New Bolivian Government Deports Hundreds of Cubans and Venezuelans

By Jason Peña on December 5, 2019

The government of Bolivia announced the deportation of 300 migrants originating from Venezuela and Cuba.

According to the General Director of Migration, Marcel Rivas, the focus of the nationwide operation was to remove foreign citizens who were in violation of the Bolivian Law 370

Rivas stated "We guarantee the over 300 Venezuelan and Cuban citizens were not complying with Law 370, they were in irregular stay in our country."

He continued by asserting the apprehended migrants entered Bolivia for reasons other than tourism, studying abroad, or employment opportunities. Subsequently, enforcement operations will increase in central Bolivia.

Also, Bolivian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karen Longaric, met with Rivas to initiate protocols for the handling of illegal immigrants. Both officials will share information relevant to the national security of Bolivia and foreign nationals wanted by Interpol for terrorism, drug trafficking, and other crimes. Rivas said that under the previous government, the migration office and Interpol were "disconnected" and that his office's decisions and actions had been based on political considerations.

The escalation of immigration enforcement comes shortly after the resignation of socialist President Evo Morales, and allegations that Cuba and Venezuela interfering with Bolivia’s internal affairs.