Plane arrives in Miami with Americans stranded in Cuba due to COVID-19

Miami, Apr 24 (efe-epa).- The first of two Delta Airlines planes in charge of repatriating Americans who were stranded in Cuba due to COVID-19 arrived Friday at Miami International Airport.

After leaving the terminal, some travelers spoke to journalists about the situation in Cuba, which, according to José Luis Miraval, one of the repatriated people, is “very bad,” although the government is trying to respond “as best as possible.”

EFE tried unsuccessfully to contact a Delta spokesperson to find out how many travelers returned on the two planes that left Havana’s José Martí International Airport.

The United States embassy in Havana, which coordinated the operation, also did not provide EFE with that information or the number of Americans who remain in Cuba.

Among those arriving in Miami was the Puerto Rican Edwin Gómez, who said that “he had the best time,” although he was “always confined.”

Gómez, who said he had served seven years in the US Army, added that in Cuba he isolated himself voluntarily and that at Havana International Airport they took his temperature when he left.

Gómez did not specify whether there are people with dual Cuban-American nationality among the passengers.

In the case of the latter, the American Embassy said that Cuba does not recognize dual nationalities in its territory.

Therefore, for all legal purposes, a person born there is considered within Cuba as a person of Cuban nationality, even if they also have a passport from another nation.

This week, the US embassy said that, due to space restrictions, it has not been able to accommodate all the Americans in Cuba who requested to return on both flights.

“Those who cannot be provided seats on flights will have to remain in Cuba until the airport reopens and the airlines operate again,” an official statement read.

More than 5,000 non-resident foreigners remain in Cuba at this time, in addition to some 7,000 Cuban immigrants, according to data from the Cuban authorities.

Due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic, the US Embassy in Havana has only been operating in emergencies since mid-March, and therefore urged its citizens who remain in Cuba to pay attention to the indications regarding the prevention of infections through the media and the internet. EFE-EPA


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