Panama to transfer stranded Cuban migrants to Mexico

Panama City, May 9 (IANS) Panama authorities on Monday will begin transferring 3,400 US-bound Cuban migrants to Mexico who were stranded without papers.

“The transfer of thousands of Cubans stranded in the province of Chiriqui is expected to begin on Monday,” La Prensa daily reported Sunday, referring to the country’s western province that borders Costa Rica to the west.

The first group of 250 Cubans will be flown via charter flights of Panama’s Copa Airlines to a Mexican city bordering the US, Xinhua news agency reported citing the daily.

The Panamanian authorities were processing the necessary paperwork and health certificates “to prepare these people for their voyage, first to Mexico, and then to the US,” the daily said.

Jose Donderis, director general of Panama’s National Civil Protection System said that the Cuban migrants must pay for their air tickets.

The migrants have been trapped in Chiriqui for more than five months, “waiting to fulfil their ‘American dreams’.”

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