Nicaragua Closes Borders To Cubans Refugees; Cubans Now Trapped in Costa Rica

Photo source: Reuters/Juan Carlos Ulate

Since there had been a growing rapprochement being reached between Cuba and the United States, many Cubans are now worried that the current 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act which allows the granting residency to Cuban residents who are able to reach the US will soon come to an end. With this fear, many Cubans are exerting every effort to reach US lands before the policy is repealed.

After flying to Ecuador and making their way through Colombia and Panama to Costa Rica as they seek to reach the United States by land, hundreds of Cubans are now being turned away at the Nicaraguan border.

Nicaragua has accused the Cuban migrants of trying to storm their borders and simultaneously accused Costa Rica of “hurling thousands of Cubans at Nicaragua’s southern border posts”.

More than 1,700 Cuban migrants had been issued 7-day transit visas to pass through Costa Rica after being detained for having crossed illegally into Costa Rica from Panama. After waiting for hours to be granted Nicaraguan transit visas, the Cubans claimed that they grew impatient and decided to enter the Penas Blancas border post by force.

After walking north along the Panamerican Highway, the Cubans were stopped by Nicaraguan security forces and taken back into Costa Rica by force. The migrant Cubans have said that the Nicaraguans used tear gas and rubber bullets against their group which included children and pregnant women.

In a news release published by the Nicaraguan Military, they said “For a week Costa Rican authorities have promoted the entry into national territory of illegal people at blind spots [along the border], at a pace that’s increased in recent days, promoting the forced entry of Cuban citizens”.

Now stranded in Costa Rica, hundreds of Cuban people, who fled their homeland due to the increasing rate of unemployment as well as the police corruption and abuse that is so rampant in Cuba, are desolate as they wonder how they will ever reach the United States.

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Janessa is a gamer, a bookworm, an animal lover and a self-proclaimed foodie. She is passionate about everything that she does and hopes that it will come across in her writing.