The Cuban government responded swiftly to the COVID-19 crisis, implementing several restrictions early on in the pandemic including a ban on tourist arrivals and a lockdown for vulnerable people. By August 2020, however, cases began to increase and by mid-October there were a total of 6,220 cases and 125 deaths related to the virus. The […]
(February 2021) Cuba hosts comparatively small numbers of international migrants and refugees. Although historically it has been a destination for some Haitian asylum seekers, during 2012-2019 the country received only 430 asylum applicants, most of whom were from Syria and Iran. The government grants temporary residence status and offers educational scholarships and free health services to all refugees and asylum seekers. Authorities do not detain non-citizens who are seeking international protection, however there may be exceptions if a person does not follow procedures. A reception facility reportedly operates in Punta de Maisí. While immigration detention does not appear to be used in Cuba, the country has long been criticised for imposing lengthy pretrial detention measures, as well as for overcrowding, poor hygiene, and lack of access to medical care and food in prisons.