Eleven Countries to Seek Solution to Cuban Migrant Crisis

Cubans waiting near the Costa Rica – Nicaragua border. Photo: prensa.com

HAVANA TIMES (dpa) —The foreign ministers of 11 Latin American countries will meet next Tuesday in El Salvador to discuss and try to resolve the issue of the nearly 2,000 Cubans stranded on the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica for five days, reported dpa news on Friday.

The official Sandinista Party site el19digital said the appointment was agreed Thursday in San Salvador by the Security Commission of the Central American Integration System (SICA), consisting of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

The foreign ministers of the seven countries will meet in San Salvador on Tuesday morning, joined by representatives of Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico, the report said.

These last four countries have been involved in the problem, as more than 2,000 Cubans left weeks ago from Ecuador on a journey overland across Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica, hoping to reach the United States.

Six hundred more Cubans are en route, currently at the Panama-Costa Rican border.

Nicaragua closed its southern border with the arrival of the Cubans on Sunday, attacking the migrants with tear gas and rubber bullets, and accused Costa Rica of creating a “humanitarian crisis” by promoting an immigration avalanche.

The Cubans, who began their trip guided by a people trafficking ring that was dismantled in Costa Rica, now hope that Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico will open their borders so they can pass through to reach US territory.

Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez said it is urgent to find an “integral” solution to the Cuban migration problem.

“These people come in an irregular situation under people trafficking mafias and risk their lives in deplorable conditions in transit of thousands of kilometers. As States we must fully address it,” he said.

Thursday in Lima, the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, said the OAS is willing to help solve the problem if the parties so request.

“The migrants feel the time is short in the sense that depending on the political rapprochement between Cuba and the United States, change could come in some of the laws that allow a Cuban who sets foot in the United States to the right of asylum,” noted Almagro.

The US ambassador in Managua, Laura Dogu said that her country will continue to welcome those who manage to enter its territory, as established by the laws in effect for 50 years to legally benefit Cubans entering the country.


19 thoughts on “Eleven Countries to Seek Solution to Cuban Migrant Crisis

  • November 23, 2015 at 9:55 pm
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    I think that you are giving Raul too much credit. The “reforms” he has approved were long in coming and done so, I believe, to avert a worsening situation. Approving the sale of DVD players and cell phones may seem like smart politics but the these basics were already in Cuba in large numbers having been smuggled in and sold on the black market. Raul simply faced the reality that he couldn’t arrest every body who had a DVD player or a cell phone. He might as well make them legal and make some money off of them.

  • November 23, 2015 at 2:17 pm
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    I think my comments over the years have made it pretty obvious that I have no love lost for either Fidel or Raul Castro. There are a lot things one can
    criticise in Cuba not least the fact that Cubasn cannot criticise
    their own government in the legal Cuban media. However, there is no
    point denying that things are changing in Cuba In many ways. Raul has
    cleared an untidy desk inherited from his brother. Fidel could be
    vengeful, Raul is more level-headed. A clear example was the case of
    Hilda Molina. She had every right to criticise Fidel Castro when he was
    opening up Cuban hospitals to fee-paying foreigners from capitalist
    countries at the expense of Cuban nationals. There should have been a
    public debate on live television in Cuba on the issue. Fidel took it
    personally and refused her an exit visa to be with her son in
    Argentina. Raul permitted it and after a few weeks in the news Hilda
    Molina (sadly!) has been forgotten. Raul simply made a cost benefit
    analysis and acted upon it accordingly. However, that makes Raul the
    more dangerous politician for the future of Cuba as he may just
    succeed in turning Cuba into a mini-Russia, authoritarian and
    capitalist.

    Circles is correct.
    Cubans are no prevented from leaving the country subject to being
    able to obtaining a flight ticket of course. That does not mean that Cuban
    tourists will be visiting San Francisco or London in large numbers
    anytime soon as income differences remain. So, I am saying while I am concerned at the Cuban nomenclature’s attempts to survive into the future it would be ridiculous to say that Cuba is a Caribbean North Korea. However, it remains a fact that refugees the world over including from Haiti do not consider Cuba a destination of choice.

    Now, to the actual story. The behaviour of the Nicaraguan security forces and theirpolitical masters is an offence to humanity. It reminds me of what we
    saw at the Hungarian border. I do not care how often and how loud
    someone claims to be a socialist. If they act against humanity they
    are simply beyond the pale. In 2015 centre-right Germany has shown
    more solidarity than pseudo-left Nicaragua (I am not talking about
    individuals)..

  • November 23, 2015 at 10:39 am
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    Your comment reflects your ignorance of facts on the ground in Cuba. First of all, it is no small task to successfully navigate nearly 100 miles of shark-infested high seas in little more than innertubes lashed together for flotation. The tens of thousands of Cubans who have lost their lives in their attempts to do so deserve more respect than your comment gives. For THEM, conditions were brutal enough to make the decision to leave their entire lives behind them for the chance at freedom. I do agree with you that the WF/DF immigration policy has been a net positive for the Castro regime. The “pressure valve” that this program has been for the dictatorship has contributed to their longevity in power.

  • November 22, 2015 at 11:12 pm
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    QED

  • November 22, 2015 at 12:57 pm
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    Thank you but that is not what John said. He said misinformed can not be “informed”. Not to split hairs but I can understand the phenomenon of the misinformed rejecting corrected information when they are presented with the facts. John claims that you can’t even inform them. On this point I do not agree.

  • November 22, 2015 at 4:13 am
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    John’s arguments are excellent and he is able to back them up with references to facts. It’s obvious that people usually won’t admit to being unwilling to change their opinions when confronted with facts that contradict them. However, that does not mean that the phenomenon cannot be studied:

    “In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University
    of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political
    partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed
    their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their
    beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an
    underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even
    stronger.”
    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/pants-on-fire-analysis-shows-60-of-fox-news-facts-are-really-lies/205563/

  • November 21, 2015 at 4:57 pm
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    John, Circles doesn’t need an “Amen” choir. Please provide the link to even one of those “recent studies”. It’s curious as to how you can study a person who by your label does not wish to be informed. I have NEVER met anyone like that. At least who would admit to it.

  • November 21, 2015 at 4:51 pm
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    Mexico did and Cuba’s are better educated and less corrupt.

  • November 21, 2015 at 3:25 pm
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    Good post Circles,
    You cannot inform those who have no wish to be informed of uncomfortable facts which put the lie to their long-held and erroneous beliefs .
    It’s a prevailing trait among the disinformed and several recent studies have shown this to be so.

  • November 21, 2015 at 3:22 pm
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    An excellent question for the know-nothings to ignore Ken.
    Poverty induced by U.S. foreign policy in the region in the case of the Guatemalans, Salvadorans , Hondurans and Mexicans and especially Cuba ( 54 year embargo) is what almost always drives the migrations to the (wealthier) United States.
    As long as neo-liberal capitalism is enforced by the Empire on developing countries to its south, in which neo-liberal capitalism CANNOT work due to lack of industrial infrastructure, waves of impoverished migrants is what we must always expect.

  • November 21, 2015 at 3:16 pm
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    The “wet foot…” clause of the CAA was set in place by the GOUSA to create the illusion that things were so brutal in the “communist hellhole ” that people were willing to risk their lives to escape.
    Of course the already dumbed-down-for-decades U.S. public believed that propaganda , but to Cubans it was often the only way to get to the rich U.S. because of the low legal numbers allowed by that same GOUSA when they applied at the USIS in Cuba for a visa.
    It is a release valve for the Cuban authorities: a way to have anti-government people leave the island and a way that the Cubans and any of the poor of the hemisphere would willingly risk to gain automatic admission to a possible better future.
    I don’t believe that the Cuban government would welcome the end of the “wet foot…” provision of the CAA.
    It is being said that the thought alone that the “wet foot…” provision will be rescinded is driving this recent increased migration.

  • November 21, 2015 at 11:51 am
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    If Cuba raised wages to the level of Mexico, had elections as open as those in Mexico, and had a press as free as that in Mexico, would Cubans stop trying to go to the US?

  • November 21, 2015 at 11:34 am
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    Curious that the site for the meeting to help resolve this situation is to be held in San Salvador, the capital of the country whose own citizens, in such great numbers, have migrated North (only to have many deported back home, which exacerbates NAFTA-induced economic problems, not to mention the problem with street gangs). Perhaps the next meeting can be held in Honduras, whose illegitimate government, imposed by a coup against the democratically-elected, left-leaning, government some years back “our” government supports. Reminds me of the Saudi prince just appointed by the U.N. to head the so-called “human rights commission!”

  • November 21, 2015 at 7:07 am
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    Griffin your statement that the Cuban government “routinely prevents most Cubans” from leaving the country is TOTALLY FALSE since the immigration reform of nearly 3 years ago, likewise having to apply to the government for legal permission. Your opening statment about the regime having “arranged to allow tens of thousands of Cubans to leave the country lately” makes you look pretty ill informed.

  • November 20, 2015 at 10:25 pm
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    That’s the point: the Castro regime has arranged to allow tens of thousands of Cubans to leave the country lately, & told their over watching agents to lay off, with the accurate expectation that many of these people would take the opportunity to get the hell away from Cuba.

    By the way, Cuba is one of the very few countries in the world were people have to apply to the government for legal permission to leave the country. We don’t have to do that in Canada, you don’t have to do that in the US or any European country. That in itself should tell you, if you are paying attention, that Cuba is not a normal country. The people are held hostage by a criminal regime.

    The Cuban government routinely prevents most Cubans wishing to leave from doing so. That they did not in this case is telling. That the people are desperate to leave is also telling.

  • November 20, 2015 at 9:20 pm
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    Griffin, that’s so cynical. Probably true though.

  • November 20, 2015 at 9:19 pm
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    Stuff like increase wages, open elections, free press, allow individuals to import directly, shall I go on?

  • November 20, 2015 at 6:59 pm
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    According to the statement issued by the Cuban government, the people involved had a legal right to leave the country. What could the government have done to prevent them from leaving the country? What should they have done?

  • November 20, 2015 at 5:32 pm
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    Operation “End the Cuban Adjustment Act” is now underway. Raul is using this migrant crisis to twist Obama’s arm and make him yield the next unearned concession to the Castro regime, to repeal the Wet Foot/Dry Foot law.

    When that’s done, it will be even more difficult for the Cuban people to leave the island and the dirt cheap labour will get even cheaper, making investments in Cuba even more attractive to US corporations looking for low cost labour close to shore.

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