Monday 1 March 2021

Costa Rica Joined By Latin Nations To Plead With U.S. Over Cuba

Cuban migrants were photographed in November outside the border control building in Penas Blancas, Costa Rica, after Nicaragua closed its borders to Cuban migrants. Nine Latin American governments on Monday charged that U.S. policy toward Cuban migrants has created a humanitarian crisis for the region. Esteban Felix AP Read more here:
Cuban migrants in November at the Peñas Blancas border after Nicaragua closed its borders to Cuban migrants. Photo Esteban Felix AP

Costa Rica has been joined on Monday by eight Latin American countries in calling on the United States to end its special treatment for Cuban migrants.

The Foreign Ministers of Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Costa RSica signed a letter, delivered by the Ecuadorean Foreign Minister to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, expressing their “deep concern” that U.S. policy toward Cuban migrants is creating a humanitarian crisis and encouraging “a disorderly, irregular and unsafe flow of Cubans.”

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“Cuban citizens risk their lives, on a daily basis, seeking to reach the United States,” the letter says. “These people, often facing situations of extreme vulnerability, fall victim to mafias dedicated to people trafficking, sexual exploitation and collective assaults. This situation has generated a migratory crisis that is affecting our countries.”

U.S. State Department officials did not immediately comment.

The countries have been forced into attending the needs of more than 46,500 Cubans admitted to the United States  without sivas in the first 10 months of the 2016 fiscal year. According to the Pew Research Center, the figure is record-breaking when compared to 43,000 in 2015 and just over 24,000 in 2014.Costa Rica in the past year found themselves in a migrant crisis when more than 8,000 Cuban migrants became stranded in the country after Nicaragua closed its borders to them. A regional negotitation resulted more than half air lifted (at the expense of each migrant) to Mexico, near the U.S. border, while te others are believed to have left the country by land, by way of ‘coyotes’ (smugglers).

Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel González said last week that the issue has cost the country millions of dollars it doesn’t have.

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