Sunday 19 September 2021

Cuban Migrant Crisis And The Costa Rica President’s Visit to Cuba

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Cubans migrants rest at a shelter in La Cruz, Costa Rica  November 27, 2015. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
Some 5,000 Cuban migrants are being sheltered in La Cruz, Costa Rica (near Nicaragua border) while they wait for a solution.  Photo: Juan Carlos Ulate

QCOSTARICA – While Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis  and his entourage visit Cuba, nearly 5,000 Cuban migrants stranded in his country wait for solution to allow them to move on, head north to their final destination, the United States.

Many of the Cuban migrants have more than a month of being stranded in Costa Rica, after Nicaragua closed its borders to them, not allowing transit to their country. Last week, days prior to President Solis’ trip to the island country, Belize refused them as well.

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Prior to that Guatemala said no, though now they are saying, yes, as long as they get written guarantees from Mexico that they will be giving entry and payment for the costs.

Mexico has said all along that they will accept the Cuban migrants from Costa Rica, but only by way of a land border crossing, which means either Guatemala or Belize.

When asked about the Cuban migrants, Solis responded, “That will be one of the topics on the agenda.”

The President’s visit was planned well before the crisis that began to unfold on November 11, after Costa Rica authorities dismantled a human smuggling network that moved the Cubans from the Panama border to Nicaragua.

Cuba has repeatedly blamed the United States’ Cold War-era immigration policy for enticing its citizens to risk their lives and fostering human smuggling.

Many of the Cubans feared the Solis visit to their homeland could result in an agreement to have them deported. However, the President has promised not to deport and to continue looking for a way to get them to the U.S.

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