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Embassy of the United States in Cuba will restart the issuance of visas in a limited and gradual manner

embajada-de-estados-unidos-en-la-habanAThe United States embassy in Cuba will restart the issuance of visas in a limited and gradual manner, after keeping the service suspended for more than four years, announced the charge d’affaires of the diplomatic representation, Timothy Zúñiga-Brown.

Without specifying a date for the resumption of procedures, he explained that the consular section will offer essential services to US citizens and will process emergency visas for non-immigrants, detailed a Cuban television report.

Quoted by AFP, he announced that appointments for immigrant visas will only be scheduled for those who have presented their complete documentation, but that, in the transition period, “the main place of processing for applicants” for visas will be Georgetown, Guyanese.

The drastic reduction of the staff of the US embassy was a decision of the Donald Trump administration in 2017, when, to damage bilateral relations, it used as a pretext the alleged sonic attacks on diplomats of that nation, an absurdity that, after five years, neither scientists nor authorities have confirmed.

The decision to restrict consular services has affected both Cuban and US citizens who depend on those services, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported in late 2018.

Since then, the persecution of our banking-financial relations has increased, remittances have been restricted, individual trips by US citizens have been annulled, cruise ships and direct flights to Cuban airports, except Havana, have been prohibited; The leasing of aircraft with more than 10% US components and the acquisition of technologies and equipment in similar condition were prevented, and commercial promotion activities, cultural and educational exchanges ceased.

In January of this year, the deputy director of the General Directorate of the United States of the Minrex, Johana Tablada de la Torre, denounced that every time the United States has played politically with the migratory issue, cycles of illegal departures occur.

As reported on its website by the Ministry of the Interior, in 2021 there was a high lethality in repeated shipwrecks, with the eventual presence of minors, psychological traumas with lifelong consequences, whose most complex operations are organized from the United States, whose Government in recent years has not guaranteed even the minimum of 20,000 visas established by the migratory agreements between the two countries, and which committed them to work for a legal, orderly and safe migratory flow.

Cuba considers the announcement on the total resumption of visas a positive step

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla described the United States’ decision as a “positive step” by announcing that, in early 2023, its Embassy in Havana will resume full processing of immigrant visas for the first time since 2017.

The processing of Cuban family reunification will also be accelerated and there will be an increase in the staff of the diplomatic office in Havana.

A note published on the website of the US Embassy indicates that, as part of the expansion of regular routes, the need for Cubans who apply for immigrant visas in family preference categories to travel outside Cuba, to Georgetown, Guyana, will be eliminated. for your interviews.

He adds that these steps are part of the Migration Agreements between the United States and Cuba, to ensure a minimum of 20,000 visas for Cubans each year.

After keeping the service suspended for more than four years, in March of this year the US reported the restart of the issuance of visas in a limited and gradual manner.

The measure to restrict consular services has had an impact on illegal migration, as the agreements between the two countries, based on a legal, orderly and safe flow, have not been complied with.

(With information from Granma)

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