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Current Affairs

Cuban migration to US soars

Date: 02 May 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The migration of Cubans towards United States has increased in recent months. This has sparked tensions between the Cuban and US government.

 

Background

Cuba is a communist country located in Caribbean Sea off the coast of Florida. From decades, the US and Cuba are adversaries.

 

Details

  • High-level talks were held between the officials of the two governments, the first time in last four years.

  • The most preferred route is through Nicaragua, a close ally of Cuba, which has suspended visa requirements for Cubans.

 

Situation in Cuba

  • Cuba is witnessing a serious economic meltdown, causing shortage of food and medicines. This has given rise to series of anti-government protests, the first time since 1959 revolution.

  • The sanctions imposed by the US have further tightened economic leverage. People have been forced to escape the island.

 

Status of migration

  • Since October 2021, more than 80,000 Cubans have been apprehended at the US border with Mexico.

  • If the situation continues, this migration may outpace that of the 1980 Mariel boatlift, when Castro allowed Cubans to leave the country.

 

US policy on Cuban migrants

  • The US has preferential policy towards Cuban migrants. Once they cross US border, being deported is very rare.

  • This is influenced by the Cold War-era policy when communist Cuba was closely allied with the US arch-rival the Soviet Union.

 

Measure to reduce illegal migration

  • The US administration is working with allies in Central America to stem the flow of refugees or migrants towards Mexico.

  • Countries such as Panama, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic have made it compulsory to have transit Visa to travel through their airports.

 

Resolving crisis

No firm commitments or agreements have been reached but the countries are in the right direction for a mutually beneficial policy to control migration.