The Uruguayan Armed Forces set up tents and field hospitals that were donated by the United States to house Cuban and Venezuelan refugees.

Even if Uruguay is subject to strict border closure due to the pandemic, the arrival of Cuban immigrants in the metropolitan area between the Uruguayan Rivera and the Brazilian Santana do Livramento, away from waterways or major international airports, has increased enormously for months.

Caribbean migrants arrive in this binational city, which together borders 180,000 residents. This long journey begins after you arrive from Cuba to Guyana or Suriname (the only countries where a visa is not yet required for citizens of this origin). They traverse large areas of Amazon rainforest and immense distances in western and southern Brazil. Like Rivera and Livramento, immigrants present themselves in practice by forming a single city with no precise a priori dividing line to the Uruguayan authorities claiming refugee status, with which they begin to regulate their legal situation and receive basic assistance without the need to go through previous immigration controls which are located far from the city center in the direction of national routes.

In overcoming this – until a few months ago – unusual flow of people and local aid opportunities, the national government had to start implementing tents, donated (and recently received) by the United States a few months ago, so that the armed forces could face contingencies such as the current pandemic or those usually due to natural disasters, along with the National Emergency System now in place for this exceptional case after a new outlying area has formed in Rivera where hundreds of Cubans and some Venezuelans live in precarious conditions.

The material received is part of an initiative of the United States Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) with a contribution of approximately US $ 2,500,000.

The first hospital consists of:

4 X-32 tents of 9.76 x 6.10 x 3.05 meters. 1 X-HUB tent with the dimensions 6.40 x 6.40 x 3.20 meters. 1 70 kVA diesel generator with its respective trailer 40 portable stainless steel stretchers with their respective mats 1 kit of 200 amp distribution panels with rigid box 5 distribution panels with 50 amps 4 air conditioning systems with 5.1 tons 1 air conditioning 3.5 tons 5 air renewal ducts

In addition, it will be installed further east of the country in the border town of Chuy (on the border with the Brazilian of the same name) near the Atlantic border between Brazil and Uruguay. This is the second pole in the reception of Cuban and Venezuelan refugees, another removable pole structure that is valued at $ 221,188.22 and is made up of:

1 tent of 12.19 x 36.58 meters 16 hanging LED lamps 2 air extractors 10 air nozzles 2 access doors 1 lifting ramp door 2 windows for ventilation 14 electrical connections 1 letterbox metal frame and the corresponding canvas.

According to information from the local authorities in Rivera and from professionals, the influx of Cuban citizens could increase (more after a serious economic adjustment that caused the Caribbean dictatorship to raise prices and public rates) for which the community needs additional information about the population’s part of the armed forces , Police, health authorities and social institutions as well as better information on this topic from the Uruguayan embassy in Havana, representation until a few days ago in the hands of officials of the previous Uruguayan government who were previously vulnerable to Cuban.

One option that is being considered for any field hospital is that the Uruguayan Red Cross, an organization the U.S. Embassy worked with on the pandemic, manage it as an emergency center for people living in conditions of vulnerability in the Enter the country. (Javier Bonilla)

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