QCOSTARICA – The government of Luis Guillermo Solis announced Friday it will not give new Cuban migrants visas effective this Saturday morning.
The message from Casa Presidencial (Government House) is that “the national capacity to address the migrants has reached its limit.”
“Costa Rica urges the Cuban people not to attempt irregular migration entering Costa Rican territory (sneaking in) and those caught in the attempt will be deported to Cuba immediately,” said President Solis.
The statement by Solis Friday contradicts his position last week when he said no Cuban would be deported from Costa Rica, be it, he was referring at the time to the almost 5,000 Cuban migrants already in Costa Rica and with a visa to stay.
According to the Direccion de Migración y Extranjería (immigration service), up to Friday they had granted 5,989 visas to the islanders.
On Friday, the Solis government also suspended its participation in the Sistema de Integración Centroamericana (SICA), following the refusal by Guatemala, Nicaragua and Belize to give passage through their territory to the Cuban migrants stranded in Costa Rica.
President Solis and Foreign Minister, Manuel Gonzalez, said they decided to withdraw from the presidential summit, given that the Cuban migrant issue was not included in the discussion agenda.
Solis added that he will be headed to El Salvador for a meeting on Monday (December 21) to address the issue.
President Solis, accompanied by Gonzalez and 30 others, visited Cuba this past week on an official visit.
The Cubans stranded in Costa Rica are looking to make their way to the United States, where under the Cuban Adjustment Act are guaranteed their stay. However, they must make their way into Mexico to cross the border into the U.S. For its part, Mexico said it will grant the Cuban entry but only by land, it will not accept their entry by air.