Costa Rica Convenes International Meeting to Deal with Cuban Migration

By Kausha Luna on April 7, 2016

On Wednesday, Costa Rica announced it has called for an international meeting to address the issue of Cuban migration through Central America to the United States.

In November, approximately 8,000 Cuban migrants were stranded in Costa Rica and about 1,300 in Panama, after Nicaragua closed its borders to them and refused to let the islanders pass. Subsequently, the Cubans were flown over Nicaragua, ending up in Mexico. From there, the islanders crossed into the United States to take advantage of the Cuban Adjustment Act and the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which grants all Cubans, even those lacking visas, legal status and full access to welfare programs.

The meeting will convene Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Directors of Migration from several countries in the region to monitor the flow of Cuban migrants, as well as migrants from outside the continent. (Many African and other illegal aliens also pass through on their way north.) Costa Rica hopes representatives from the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Cuba, and International Organization for Migration, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will participate.

Costa Rica's Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez said the issue must be addressed in a structural way and a permanent solution should be sought. In addition, Vice Foreign Minister Alejandro Solano said the issue "requires constant observation and providing measures for the orderly migration of Cuban migrants who are in transit through the countries of our region."

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose.


Topics: Cuba