Pursuant to Obama's Policy, New Exodus of Cubans Headed to U.S.

Sunday, November 1, 2015
Clearly the Cuban people are not very "hopeful" pursuant to the Obama-Castro deal.

From The Miami Herald:

New exodus of Cubans headed to US is underway across the Americas

They line up on the edge of the water, their silhouettes barely visible in the wee hours before the sun rises. Groups of 10 to 12 climb aboard rafts mounted with plywood and pay less than $2 to be ferried to the other side. Within the span of 20 minutes, at least 60 have crossed aboard six rafts.

All of them are Cuban migrants en route to the United States. The illegal crossing scene at the Rio Suchiate -- the body of water that separates Guatemala from Mexico -- is happening every day under the cover of darkness.

A new exodus of Cubans is underway at this river in Ciudad Hidalgo in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Over the past month, hundreds have come across from the border town of Tecun Uman, Guatemala, and those making the journey say many more are on the way.

"We're leaving in droves," said one Cuban as he rushed to get away from the river and onto a van that would drive his group to the nearest immigration center in Tapachula, about 18 miles away. "Everybody is leaving Cuba."

"Another hundred are waiting to cross," shouted another young man as he dismounted the raft from Guatemala and caught up with the group of new arrivals in Mexico.

The migrants are from across the island, predominantly between 20 and 40 years old. Many travel with children. Most are headed to South Florida.

The migrants are Cubans who have either spent some time in third countries such as Ecuador or who travel directly from the island to a third country as tourists and immediately proceed on their journey across South and Central America to make their way to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The migration route is not new for Cubans. But the numbers passing through over the past month have grown to the point that human rights activists in Mexico have labeled it a "migration crisis" that is adding to the already high number of Central American migrants also using Mexican land as a pathway toward America.

"A lot are coming through here," said Sister Maria del Carmen, who helps run a Catholic migrant shelter in Tapachula. Since it opened its doors in early September, more than 500 Cubans have been served at the shelter.

"But the figure is much higher," del Carmen said. "The immigration center is full of Cubans."

Official data show a significant increase in the number of Cubans coming across the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to the latest figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, at least 27,413 Cubans have entered through the U.S.-Mexico border from Oct. 1, 2014, through Aug. 31. Another 9,056 arrived without visas at Miami International Airport during the same time frame.

The border entries are at its highest since 2005 with increases each fiscal year over the past four years: 5,316 border entries in 2011; 10,315 in 2012; 11,932 in 2013 and 17,459 in 2014.

Most of those interviewed after entering Mexico said they have little hope for significant changes in Cuba under the Castro regime, despite the restored diplomatic relations and some economic openings on the island signed off by Cuban leader Raul Castro.

"Everybody who leaves Cuba knows that nothing is going to change there," [30-year old Angel] Reyna Rojas said. "And if there is going to be change, it will take 30 or 40 years. Perhaps longer."

"Now with the new relations (between the U.S. and Cuba), there might be a little more flexibility but the situation in Cuba is not going to change," he said. "That belongs to them and they will not change. I blame them for everything we've been through -- Fidel and Raul."