The Governments of Guyana and Suriname have decided to postpone this week’s planned reopening of the ferry service between the two neighbouring states.
The move comes in wake of more than 600 Cuban nationals camping out at the ferry terminal in Suriname, planning to travel over to Guyana.
The number of Cubans at the site has been growing steadily and authorities in Suriname have estimated that the number could climb to more than 1000 in the coming days.
Minister of Works Juan Edghill who met with Surinamese officials today told reporters that the situation is being closely monitored and addressed at the Diplomatic level. He noted the government’s concerns about the large number of Cubans waiting to cross over into Guyana.
“As soon as the issue of the congregating and a determination of what will take place with the Cubans on the Suriname side, as soon as that is resolved, we are ready. The Directors of both the Canawaima Ferry Inc. and the Canawaima Management Committee will be meeting on Friday in Guyana and Suriname”, Minister Edghill said.
Minister Edghill said Guyana and Suriname are both working closely to have the issue resolved and the United Nations is also now involved in the matter.
Guyana and Suriname agreed to reopen the ferry service during President Irfaan Ali’s official visit to Suriname two weeks ago.
Days after the announcement, the large number of Cubans who were living in Suriname started to gather at the terminal in Suriname, transforming the area into a tent city. Hundreds of tents were set up by the Cubans who, according to reports out of Suriname, said they wanted to come to Guyana to eventually make their way to the United States.
The situation became worrying to government officials in both Guyana and Suriname and the US Embassy in Guyana also started to pay attention to the development.
The US Embassy in Guyana handles all US immigration and visa appointments for Cuban nationals in the region.