As migration talks between the U.S. government and the Cuban regime resume today in New York City, it's important to recall that these talks were suspended in 2003 due to major violations of the 1994 Migration Accords -- which set the original framework for these periodic talks -- by the Cuban authorities.
These violations* include:
(1) Cuban government denial of exit permits to otherwise eligible Cubans approved for resettlement to the U.S.;
(2) Cuban government restriction on travel of U.S. Interests Section personnel to monitor the well-being of Cuban migrants returned by the U.S. Coast Guard;
(3) the Cuban regime's refusal to take back criminals ordered removed from the U.S.; and
(4) credible reports of retaliation by the Cuban regime against returning migrants and their families.
Therefore, the success and continuation of these migration talks must be, first and foremost, measured by the Cuban regime's compliance with the Accord's original commitments.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This might seem tangential, but recalling the loss-of-life at sea by so many Cubans in pursuit of freedom is yet another tragic reminder of the immense physical and emotional suffering caused by the absolute obsession of one man (and his brother) to remain in power forever. Like the U.S., Cuba was a nation that historically received migrants. It was the Castro regime that turned it into a source of migrants. Therefore, the only way to surely achieve the stated goal of these talks, which is "safe, legal and orderly migration between both nations," is through freedom and democracy in Cuba.
*Report to Congress, "Cuban Compliance with the Migration Accords," transmitted by the Department of State pursuant to Sec. 2245 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-277), March 2007.
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