Nicaraguan police block Cuban migrants from crossing
A group of 4,500 Cubans stranded in Costa Rica as they try to reach the USA by land suffered a new blow this week when one more Central American country refused to let them pass.
Nicaraguan police forcibly stopped them from crossing the border last month, and Guatemalan officials announced last week they would not let the Cubans fly into their country to continue their journey north. Belize this week scrapped a planned "air bridge" that would have let the Cubans fly into the country and continue their march.
"Belize got us all excited, then they let us down," Jaime Aguilera Sierra, one of the stuck Cubans, said in a phone interview after learning the news. "You can see the reaction on everyone's faces. Sadness, depression, frustration and all of its synonyms."
Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís said the Cubans can return home if they want, but he assured them they would be treated with dignity in his country and nobody would forcibly deport them.
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"That will not happen," he said in a YouTube video this week. "We will not negotiate with the lives of any person who is migrating through our country."
Cubans have long reached the USA by braving the 90-mile journey at sea, riding rickety boats and rafts across the dangerous, shark-infested waters of the Florida Straits. They have braved that trip because the Cuban Adjustment Act allows Cuban immigrants who simply touch U.S. soil to stay and become legal permanent residents.
More Cubans started taking advantage of another route in the past year after the Cuban government eased travel restrictions for its citizens. They can fly to countries such as Ecuador without a visa, so many have flown there to start the long journey to the USA by land, assured of legal entry.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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