Panama to airlift 500 Cuban Migrants Stranded on Way to U.S.

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Posted at 9:40 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 16:45:08-05

PANAMA CITY (AP) - Panama is planning to fly to Mexico this week some 500 Cuban migrants stranded on their way to the United States.

A Foreign Ministry statement issued Monday says the migrants will be flown to Ciudad Juarez on the U.S.-Mexico border. From there, they are expected to enter the U.S.

The flow of migrants from the Communist-ruled Cuba has surged in recent months as concerns mount that the special asylum privileges for Cubans may soon end as relations between Havana and Washington normalize. President Barack Obama is planning to visit Cuba next month, becoming the first American president to visit Havana in nearly 90 years.

Panama's airlift follows a deal reached in December by Central American nations to allow the humanitarian transfer of more than 8,000 stranded Cuban migrants.