HAVANA TIMES — The Panamanian government today confirmed the start of the air lift of Cubans from Panama to Mexico on Tuesday, as part of an exceptional and limited solution to the transit of migrants, reported dpa news.
The Panamanian Foreign Ministry released a statement Monday explaining the official position on the transit arrangement for the Cubans, derived from an immigration agreement with the Government of Mexico.
Hundreds of Cubans who entered Panamanian territory from South America are stranded at the border between Panama and Colombia, likewise on the border area between Panama to Costa Rica. The migrants seek to reach the United States and benefit from special immigration laws that benefit Cubans.
The statement said that “the first flights will take place February 23, 24 and 25, with a capacity of 145 people each, from Tocumen International Airport to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.”
The Cubans will travel by bus from Chiriquí the day before their flight. In this regard, the Panamanian Foreign Ministry stated that “the joint efforts of Mexico and Panama are ensuring an agile, orderly and safe migration, while the respecting the migrants human rights.”
“Panama is grateful for the support from Mexico, which led to finding a solution to the humanitarian situation faced by the Cuban migrants,” vulnerable to being exploited by “people traffickers who are offering riskier routes at a high cost,” noted the Panamanian government.