To mitigate cases of illegal migration from persons travelling to Cuba and Guyana, the second round of bilateral talks between the two Governments were recently concluded, where discussions surfaced for the implementation of several workable measures.Citizenship Minister Winston FelixAccording to the Ministry of the Presidency, the Guyana delegation was led by acting Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Felix, and other officials of the Ministry, where the two countries pledged to strengthen their collaboration and implement a framework to review migratory patterns.Guyana Times understands that the meeting examined the possibility of implementing a visa protocol for persons entering Guyana from Cuba. Felix stated that the policy has been to suppress visas as a requirement to enter the country but there are persons who sometimes become invisible.For this, he stated, “What we have to do is to manage it and to ensure that over time, those who are invisible can be brought to light and we can understand what is happening.”The Minister reiterated, “Once they leave Cuba legally and they arrive here legally; we are going to accept them and treat them as all other members of the Caribbean family are treated.”Some of the matters focused primarily on the illegal migration but Trafficking in Persons was addressed as one of the burning issues, and how both territories can reduce the opportunities for persons to be held in such captivity.Director of the Division of Consular Affairs and Cuban Residents Abroad, Ernesto Soberon Guzman, related Cuba shares a common goal with Guyana.“Our main concern is to try to avoid Cuban people that visit Guyana, that use its territory as a transit in irregular migration… these people become victims of the trafficking of human beings, so in this regard we are very pleased with the conversation, with the results. I think that we share common goals in order to promote this regular, safe, orderly travel and, at the same time, to fight against irregular migration and against human trafficking,” he said.The first discussions with between the two countries took place in 2016 and they will meet again in another two years.In 2016, it was reported that Guyana along with other South American countries are major transit ports for Cubans refuges seeking access to the United States via the use of land as opposed to the more excruciating water route they traditionally use.This was according to NBC Nightly News in its April 30, 2016, broadcast where an investigative piece highlighted that there is a new migrant crisis unfolding in America where thousands of undocumented Cubans were stranded on a gruelling journey they hope would end in the US.
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