Under unfounded pretexts, the Washington embassy in Havana closed its consular services and despite a recent announcement that it will gradually resume them, new visas are still being blocked.
For five years, the US Government has not fulfilled its commitment to grant 20,000 visas annually under bilateral agreements and the few visas it grants in a third countries even have limitations, such as those under the visitor’s category, that is, for one entry only.
At the same time, there is evidence of pressure exerted on governments in the region to require transit visas from Cubans, thus discriminating them.
Encouraged by the Cuban Adjustment Act, the only one of its kind in the world, many Cuban citizens join irregular migratory routes in Central America, where they are exposed to violence, scams and corruption by drug trafficking or human trafficking groups.
So far this year, 1,680 citizens have been deported to Cuba by sea and air from the United States, Mexico, the Bahamas and Cayman Islands, according to Cuban authorities.
US federal sources recently reported that from October 2021 to late February 2022, more than 46,000 Cubans had arrived by land at the US-Mexican border after traveling irregularly. Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Havana continues with its limited services and the current US administration continues enforcing other coercive measures that limit travel, including the restriction of flights from the United States to the Cuban capital only or the non-renewal of licenses to air and maritime companies.
During the Trump administration, over 200 measures were enforced to tighten the blockade, around 60 in the most critical times of the Covid-19 pandemic, something that has put a strain on Cuba’s economy.