floridian pro Cuban immigration lobby.
    It’s bullsh*t.
    Yet more layers of bullsh*t on top of innumerable layers of previous bullsh*t.

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