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600 Cubans camp out at Suriname border

600 Cubans camp out at Suriname border

It has been brought to the attention of Kaieteur News that at least 600 Cubans have been camping out for days at the Suriname border waiting to enter Guyana.
According to a prominent Suriname media house, Waterkant, around 600 Cubans headed to Nickerie, on Monday, in large buses with hopes of crossing over to Guyana.
The Cubans, reported Waterkant, came from Paramaribo and had expected to travel on the same day, which they arrived but the border was closed.

Coincidentally, that was the same day the Guyana Government revealed that travel to Suriname, via the Moleson Creek Crossing, will be opened from December 12.
Kaieteur News too reported the following day that the Suriname ferry will be opened soon. The government’s move was part of its new COVID-19 measures for December, which included travel guidelines for Suriname. As a result, this newspaper was told, the Cubans decided to set up tents at South Drain, near the Canawaima Ferry connection. Videos seen by this media showed that the Cubans have been camping out, and expressing the hope that they will be allowed to board the ferry.

Interviewed by a reporter, some of them stated that the situation in their country is terrible so they don’t want to go back there. Others who have been living in Paramaribo for some years said they too are running from Suriname because of its current economic situation.
They were further questioned about their reasons for wanting to enter Guyana. The Cubans said that the intend to use Guyana as a transit point to the United States (US).
“We get opportunity to go to United States, we only need to go to Guyana, Brazil, Colombia Nicaragua and then United States,” said one of the Cubans.

“Only please, we need to go to Guyana right away,” he continued.
Another Cuban said, “We will not stay in no country, we only want to go to United States”.
As the Cubans continue their campout, it is unclear whether the Guyana government will allow them to enter. Nevertheless, Guyanese voiced their opinions on social media. Many of them are against the Cubans entering the country because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Others expressed concerns about trafficking and asked questions about who will monitor them if they do enter and where will they be housed.
It was only on Thursday that Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs ordered the deportation of 26 Haitians who had entered the country legally but were subsequently detained by police in early November for giving false addresses. The Haitians were reportedly found in a city hotel with children in the mix. Some were also found in a minibus en route to Linden.

The Association of Haitian Nationals in Guyana, through attorney-at-law Darren Wade, filed a motion in the High Court for the Haitians to be put before the courts, and yesterday Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire placed a stay on the deportation order until the hearing of the motion filed by Wade.
Honourable Robeson Benn, Minister of Home Affairs had also touted during a recent press conference that Guyana may introduce visa system for Haiti Soon. According to Benn when Haitians enter the country, they usually disappear without any trace. He added that it is for this reason, the batch of 26 were under strict surveillance which led to them being arrested.

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