Thousands of Cubans remain stuck on the Costa Rican side of the border with Nicaragua after Managua refused at a regional summit on Tuesday to open its doors to a wave of migrants heading for the United States.

cubanoscostarica

Reuters

Fearing the recent rapprochement between Havana and Washington could end preferential U.S. policies for Cuban migrants, thousands of people from the Communist-ruled island have been crossing into South America and traveling through Central America hoping to reach U.S. soil.

More than 3,000 Cubans have been stopped for days at the Costa Rican border after the Nicaraguan government shut its borders, denying them passage north through the country. At least 150 Cubans are arriving every day, exacerbating the problem.

During a regional summit in El Salvador, which included representatives from the governments of Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico, Nicaragua rejected Costa Rica’s suggestion of creating a “humanitarian corridor” for the migrants to pass through and said its border would remain closed.

“Nicaragua demands that the government of Costa Rica … remove all migrants from our border areas,” said Nicaraguan first lady and government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo.

Led by former Marxist guerrilla Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua is a close ally of Cuba, and his administration has complained that by issuing the Cubans with transit visas, Costa Rica has violated its national sovereignty.

Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez told reporters he thought Nicaragua had blocked a reasonable policy suggestion for resolving the crisis.

“It’s unacceptable to kid around with people’s suffering,” he said.

Since U.S.-Cuban ties began to thaw in December, the number of Cubans heading through Central America has climbed.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data published by the Pew Research Center, 27,296 Cubans entered the United States in the first nine months of the 2015 fiscal year, up 78 percent from 2014.

Under arrangements stemming from the Cold War era, Cuban migrants receive special treatment on reaching the United States. The “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy allows Cubans who set foot on U.S. soil to stay, while those captured at sea are sent back.

2 thoughts on “Thousands of Cubans remain stuck on the Costa Rican side of the border with Nicaragua after Managua refused at a regional summit on Tuesday to open its doors to a wave of migrants heading for the United States.

  1. The problem with Syrian refugees is that ISIS is capable of slipping in some of their own among the genuine people. It is an easy way to get trained terrorists inside a Western country to cause havoc and destruction. They already did that in France.

  2. I think that US should give visas to those Cubans to help them enter to US. Once cubans enter they will receive food stamps, medicaid, housing and money. They have those benefits awaiting in US, not in other countries, so why they dont help cubans to arrive to US? Cubans always receive welfare and legal status once enter to US territory. Why Nicaragua stop them? Maybe US should invest millions to transport cubans all over the world and bring here to US to provide them a better future. Also allow the same benefits to Siria refugees.

Leave a Reply