Friday, June 18, 2010

Cuban diplomats report progress on migration issues after meeting with U.S. officials

Cuban officials say their meeting Friday with U.S. diplomats took place "in an atmosphere of respect."

Here is the full text of the Cuban government statement:

Press release issued by the Cuban delegation to the migration talks with the United States, Washington, June 18, 2010.

On June 18, 2010, a Cuban delegation headed by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dagoberto Rodríguez, attended a new round of migration talks with the United States Government. The U.S. delegation was headed by Craig Kelly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

The meeting took place in an atmosphere of respect. Both delegations evaluated the evolution of the migration accords in force between the two countries. They also held a fruitful discussion on the establishment of more efficient mechanisms of cooperation to combat illegal alien smuggling. The Cuban delegation suggested to organize workshops between experts of both countries to cope with the use of false traveling documents.

Deputy Foreign Minister Dagoberto Rodríguez expressed: “During this round, progress was made in the identification of aspects that will allow us to enhance the combat against aliens smuggling, which validates the usefulness of these meetings.”

Likewise, the Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister reiterated that human smuggling could not be eradicated nor a legal, safe and orderly migration between the two countries could be achieved as long as the Cuban Adjustment Act and the wet foot/dry foot policy remain in force.

The Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister further added that “these components of the U.S. migration policy towards Cuba contravene the spirit and the letter of the Migration Accords. They are also the main incentive to illegal departures from Cuba and the trafficking in persons, since they ensure that all Cuban citizens arriving illegally in U.S. territory are automatically accepted in that country, regardless of the ways and means used in the pursuance of this objective, which may include the use of violence and the risking of the lives of persons by unscrupulous traffickers.”

The Cuban delegation invited the U.S. delegation to continue holding these discussions in Havana by the end of 2010.

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