Hundreds of Cubans like Reyes are taking that arduous new route toward the United States, trekking across the 85 miles (135 kilometers) of steamy tropical jungle that divides Colombia and Panama, through mountains, ravines, and muddy ground teeming with poisonous reptiles, jaguars, wild boars, guerrillas and drug traffickers,
And after that, they still face a journey across 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) and six countries to reach the United States…The route across the Darien Gap arose partly because many Cubans are now using the South American nation of Ecuador as the start of their path to the United States. President Rafael Correa eliminated visa requirements for Cuba in 2008, …The result has been a flood of islanders traveling to the South American nation, which borders Colombia along the Pacific Ocean.
“Going to Ecuador is the easiest way right now to get out of Cuba,” said Andy Gomez, a senior political fellow at the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. “For the majority, Ecuador is a stopping point but they have to come up with the money to get to their final destination, the United States,” he said.
According to Ecuadorean official figures, between 2007 and February 2012, 106,371 Cubans entered the country legally and 97,923 left legally.
Entire thing here.
But WAIT?!…Didn’t Newsweek recently hail Cuba as “Among the Best Countries in the World to Live?”
And all this from a nation formerly swamped with immigrants…VAMOS BIEN!!!