Cuba's position on cancellaton of Migration talks

Campaign News | Monday, 5 January 2004

Cuban statement


Last Monday, 5 January 2004, officials from the US Interests Section in Havana and the US State Department communicated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, respectively, that they did not regard as possible the holding of a new round of migration talks “until the Cuban authorities showed a real interest in seriously addressing “very important” aspects for the attainment of an orderly, legal and safe migration flow between both countries.” The round of migration talks should be held on 8 January, in conformity with the proposal made by the Cuban authorities.

Of course, these “very important” aspects are just some of the issues that have traditionally made up the American delegation’s agenda to the rounds of migration talks – issues of a lesser significance to the progress of the Migration Accords and that, moreover, have been extensively debated on many occasions at the talks held in the last few years.

Obviously, in the imperial language of the US officials, “seriously addressing” means that Cuba should be willing to make all necessary unilateral concessions and accept all demands and whims from the US authorities.

It is just about new pretexts, totally unsustainable, aimed at aggravating the tensions between both countries and hindering the main review mechanism of compliance with the Migration Accords.

The Ministry specially emphasizes the fact that the United States decides to cancel its migration talks with Cuba precisely at a moment in which the former makes huge political and financial efforts to control its borders and eliminate the illegal migration towards the United States.

Both in Washington and in Havana, the US officials were capable of cynically adding that “notwithstanding, the US Government would continue to comply with the Migration Accords.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers it necessary to inform to our people and to the international public opinion of this new scheme by the US Government, aimed at torpedoing the progress of the Migration Accords signed between Cuba and the United States and the realization of a normal migration relation between the two countries.

This action is undoubtedly a tribute paid by the Bush Administration in light of the pressures exerted by the Miami-based terrorist mafia – which, displeased with what has been done so far by the current US Government against Cuba, seizes the US electoral context to revert all the means, including the grossest political blackmail, its strategic defeat and its political and moral disrepute.

This decision is compounded by the long list of aggressions, plans and statements made in the last few months against our country by the US Government.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed, through the relevant diplomatic channels, its rejection of this reckless action that does not serve the real national interests of the United States and only attempts to sate the yearnings for revenge and hatred by a handful of ultrareactionary elements interested in fostering the policy of aggressions and hostility of the United States towards Cuba and thwarting the Migration Accords.

The pretexts brandished to hold off the round of migration talks cannot be more unreal and absurd – and show that the true sense of this action has more to do with Miami politicking than with the true US national, security and migration interests.

Cuba, besides raising at each round of migration talks the key problems affecting the enforcement of these Accords, has never refused to debate and examine any of the issues mentioned by the American officials. All, without exception, have been part of the traditional US delegations’ agenda to the rounds of migration talks – and an extensive, in-depth debate has always been undertaken on each and every one of the issues brought to the table. Cuba has expressed its arguments in a serious and responsible fashion, in the spirit of explaining to the barest details each of the aspects addressed by the US officials.

Cuba reaffirms that it has been and is willing to seriously debate, with the required depth and time, all the issues mentioned by the US authorities.

The United States attempts to manipulate reality and conceal what Cuba has denounced on countless occasions: that the murderous Cuban Adjustment Act and the irrational wet foot-dry foot policy are the real obstacles to the normalization of the migration flow between both countries, the real encouragement to illegal migration and the greatest violation of the Migration Accords.

With this decision, the US Government attempts to divert attention from important aspects within the migration relation between both countries and from matters that are violations of the Migration Accords – issues such as the dramatic reduction of visas for Cuban citizens wishing to visit relatives in the United States; the non-return to Cuba of a portion of the illegal immigrants interdicted at sea; the encouragement to illegal migration and to the commission of violent acts to migrate from the radio stations based in the United States; as well as the lack of decisive action against alien smugglers, inter alia.

The US delegation to the round of migration talks has always been reluctant to assume responsibility for such non-compliance, which is indeed significant and of vital importance to the normalization of migration relations between the two countries – and not because of the foregoing has Cuba conditioned or rejected its participation in these rounds.

The falsehood and absurdity of this decision are more notorious when recalling that the US authorities have turned down, without the slightest explanation or even the interest in discussing, the proposal of a new bilateral migration agreement put forth by Cuba since September 2000 and reiterated on 5 occasions. The Cuban proposals to establish drug enforcement and anti-terrorist agreements have met with similar scorn.

We demand that the United States Government put aside the absurd and empty pretexts that only seek the satisfaction of narrow-minded anti-Cuban interests and act in conformity with the true interests of the American people.

The US Government is the only entity responsible for the cancellation of this round of migration talks.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirms the unmistakable will of the Government of Cuba to continue honoring, as it has done so far, the spirit and the text of the Migration Accords signed between Cuba and the United States – urging the United States Government to assume a similar attitude.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Havana, 5 January

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