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U.S. Department of State
96/08/22 Statement: US-Cuba Migration Accords
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement by Glyn Davies/Acting Spokesman
August 22, 1996
U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords
The tragic deaths on August 12 of two Cuban nationals seeking to enter
the United States underscores once again the need for the United States
and Cuba to continue taking all appropriate measures to prevent
irregular migration. In this respect, the United States reiterates its
full commitment to the implementation of the September 1994 and May 1995
migration accords with Cuba.
These accords have proved successful in meeting three central goals:
discouraging the dangerous outflow of migrants in unseaworthy vessels;
providing protection to genuine refugees; and expanding opportunities
for safe, legal and orderly migration from Cuba to the United States.
As a result, many lives that would have been lost at sea have been
saved, and many families separated for decades across the Florida
straits have been safely reunited in the United States.
In accordance with the accords and relevant U.S. international
obligations, the United States will continue to return Cuban migrants
intercepted at sea who seek to enter the United States or the
Guanatanamo Naval Base illegally. The United States will also, in
accordance with U.S. law, take prompt and effective law enforcement
action against illegal activities related to illicit Cuban migration,
including alien-smuggling and hijackings.
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