Guyana is examining the possibility of instituting a visa requirement for Cubans entering Guyana as a way of combating irregular migration.
This was revealed in a statement from the Ministry of the Presidency following the second round of bilateral talks on migration between the Governments of Guyana and Cuba.
Aimed at strengthening collaboration between the two countries and providing a framework to review migratory patterns, the meeting discussed ways in which persons travelling to both territories do so in a way that is lawful, safe and reduces opportunities for Trafficking in Persons (TIP), among other matters.
Leading the Guyana team in the discussions was Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix while the delegation from the Government of Cuba was led by Director of the Division of Consular Affairs and Cuban Residents Abroad Ernesto Soberon Guzman.
Minister Felix said the Government’s policy has been to suppress visas as a requirement for entering the country, noting that in all countries there are groups of persons who sometimes become invisible and cannot be accounted for.
He said Guyana welcomes persons who visit the country legally.
“Once they leave Cuba legally and they arrive here legally; we are going to accept them and treat them as all other members of the Caribbean family are treated,” he said.
Guzman stated: “These people become victims of the trafficking of human beings.
“So in this regard, we are very pleased with the conversation, with the results. I think that we share common goals in order to promote this regular, safe, orderly travel and, at the same time, to fight against irregular migration and against human trafficking,” he said.
The first engagement on the issue between the two countries took place in Havana, Cuba in 2016.
The delegations are expected to meet again in another two years.