So far this year, 1,020 irregular migrants have been returned to Cuba from the United States, Mexico and the Bahamas, according to data provided by the Cuban official press.
So far, 22 return operations have been carried out, 12 by sea. The U.S. Coast Guard leads the maritime returns, although there have also been two deliveries by Bahamian authorities.
Overall, maritime returns include a total of 424 persons returned to the country.
For its part, Mexico has carried out eight operations to return Cubans, all of them by air, returning 596 irregular migrants to Cuba.
Mexican immigration authorities recently returned 89 Cubans who had entered the country illegally.
Of those returned to the country, 56 are men and 33 are women from all Cuban provinces except Guantanamo.
A report by Cuban state television highlights that Mexico is acting in compliance with bilateral agreements on illegal migration.
Cuban immigration authorities reported that all of those returned left Cuba legally for other countries in the region with the purpose of entering Mexican territory and then crossing the border into the United States.
The Cuban television report mentions that many of the migrants narrated the vicissitudes experienced during the crossing and told of episodes of extortion and mistreatment to which they were subjected in some countries.
Since the opening of the borders in November 2021, Cuba has experienced an intense migratory wave, also favored by Nicaragua’s decision to grant free visas to Cubans.
Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection indicate that nearly 10,000 Cuban immigrants were detained in January 2022, a figure that is 13 times higher than in January 2020.
On Wednesday, March 9, hundreds of Cubans crowded around the Panamanian embassy in Havana to protest the establishment of the transit visa requirement.
Although Nicaragua and Cuba are geographically close, travel to Managua is very difficult. There are few flights, they are very expensive and Cubans have to stop in several countries before reaching Nicaragua.
In this regard, the sudden requirement of a transit visa by Panamanian authorities complicates the departure of many Cubans who intend to migrate through Nicaragua.