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Jun 16, 2022

Cuban Deportation is a Tricky One for G.O.B.

The repatriation of Cuban nationals to their home country, those who entered Belize illegally, poses an immigration and foreign affairs challenge for government officials.  They cannot be deported through another country and, since Cuba is an island nation, arrangements have to be made for them to be returned directly.  Viewers would recall that earlier this week, Justice Shoman delivered a decision in a matter where seven Cuban migrants who entered the country unlawfully were ordered to leave Belize.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working on the best possible means of deporting these individuals, notwithstanding the challenges at hand.


Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“In the case of the Cubans, it’s a difficult situation.  It’s a difficult situation because we cannot deport them to a third country, we have to send them back to Cuba.  There are no direct flights, there is no bus, there is no boat to Cuba, so we are actively talking to friends about how we can get that done in relation to this one.  And in September, we have negotiations in Cuba with the Cuban government trying to have a protocol on the deportation of Cubans from Belize.  We are trying to create a scenario in which the immigration laws of Belize are obeyed.  That those who are legitimate asylum seekers will get a fair hearing and if they satisfy the criteria, will be given refugee status and protection and we are also trying to ensure that only Belizeans have Belizean nationality.  I just received my advice from the crowns on how to cancel approximately thirty nationalities that are illegal and I am going to cancel them.  We are trying to clean up a very difficult situation, let me put it that way.”

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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