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#509678 - 12/05/15 10:58 AM PM Discloses A Request To Bring 3,000 Cubans To Belize
Marty Offline
And now…back to Belmopan. Today the Prime Minister discussed a request from the President of Costa Rica for Belize to assist with three thousand Cuban immigrants who have been stuck at the Costa Rican border with Nicaragua for weeks.

The proposal is for the migrants to be flown into Belize, and then unto Mexico. Today the Prime Minister discussed the rpoposals and outlined some of the difficulties with it:..

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"Said it was a humanitarian crisis and ask whether Belize would consider allowing the use of our facilities for transit purposes. Said he was asking me and he was asking Guatemala. As I understand it the deal would be that how many we thought we could handle if we agreed would come, land at the PGIA in planes that the international organization for migration would pay for, would get onto busses that would also pay for. But the Mexicans would give us an assurance that there would be immediately processed at the border with Chetumal and then allowed to enter into Mexico for purposes of transit ultimately to the US. I said to him that as a matter of courtesy and fairness he should send something in writing spelling out the details of the proposal and what we could expect from the Mexicans and what we could expect from IOM and that I would raise the matter in Cabinet on Tuesday after we got his paper and after we would have done some preliminary checking with the Mexicans - with the Cubans. I needed to know how the Cuban government feels about all this. I did ask him that and he did say that the Cubans gives these people exit visas. So it's not a problem. He said that he would send the documentation of his proposal and that he would also ask his foreign minister to speak with foreign minister Elrington, so that additional details that he might not have been able to furnished me immediately could be provided. The foreign minister of Costa Rica as I understand indicated that has alerted foreign affairs at some stage he will be seeking to get in touch with our foreign minister. But it has not yet happened and I have not seen any documentation. Today is Friday. If here is nothing to take to Cabinet, that's going to be the end of it, because that's the last Cabinet meeting for the year. Even if there is something to take to Cabinet and even if and I believe that's a big IF, Cabinet were to agree to some sort of limited participation in what is being proposed. I don't know when any implementation could take place, because there is so much that would have to be verified. There are so many moving parts. There are so many agencies including of course the government of Mexico and one of the questions that immediately would arise, well why not fly them directly to Mexico? The Mexicans are prepared to give them transit. So more questions than answers at this juncture."

Jules Vasquez
"Now there are simultaneously 33 Cubans in prison right now; 29 men; 4 women, who are stuck in a type of legal limbo, because they did not enter Belize legally, unlawful entry. However, they would not be accepted back into their country - unlawful exit."

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"I wasn't aware. Does the US wet foot, dry foot policy - these presumable are people a part from illegal entry are not guilty of any offences."

Jules Vasquez
"No other offence. But they are actually victims of human traffic."

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"I don't see then why we can't speak to the Americans and Mexicans, now that in a larger context the issue has been raised, to find out if they would accept transit of these people that are now detained in our prison through Mexico to the United States. If the United States policy is to give everybody from Cuba legality. So I would think that we would want to follow through on that."

In conclusion - regarding the Costa Rican proposal to take three thousand Cubans, the Prime Minister said he's doubtful that Cabinet will accept it. Guatemala was also asked to do the same and has declined the proposal.

The swell of migrants fleeing Cuba started since Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced plans to restore diplomatic ties nearly one year ago.

Channel 7


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#509696 - 12/05/15 07:16 PM Re: PM Discloses A Request To Bring 3,000 Cubans To Belize [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
If we're lucky some of them might decide to stay in Belize. Cubans are hard working, productive and innovative people that could be a asset to our country. Belize has a long history as a welcoming country to immigrants from around the globe that makes us the rainbow nation that we are.
_________________________
The Dive Shops Daily Blog
http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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#509783 - 12/09/15 10:49 AM Re: PM Discloses A Request To Bring 3,000 Cubans To Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
I agree! But I'm biased as my father is Cuban... :> He was born in Puerto Padre.

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#509784 - 12/09/15 10:50 AM Re: PM Discloses A Request To Bring 3,000 Cubans To Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Belize Wonít Help With 4k Stranded Cubans

The Government of Belize will not accept as many as four thousand Cuban refugees who are currently stranded at the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border. As we reported, the Costa Rican Government has called it a humanitarian crisis - and has asked Belize to help - by receiving the Cubans and then sending them unto Mexico.

But, as the Prime Minister hinted on Friday - many details in the proposal were not clear - and that's why Cabinet today gave it a thumbs down. The Cabinet Secretary Calros Perdomo told 7News that Government thought it was supposed to be just an in transit arrangement, but the Mexican government is not giving a clear answer as to whether they would receive the people or not. He said Cabinet did not have enough information to really make a decision. An official release says quote, "after careful consideration, Cabinet is of the view that this is a regional problem. As such the Government of Belize is prepared to participate in a regional discussion to identify the necessary mechanisms to address the Cuban immigrants transiting through the region. At this juncture, the Government of Belize is unable to make any commitments outside of a regional arrangement."

This is also bad news for the Cubans currently stuck in Belizean jail for the past 5 months with nowhere to go.

Channel 7


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