Press release from the Cuban delegation to migration talks with the United States, New York, July 14, 2009

ON July 14, 2009, six years after they were suspended by the Bush administration, rounds of migration talks between Cuba and the United States were renewed. The Cuban delegation was led by Dagoberto Rodríguez, deputy foreign minister, and the U.S. delegation was led by Craig Kelly, principal deputy assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

In this 21st round on migration, Cuba reaffirmed its unequivocal commitment to existing migration accords between the two countries and presented the U.S. side with a proposal for a new agreement, with the objective of guaranteeing legal, safe and orderly emigration between the two countries and cooperating more effectively in confronting illegal trafficking in persons.

Deputy Minister Dagoberto Rodríguez, head of the Cuban delegation, stated:

“…We have had a fruitful working session that validates the usefulness of the mechanism of these rounds for evaluating the progress of migration accords. Cuba is rigorously meeting its commitment to the letter and spirit of the migration accords. We have made progress in identifying areas in which both sides need to work and cooperate to guarantee the implementation of these accords and we proposed reaching a new agreement on migration issues.”

The Cuban delegation also restated its concern that in signing the migration accords, the agreed-upon objective of guaranteeing legal, safe and orderly immigration from Cuba cannot be achieved while the Cuban Adjustment Act and the wet-foot/dry-foot policy exist in the United States, both of which encourage illegal exits and human smuggling by providing differentiated treatment to Cubans who reach U.S. territory illegally.

The Cuban delegation proposed to hold the next round of migration talks in December in Havana, and reaffirmed its disposition to continue these exchanges to find a solution to pending issues and strengthen cooperation in the area of migration.

Translated by Granma International


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