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Jun 15, 2022

Courtenay Pleased with Court Ruling against Cubans Who Sued the State

On Monday, Justice Lisa Shoman rendered a decision in the case of the seven Cubans who sued the state. They alleged that their human rights were violated while they were in detention. But Justice Shoman found that the case presented by the Human Rights Commission of Belize had no legal basis. She also ruled that there is need to ensure that the removal order for the Cubans be effected as soon as is practical by the state. Today, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Eamon Courtenay said he was pleased with the outcome of the case.


Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“In that particular case, what you have are people who do not qualify for refugee status in Belize. You cannot apply for refugee status and say I am fleeing from Cuba. I want refugee status in Belize so I can guh dah states. You have to claim refugee status and stay in the country that grants that to you. On their face, on their application and in their evidence to the court, they said dehn nuh want stay ya; dehn wah go. So what is it that they are trying to do? They are caught, they are prosecuted. Some smart lawyer says claim asylum, I wah get yo fi go dah Help for Progress, there will be no security and overnight, yo run and gone.  We would be tacitly facilitating human smuggling. Let me say this to you, a year ago, I took to cabinet a paper asking to allow Haitians to come to Belize without visas, because that is required under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. We were in breach; that has been approved.  Without going into the details, there are a significant number of Haitians who are all of a sudden coming to Belize – one way ticket, no hotel reservation, but they say they’re tourists.”


Courtenay said that the Belize Government has received requests for chartered flights to arrive from Haiti, but that in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Department, they will not going to be allowed to land.

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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