Cuban exile groups on Thursday criticized the government of President Joe Biden for meeting on Thursday in Washington with Havana authorities to discuss immigration issues in what they consider a new “blackmail” of the U.S.
Silvia Iriondo, leader of Madres y Mujeres anti Represión (MAR) for Cuba, regretted in declarations to EFE that the Biden administration is once again allowing the Castro regime to use the people of the island as a “projectile” to obtain compensation “in exchange for nothing.”
In her opinion, every time there is a “spark” of resistance on the island, Havana increases repression and subsequently allows the departure of the frightened and those dissatisfied with the economic situation and creates a migratory “crisis” with the neighboring country.
And the authorities in Washington, “almost always with Democratic governments,” fall back on this strategy, “always with the same script,” and sit down to negotiate with them, she said in statements on the sidelines of a press conference of exile groups.
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Representatives of the United States and Cuba are meeting this Thursday in Washington to discuss migration issues, in the first high-level dialogue between the two countries since the arrival of the Democratic president to the White House.
The leader of MAR for Cuba indicated that every time there is an “opportunity” to achieve freedom, in reference to the massive protests of July 2021 on the island, “a lifeline always comes out” to save the regime from the crisis.
At a press conference held at the headquarters of the 2506th Assault Brigade, the group of Cuban fighters who participated in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, group president Johnny Lopez de la Cruz agreed with Iriondo in her criticism of the Biden administration for allowing the Castro regime to use its people as a “weapon.”
Former politician Luis Zúñiga, who spent 19 years in Cuban prisons and now lives in exile in the United States, harshly criticized the “gift” this meeting means in Washington, which, he considered, sends a negative message to dissidence on the island.
De La Cruz affirmed that Havana “opens and closes the migratory flow at will” and that it uses the departure of citizens as an “escape valve” at the slightest sign of “rebellion,” for which he considered it a “major mistake” that the United States allows this “blackmail” and agrees to give concessions to Cuba.
This meeting takes place on Thursday, days after the U.S. immigration authorities denounced that Cuba does not accept the repatriation of certain Cubans, and all when the number of those who try to enter the country illegally has increased notably in the last months.
According to data from the immigration authorities, between October and February some 47,331 Cuban migrants entered the United States, after a record 16,657 arrived at the border in February alone.