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En route to the U.S., Cuban migrants in Panama wonder if they're better off where they are

Sunday, February 05, 2017 - 00:58

Policy changes between Cuba and the United States, guaranteed acceptance of Cubans who made it to U.S. soil, will be ''reviewed'' by the Trump administration and Cubans aren't happy. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). With the Republicans in power in the United States, many expect a harder line from Washington towards Cuba in the era of Donald Trump, as the new president himself has hinted throughout his rise. And so with the rapprochement launched under former President Barack Obama under threat, Cuban migrants stuck in Central America are confronting an uncertain future that could even result in the reinstatement of the famed 'wet foot, dry foot' policy. A group of 250 Cuban migrants stuck in Panama told Reuters on Saturday (February 4) about their wish to remain in the Central American country, irrespective of what policy decisions are made. The end of the wet foot, dry foot policy, which allowed any Cuban who reached U.S. soil to stay but returned any Cubans picked up at sea, came into effect in January. The shift had been in the works for months. It was announced abruptly because it was believed that advance warning might inspire thousands more people to take to the seas between the island and Florida in order to beat a deadline. The United States and Cuba spent several months negotiating the change, including an agreement from Cuba to allow those turned away from the United States to return. Trump's inauguration has thrown everything into doubt. The unorthodox figure has been mostly opaque on Cuba, but White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, said Cuba policy will be "reviewed." For now, the migrants remain in tents in their camp, and have little space or resources. They are hoping for some clarity.

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En route to the U.S., Cuban migrants in Panama wonder if they're better off where they are

Sunday, February 05, 2017 - 00:58