Colombia to Deport 1,350 Cuban Refugees, With More Still Stranded

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Aug 10, 2016, 12:48 pm
Migration Colombia announces it will deportat individuals who are not documented in the country (Albergue)
Migration Colombia announces it will deport undocumented individuals (Albergue)

EspañolOver 1,300 Cubans residing illegally in Colombia have accepted voluntary deportation plans from the government, while 350 more reportedly remain in Antioquia with undetermined futures.

The Colombian government recently announced it would be deporting 1,800 Cubans stranded in Antioquia after failing to cross the border into Panama on their way to the United States.

The Foreign Ministry announced that Migration Colombia, the entity charged with the migration process in the country along the Ombudsman and the Air Force, will continue deporting undocumented Cubans.

A group of more than 1,000 people decided to return to Cuba after Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin assured them they would not receive any penalty or retaliation from their government.

Migration Colombia also urged Cubans still in Antioquia to come to their offices for voluntary deportations.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) called on Latin American countries to protect immigrants and establish secure channels for reaching the United States.

Some Cuban immigrants decided to enter the Darien jungle in search of Panama’s border. Paramilitary groups in the area killed an unreported number of them.

“The fact that these people resort to irregular channels and traffickers of migrants can be explained by the lack and inadequacy of legal and safe channels for migration,” President of the Commission James Cavallaro said.

Cubans who had their sights set on the US sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking to be received with open arms. The letter even claimed they were willing to give up the benefits Cubans get when reaching American soil.

Source: El Espectador, El Nuevo Herald

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.

Venezuelan Electoral Authorities Postpone Recall Referendum against Maduro until 2017

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Aug 10, 2016, 10:40 am

EspañolVenezuela's recall referendum against President Nicolás Maduro has officially been pushed back to 2017. President of the National Electoral Council (CNE) Tibisay Lucena said Tuesday, August 9 that the referendum spearheaded by the Venezuelan opposition will be held next year because the last of the required signatures can only be carried out "at the end next October." Read More: Survey: Only One in 10 Venezuelans Now Support Nicolás Maduro Read More: Twenty Venezuelans Arrested Fleeing to Curacao on a Raft The recall referendum is scheduled to be held 90 days after the collection of the 20 percent of the signatures needed from electoral roll, which means the referendum will take place between February and March 2017. Lucena reiterated that she will not tolerate pressure to expedite the process. For months, the opposition has been pressuring the CNE to carry out the referendum before the end of 2016; if carried out next year, Maduro's vice president automatically assumes office through 2019 should the people vote for removal. Governor of Miranda and opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonzki condemned the decision to begin the next step of the process next year. An exercise in cynicism and lies is that of Ms Lucena! Believing Venezuelans are dumb! The people want a date for the referendum in 2016. Capriles also confirmed the massive mobilization trying to be put together by the opposition for the first of September. "The country will not accept a 'could.' It is our constitutional right and we will enforce it. We will mobilize from all over Venezuela," he said on social media. Journalist Eugenio Martinez said that according to announcements made by the CNE, the recall could eventually take place between February and March 2017. "With the 20 percent collection happening at the end of October, if CNE continues to establish unnecessarily long waiting periods, the recall referendum could take place between February and March," Martinez said on his Twitter account. Lucena is ratifying what I explained this morning: collection of signatures of 20 percent in the end of October (possible dates: 25, 26 and 27) However, former Director of the National Electoral Council Vicente Diaz said even with the announced dates, the timeline should allow the referendum to take place this year. "The recall referendum is absolutely alive, they can't not kill it," he said on his Twitter account. Diaz said with certainty that there is time to make the referendum. "Even with those dates we can do it in 2016," he said. The job of this CNE is to demoralize us. Our job is to stay firm in the fight to get the Revocation Referendum All is possible if the people act! Popular pressure will bring the Revocatory Referendum for 2016 Let's not allow this.  To the streets! To the streets! To the streets!

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