HAVANA TIMES — Pope Francis today urged the governments of Central America to seek a solution to the situation of the thousands of Cuban migrants stranded in the region, reported dpa news.
“I call on the countries of the region to undertake all possible efforts to seek a quick solution to this humanitarian tragedy,” said the Pope at the end of the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square.
The Nicaraguan government sent in its army to prevent more than 8,000 Cubans, stranded in Costa Rica for several weeks, from continuing their journey to the United States. Guatemala and Belize are also unwilling to let the Cubans pass through their territory.
“My thoughts at this moment are with the numerous Cuban immigrants who are in a difficult situation in Central America,” said the head of the Catholic Church before thousands of pilgrims in Rome. “Many of them are victims of people trafficking,” said Francisco.
The number of Cubans trying to reach the United States by crossing Central America increased in recent weeks because many of them are afraid that because of the thaw in relations between Cuba and the United States soon it may not be as easy get a residence permit in the US.
When arriving at a US border post, Cubans can seek asylum under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 and they receive preferential treatment and a fast track to permanent residency. No other country’s citizens have it so easy to immigrate to the USA.