MIAMI, United States. – The II Round of Conversations on Migration Issues between Cuba and Chile will meet this Friday in virtual format, reported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Island.
According to the note from the Cuban Foreign Ministry, both countries will analyze the state of the migratory flow and “will evaluate the carrying out of joint actions to discourage irregular migration and the illicit acts associated with this phenomenon.”
The Cuban delegation will be chaired by the General Director of Consular Affairs and Cuban Residents Abroad, Ernesto Soberón Guzmán; while the representation of the South American country will be headed by the general director of Consular Affairs, Immigration and Chileans Abroad, Rodrigo Donoso Maluf.
In mid-2018, thanks to the immigration reform promoted by former Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, some 5,451 Cubans were registered in the South American country.
At that time, the West Indians were the seventh largest national group among migrants who had applied to legalize in Chile, according to a report by Radio Television Martí citing official figures.
The 5,451 Cubans who were legalized at that time received Public Health benefits, access to the offices of the State Bank and those of the Civil Registry to “start a life with peace of mind, with security,” according to Piñera.
Radio Television Martí also recalled that, although they are not the majority among immigrants in Chile, Cubans have sought in recent years to reach the borders of the southern country – which has an open immigration policy – generally traveling thousands of kilometers through Brazil and Bolivia after traveling to Guyana.
In 2017, according to official data cited by the newspaper The New Herald, applications from Cubans who sought refuge in Chile increased by 2,862%. The number of Cuban nationals who crossed the land border of the southern country stood at 1,603 people, compared to 56 in 2016.
After the repeal of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy, announced in January 2017, thousands of Cubans who wanted to reach the United States headed south. Countries such as Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil reported a significant increase in the number of Cubans arriving at their borders, said the herald.
In recent years, Chile has become a magnet for immigrants due to its prosperous economy. Many Cuban doctors and health specialists have emigrated to the southern country for the facilities offered by the country’s authorities to revalidate their university degrees.
The I Round of Conversations on Migration Issues between the governments of Cuba and Chile took place in February 2018, in Santiago de Chile.
In that occasion, according to MINREX, the work sessions took place in “an open and cooperative environment” and allowed to analyze the state of the migratory flow between Cuba and Chile. At the meeting, both governments also began the negotiation process for a Memorandum of Understanding on Migration Matters.
“Both parties recognized the importance of this type of meeting and reaffirmed the will and commitment of their respective governments to carry out joint actions in order to guarantee a regular, orderly and safe migratory flow, as well as to combat phenomena such as the illegal trafficking of migrants. and human trafficking, associated with irregular migrant flows”, reads the MINREX statement published in February 2018.
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