Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela gave an ultimatum to end the humanitarian accommodation of hundreds of Cuban refugees who remain in that country. Varela gave the Caritas Social Pastoral Ministry a one-month deadline to cease the care for Cubans at that time. However, the executive secretary of the shelter for Cubans stated that he would defend the Cubans who are under his care.
The Panamanian president said that the Caritas shelter in Panama City “has been given 30 days to operate.” He claims that the government cannot continue to “encourage such irregular migration by opening such shelters.”
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Varela said that the island’s migrants “have to define their future” because “they do not have a way of applying for [migratory] status in Panama.”
“My recommendation has been for them to return to the country where they came from or to be deported to Cuba,” he said.