More than half a million Cubans have arrived in the United States in two years

Latin America and Europe are also destinations for tens of thousands of Cubans, however, there is no official global figure.


In two years at least 533,000 Cubans arrived in the United States, a figure equivalent to 4.8% of the 11.1 million inhabitants; That is without counting the entries with other types of visa for which there are no official figures available, as revealed AFP taking official data as a source.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced in a statement last week that in 2023 more than 153,000 Cuban citizens entered US territory irregularly.

Others are added to that figure 67,000 who flew directly to US territory thanks to the Humanitarian Parole program, implemented a year ago by the Joe Biden administration.

To these figures are added the more than 313,000 who entered without papers in 2022.

“It represents the largest number of Cuban migrants ever recorded in two consecutive years since the beginning of the post-revolutionary Cuban exodus in 1959,” he said. Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Research Institute of the Florida International University in statements collected by the aforementioned press agency.

The current migratory wave is preceded by the flight of some 300,000 Cubans between 1960 and 1963; that of Mariel, which meant the departure of another 130,000 in the 80s; and then the rafters crisis, in 1994, which led to the flight of some 35,000 Cubans from the country.

One of the singularities of the most recent exodus is that many young people with high educational and occupational levels have escaped from Cuba, “which represents a substantial loss of human resources for Cuba, which has one of the oldest populations in the region”Duany added.

Added to the high number of Cubans who have entered the United States through the most diverse means is emigration to European countries, especially Spain.

In October 2022, a report from Europa Press reported that Cubans have been the ones who have received the most Spanish nationality since the approval of the Democratic Memory Law (LMD), popularly known as the "Grandsons Law."

The Consulate General of Spain in Havana had been until the end of August last year the one that had approved the most nationalities, with nearly 15,000 applications endorsed, a figure well above the Consulate of Mexico City, which followed in second place, with more than 8,500.

Cubans have also emigrated to Latin American countries. For example, 36,574 Cubans requested refuge in Mexico between 2022 and 2023, while at least 22,000 entered Uruguay and hundreds arrived in Chile, according to official figures given by those countries.

The massive departure of Cubans from the country began in November 2021 when The Nicaraguan government eliminated the visa requirement for Cubans, which became an escape valve for the island, mired in its worst economic crisis in three decades.

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