Cubans – lost in Panama

Mario Penton has an interesting story on what has happened to those Cubans stuck in Panama after the US and Cuba agreed to end the "wet foot, dry foot" policy. Once that policy ended, Cubans were no longer guaranteed entry and a path to citizenship should they make it to US shores.

And while Trump has undone some of Obama's deal with Cuba, he has not sought to reinstate "wet foot, dry foot" because that would be too humane  encourage Cubans to make the dangerous trek across the Florida Straits.

The Panamanian government offered to relocate 300 Cubans in the Cáritas shelter in Panama City to "a better place," a temporary shelter in Gualaca in western Panama. However, there was no promise what would happen to the Cubans once they moved to the new location. It was going to be a temporary move until the Panamanian government deported them, normalized their status in the country, or found a third country to accept them. Less than half took the government up on the offer and are instead now living in hiding throughout the country. The government has said they they will deport those who did not take them up on their offer to relocate.

The Panamanian government restricted immigration from Colombia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua after citizens complained that these migrants were responsible for increasing levels of crime. The May restrictions do not bode well for Cuban migrants.