International press agencies this week traced the path of Cuban migrants with aspirations of reaching Europe illegally. Many people seek to immigrate permanently to the Schengen area, especially in Spain, because of “language”.
According to the report EFE, Cubans seek Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country bordering Croatia, part of the European Union. They arrived in Bosnia via Serbia, which did not yet require visas for Cuban travelers, one that had already been removed, precisely because of these circumstances.
They leave Cuba in pairs and, in many cases, arrive in countries close to the Schengen zone, such as Serbia, Montenegro or Russia, which still maintain a free visa. They usually stay for several months until they reach the European Union, but in most cases they are held in migrant centres.
“We have no choice but to leave Cuba. We couldn’t live on the money we brought home, it wasn’t even enough for basic needs,” said a Cuban interviewed at a center for migrants in Bosnia.
Bosnia, the new route to Europe
According to Cubans, they arrive in Bosnia by bus, taxi or boat crossing the Drina River. Some came to Bosnia from Russia, from there to Belarus, Turkey and finally Serbia. The journey is tiring, takes months and even years, and still they do not reach Europe.
More than 700 Cubans have passed through the Borici displacement center so far this year, more than 300 women and 90 children, official figures from the Bosnian Foreign Office told EFE. In the center of Lipa, there is also a reception center for immigrants, but only for men, with more than 100 Cubans.
When Cubans enter Bosnia, they request asylum and have a month to go to Croatia, because it’s true that they don’t want to settle in Bosnia, that’s not the goal. However, every day news reaches the migrant camps that all migrants from Croatia are being deported.