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Jan 14, 2016

Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Speaks on Cuban Migrant Situation

In our coverage in Guatemala, we interviewed Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales on Wednesday. We asked him about the Cuban migration crisis which has caused a rift in the Central American region.  A request by Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis to allow the passage of eight thousand Cuban refugees through Belize and Guatemala was rejected by the administrations of both countries as did Nicaragua.  The refusal prompted a Costa Rican delegation, led by President Solis, to walk out of a SICA gathering in El Salvador in protest. On Wednesday, however, there was some light at the end of the tunnel because a first group of one hundred and eighty migrants left Hidalgo, Mexico heading to the U.S.  While interviewing Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales, News Five’s Marleni Cuellar quizzed him on Guatemala’s official position on the matter.

 

Marleni Cuellar

“Belize and Guatemala both share the difficult position in terms of making a decision on the thousands of Cuban migrants.  Let me get your perspective as to what, and we‘ve seen Costa Rica’s reaction as well.  Let me get your perspective as a part of the region having to face refugee crises and also this particular issue of immigration.”

 

Carlos Raul Morales

Carlos Raul Morales, Foreign Minister, Guatemala.

“Marleni, it‘s very easy.  Guatemala and Belize, we are the borders of Central American countries with the north of the continent, not only with Mexico but with the north of the continent.  When both countries, I am so sure because I talk to Minister Elrington and we share the same position, both countries want to be part of the solution.  We don‘t want to be part of the problem, but both countries we have a responsibility with our population and the responsibility is very high.  In the case of Guatemala, many people that try to reach the States are going through Central America but cross from Salvador to Guatemala, from Honduras to Guatemala, cross from Nicaragua to Honduras is very easy.  And crossing from Nicaragua use to be very easy too because the Central American Integration System is looking for an integration of the region and as a matter of fact while in the process with Honduras we signed a customs union that probably in four to six months we will erase the borders between both countries.  When you go from Guatemala to Honduras or from Honduras to Guatemala is like going, for example, from Benque to San Ignacio, you never notice when we will be crossing the border our border with Mexico.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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