US and Cuba will strengthen the fight against human trafficking

The agreement responds to the concerns on the safety of Cubans passing through Central-America.

Cuban immigrants sleeping under improvised conditions in a detention center. (Photo: AP)
English 01/12/2015 21:32 Notimex Washington Actualizada 21:32
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The Department of State announced an agreement with Cuba to hold meetings to discuss bilateral measures against smuggling networks of Cuban migrants.

According to a press release, the US Department of The United States and Cuba held biannual Migration Talks on November 30 at the U.S. Department of State. The Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Alex Lee led the discussions for the United States; while Director General Josefina Vidal of the U.S. Division of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the Cuban delegation.

"The delegations discussed continuing implementation of the U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords, which provide for the safe, orderly, and legal migration of Cubans to the United States.

"The groups also discussed recent trends in migration, such as the entry of Cuban migrants into the United States and human smuggling.

"The U.S. delegation expressed its concern for the safety of the thousands of Cuban migrants transiting through Central America," expressed the release.

In response, "the U.S. and Cuban delegations agreed to expert-level meetings on how both governments will contribute to combatting the smuggling organizations that take advantage of Cuban migrants."

According to the release, "the meeting provided an opportunity to review progress on shared priorities and to identify mechanisms to continue narrowing our differences. As with any bilateral relationship, there were some areas of disagreement, but it took place in a respectful, cooperative, and productive environment."

The last Migration Talks were held in Havana in January 2015; the July session was postponed due to the ceremonies marking the re-opening of the U.S. and Cuban embassies in July and August.

The release added that the "United States is committed to supporting safe, orderly, and legal migration from Cuba through the effective implementation of the 1994-95 U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords. The Administration has no plans to alter current migration policy regarding Cuba."

Around 3,000 Cubans are stranded since last November 14 in the border of Costa Rica with Nicaragua, after the government of Managua prevented them from passing through its territory under the argument that it was protecting Nicaraguan families.

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