Costa Rica, Guatemala & Mexico Discuss Exit to Cuban Migrant Crisis

Some of the around 4,000 Cubans stranded in Costa Rica.
Some of the around 4,000 Cubans stranded in Costa Rica.

HAVANA TIMES — Costa Rican deputy foreign minister, Alejandro Solano, will meet today in Mexico City with his counterparts of Guatemala and Mexico to seek a solution to the situation of some 4,000 Cuban migrants who are stranded in Costa Rican territory, reported dpa news.

Most of the migrants are currently staying in shelters, after on November 15 the Nicaraguan government headed by Daniel Ortega called out the riot police and army to prevent them from passing through its territory on grounds of “national security.”

One of the possible solutions reportedly being considered is the establishment of a kind of air or sea bridge to allow Cuban immigrants to leave Costa Rica and reach the United States.

The thousands of Cubans left the island legally, via Ecuador, which at the time did not require a visa to enter. Once there, they got in touch with a people traffickers which charged them large sums of money under the promise of leading them to the United States.

Their journey ran into trouble when the trafficking rings were busted in Costa Rica and Nicaragua closed its border on the Cubans.

Nicaragua militarized its border with Costa Rica on November 15 and forcibly returned some 750 Cubans who tried to continue that day en route to the United States.
If the Cubans reach the US they can enjoy the special benefits of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, which provides Cuban immigrants arriving in the United States, whether legally or illegally, with government assistance and a fast track to permanent residency.

The issue of migration crisis surfaced Monday during a meeting on migration issues carried out between Cuban and US representatives.

Cuba continues to demand the United States rescind the law has led many Cubans to leave their country in recent weeks fearing the opportunity will disappear with the ongoing normalization of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana.

To date the Obama administration says it has no plans to change US immigration policy for Cubans, meaning the Cuban Adjustment Act.