What Happened: Roughly 4,500 Cuban asylum seekers have gathered in Ciudad Juarez near the U.S.-Mexican border crossing at El Paso to await their turn to cross into the United States, AP reported May 14.
Why It Matters: The rising flow of Cuban asylum seekers might result in U.S. penalties against Havana in the form of trade and travel restrictions, which could entail a complete rollback of former President Barack Obama's economic outreach to Cuba in 2014 and significantly impact the business interests of the few U.S. companies operating in Cuba.
Background: The surge in Cuban migrants is relatively small compared to the increase in refugees from Central America, such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, which has reached its highest levels since the mid-2000s.
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