AMERICA/PANAMA - Cardinal Lacunza has been asking to resolve the situation of Cubans blocked in Panama for months

Friday, 21 July 2017

David (Agenzia Fides) - Cardinal José Luis Lacunza O.A.R., Bishop of the Diocese of David (Panama), has asked the government to resolve the situation in which Cuban migrants are still blocked at the Los Planes de Gualaca refugee camp, Chiriquì province. In yeaterday’s statements to Televisora Nacional in Panama (TVN), the Cardinal stressed that migrants cannot be held in that state and their human rights must be considered. With a provisional solution, they could give them a temporary job visa, so they could do something in the meantime.
About 100 irregular Cubans have been in Los Planes de Gualaca camp for more than 3 months, and by July 31, according to what has been learned these days, they have to decide whether or not to accept the voluntary return to Cuba. The note sent to Fides from local sources, was released by the Ministry of Security as a measure concerning the migration crisis. Even foreigners entering Panama irregularly will have to deal with the same situation, almost always with the intent of continuing to the United States.
Hundreds of Cubans have been stuck in Panama since January after the end of Obama administration's "wet feet, dry feet policy" which allowed them to enter the United States.
Some have continued their journey to the United States despite being without permission, others were expelled by the Panamanian government, and others have returned to Cuba at their own will. The last group of Cubans, about a hundred, is still in Chiquirì. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 21/07/2017)