Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Criticizes U.S. Immigration Policy

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Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Guillaume Long called on the U.S. government to end to its immigration policy toward Cuba, which he described as a stimulus to illegal emigration, PL reported

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“We are calling on the government and Congress of the United States to put an end to this policy,” he said, during a press conference at the Foreign Ministry.

Long referred to the issue after being asked about a group of Cubans who, for several weeks now, are camping in a city park, demanding support to reach U.S. territory via Mexico.

According to the minister, this request is difficult to fulfill, since the Ecuadorian government cannot participate in this sort of illegal migration.

He indicated that the fundamental problem is the existence of U.S. policies – the so-called “wet foot-dry foot” policy and the Cuban Adjustment Act – which guarantee immediate asylum to all Cuban immigrants who reach U.S. soil, regardless of the means they use to arrive.

Herein lies the first injustice, he said, since this does not occur in the case of other Latin American immigrants.

He added that behind this double standard is a political goal: the weakening of Cuba, the provocation of an exodus, and an attempt to portray the country’s political system as dysfunctional.

According to Long, the current process of normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba must include the dismantling of these laws.

He said that he had discussed the issue with the U.S. ambassador in Quito, Todd Chapman, reiterating that changing these policies is an urgent need, which should be accelerated, to put an end to situations like that which has developed with Cuban emigrants stranded in Ecuador.

The Cuban embassy in Quito previously released a statement emphasizing that none of the Cubans camped out in city parks have been persecuted politically in their country, as some have alleged, and offered them support to return to the island, if they so desire. The embassy also clarified that the majority of these citizens left Cuba in a legal fashion.

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