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

  • 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.

  • 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)..

  • 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.

  • QED

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