desalojo_de_cubanos_de_parque_de_el_arbolito
Around a hundred Cubans camped out in the El Arbolito Park in Quito were evicted and arrested for deportation. Photo: eluniverso.com

HAVANA TIMES – At least a hundred Cuban migrants en route to the United States who are illegally in the Ecuadorian city of Quito will be deported to their country immediately, announced Ecuador’s Interior Minister Jose Serrano.

Serrano said the decision was issued “because they are in the Ecuadorian territory without proper permits,” noted dpa news.

The official said the migrants were evicted and arrested from the “El Arbolito” Park in the north of the city, where more than 600 Cubans made their temporary shelter.

“We cannot allow any person to violate the property of the city, the security of its inhabitants and against individual health,” he said.

Serrano said that the Cubans were living in tents with mattresses, including children and elderly, in precarious conditions, and said that the Ecuadorian authorities were careful in protecting the health of the foreigners.

The Migration and Refugee non-governmental organization said that more than a hundred people are arrested and processed for deportation. The Interior Ministry did not provide an exact number of Cubans to be expelled.

The authorities claim the Cubans arrived illegally and initially settled outside of the Mexican embassy, where they requested safe passage to reach the US border.

Given the refusal of Mexico they relocated at “La Carolina” Park, from where they asked the United Nations to give them a humanitarian passport.

Later they ended up settling in “El Arbolito” Park, from which they were evicted early Wednesday. Those who were not carrying their papers in order were taken in four buses to judicial holding centers to proceed with deportation.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Guillaume Long said that Cubans are asking for aircraft to reach the United States, which is “a very difficult demand to meet,” he said.

Efrain Sanchez, spokesperson for the Cubans, said the eviction “violates their rights as human beings.”

The presence of Cubans in Ecuador increased during the government of President Rafael Correa, who in 2007 eliminated the visa requirement for many countries, including Cuba.

Thousands of Cubans saw the opportunity to migrate to Ecuador and then travel north to Central America, Mexico and the US border, where they are welcomed by a special law (the Cuban Adjustment Act).

This route caused a large-scale humanitarian problem near the end of 2015 at the Central American borders, where thousands of Cubans were stranded thanks to Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega sending out his army to block their passage.

To curb the transit through its territory, Ecuador instituted a visa requirement for Cubans in November of 2015, which decreased the number of migrants. However, many still enter the country illegally by land.

These newer migrants were joined by a large group of compatriots already living in Ecuador, but who face difficulties in their economic reality and want to leave the country.


12 thoughts on “Ecuador Announces Expulsion of Cubans

  • Are you suggesting Rich that there was no communication between Raul Castro and Rafael Correa prior to the actions?

  • If it is wrong in the US then it is wrong in Equador.

  • Surely those parts that were seized from Mexico had previously been seized by the Spanish from their original inhabitants. But it is not a question of the land – it is economic wealth.

  • Carlyle, it seems, calls “a spade” a diamond. Calling a spade a spade would not sufficiently blame everything on Cuba.

  • Carlyle Mac Duff, What is the difference between the situation in Ecuador and that in the United States of America where thousands of Mexicans and other Latin American citizens are rounded up daily and placed in horrid detention centers? When you realize that California, Texas, Arizona and a few other prosperous States were grabbed forcibly and illegally from Mexico and annexed to America? If these States were not robbed from Mexico, the Mexicans and other Latin American countries would have no need to migrate to the United States. Any person who overstays in another man’s country is illegally staying in that man’s country! I find people like you to be very hypocritical and one sided. Honest people call a spade a spade, regardless of who is dealing the hand.

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