Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cubans Demonstrate In Front Of The US Embassy In Quito

Cubans Demonstrate In Front Of The US Embassy In Quito / 14ymedio, Mario

14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 27 May 2016 — Hundreds of Cubans, more
than a thousand according to organizers, marched this Friday morning in
front of the United States embassy in Quito, to ask for Washington's
intervention in the negotiation of an immigration agreement that would
allow more than 5,000 migrants reach the US border.

"They didn't let us go past the embassy. The Ecuadorian police blocked
the way," said Peter Borges, who leads the protests along with Fernanda
de la Fe.

According to the activists, it was a peaceful demonstration intended to
deliver a letter to the ambassador to ask him to mediate with the
Ecuadorian government for the passage of thousands of Cubans who want to
emigrate to the United States and take advantage of the Cuban Adjustment
Act. Since 1996, the Act has given special treatment to the island's
citizens who are able to reach US territory with regards to emigration.

"Cubans do not want to leave here, we spent several hours in the
demonstration," said the activist.

The letter, which they were not able to deliver, denounced the
"horrendous episodes of extortion, rapes, murders and the disappearance
of entire families," which the migrants have suffered on their journey
as undocumented emigrants across the continent with the objective of
"reaching the freedom and well-being permitted by the generous United
States government."

The purpose of the missive is "to seek help to avoid further loss of
human lives." The letter also states that Cubans living in Ecuador are
worried because "the Ecuadorian government has implemented a document
review process for a large group of 'irregular' Cubans who make their
lives here on the occasion of this crisis and as a form of retaliation."

The demonstration comes after the Mexican government rejected a similar
request on 18 May. On that occasion, Jaime del Arenal, Mexican
ambassador in Ecuador, explained in a communication that the Cubans,
many of whom have not been able to regularize their immigration status
in the country, "do not qualify for the granting of visas."

According to the organizers, the initiative also seeks to avoid adding
to the number of Cubans who are stranded in Turbo, Colombia, after
Panama closed its border to the passage of undocumented migrants. Panama
recently transfered more than 3,800 Cubans to Mexico as the result of an
an exceptional migratory agreement.

Following the restoration of diplomatic relations with the United States
and the worsening of living conditions on the island, tens of thousands
of Cubans are trying to reach the US border for fear that the Cuban
Adjustment Act will be repealed. In the current fiscal year alone,
between October 1 and April 30, 35,652 Cubans had been accepted under
the special "parole" program available to them in the United States. It
is expected that more than 60,000 Cubans will arrive in the United
States this year.

Source: Cubans Demonstrate In Front Of The US Embassy In Quito /
14ymedio, Mario Penton – Translating Cuba -

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