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Cubans Stranded by Repeal of “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” Policy Seek Refuge in Canada

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - May 15, 2017, 3:30 pm
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The Canadian government has agreed to investigate the possibility of taking in Cuban refugees (Flickr).

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Movimiento Democracia (Democracy Movement) made a request to the Canadian government to provide shelter to thousands of Cuban migrants who have been stranded across the Americas due to Obama’s repeal of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy.

According to the Cuban newspaper 14ymedio, Ramón Saúl Sánchez, leader of the movement that made the petition, announced the Canadian government’s response. The official letter says that the application was reviewed and forwarded to the Secretary of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, Ahmed Hussen.

Last February, the Democracy Movement launched the initiative. This organization emphasizes the fact that most Cuban migrants are stranded in Mexico, Central and South America, after the elimination of the migration policy that used to make it easier for Cubans to reside legally and permanently in the United States, allowing any Cuban who safely reached American soil residency status and a work permit.

Each year, Canada offers thousands of refugee visas to people from different countries who suffer persecution for political, racial, religious, nationality or gender reasons. The Democracy Movement is seeking this visa for Cubans whose dream to reach US territory halted by the policy change.

Movimiento Democracia is also involved in other activities including shipping food to Cubans in Mexico, which has been organized by activists from the Miami-based organization.

Obama repealed the wet foot, dry foot policy near the end of his term as part of a “thawing” in the relationship between the two traditional Cold War enemies. His policies entailed opening the door for greater commerce and tourism, and the two nation’s opened embassies in each other’s capitals for the first time in half a century.

Trump has pledged to revisit Obama’s policies, suggesting that the former president gave away too much in the negotiations.

Source: Cubanet

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.