Statement from the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been informed by the Immigration Department of the Ministry of the Interior that, during the nine months from October 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007, 10,724 citizens have presented themselves in their offices with visas granted by the United States Interests Section to legally immigrate to that country. That figure represents only 53.6% of the annual minimum quota of 20,000 visas that are supposed be granted by the end of September 2007, according to the commitment made by the U.S. government in signing the Joint Communiqué of September 9, 1994, signed by both countries.
It is clear that there is a considerable delay on the part of the U.S. Interests Section in granting the minimum 20,000 visas to which it is committed. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns that if this tendency continues for the three remaining months of the annual period, the U.S. government will be violating a basic obligation guaranteeing the adequate compliance of the 1994 Migration Accord.
That failure to comply would be a serious and unjustifiable violation of the abovementioned Accord, and a gift that would please its staunchest enemies: the Cuban-American mafia and its representatives in the U.S. Congress who, - not even satisfied with the unilateral decision by the U.S. administration to indefinitely suspend, since January 2004, the biannual migration talks that both sides were holding to verify the progress of the Migration Accord - have repeatedly called for its abolition.
That failure to comply would also signify further encouragement to illegal emigration, which historically has been encouraged by the existence of the Cuban Adjustment Act and the "wet-foot/dry-foot" policy, abominations that provide exclusive privileges solely to illegal immigrants from Cuba.
It is appropriate to ask why the U.S. government continues this conduct. Why does it want to worsen the migration situation between the two countries? Is it that it has decided to meet the demands of the Cuban-American mafia by abolishing the existing Migration Accords? Could this be related in any way to recent statements by President Bush, when - along with wishing for our president's death - he expressed his preference for forcing the "changes" he wishes to impose on Cuba, even if that were to lead to an unstable situation that would surely also affect the United Sates?
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges the U.S. Interests Section to comply thoroughly and seriously with its obligation to grant a minimum of 20,000 visas annually for Cuban citizens to emigrate in a safe, legal and orderly way to that country, and it holds the U.S. government completely responsible for its failure to comply with its commitment.
The Ministry demands that the U.S. government cease its manipulation of the migration issue for political purposes, along with its implementation of the Cuban Adjustment Act and its "wet-foot/dry-foot" policy, and that it stops its incessant subversive propaganda and psychological warfare against Cuba.
That irresponsible policy of the U.S. government encourages social indiscipline, crime, and illegal exits and gives preferential treatment to Cuban émigrés, without paying any attention to the ways and means that they may use to arrive in that country's territory, including the use of violence, all of which undermines the implementation of the Migration Accord and constitutes a permanent source of unjustified and unnecessary deaths, whose victims are often women and children.
The Ministry rejects in advance any attempt to hold Cuba responsible for non-compliance with the Migration Accord, when in reality, our country is the one that is facing intensified hostility and provocations from the U.S. government as part of its useless efforts to overthrow a legitimate government elected in a sovereign manner by the Cuban people.
At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterates the Cuban government's unequivocal willingness to continue confronting illegal emigration and to fully honor its commitments to the Migration Accords.
Havana, July 16, 2007