Thursday, July 11, 2024

Nicaraguan Media: Biden Measures Having NO EFFECT On US-Bound Migrant Flow; Managua Airport Reports Record Profits From Migrant Traffic To The US, Driven by Ortega

Qian Weizhong/VCG via Getty Images
Nicaraguan Media: Biden Measures Having No Effect on U.S.-Bound Migrant Flow:
The policies enacted by President Joe Biden to respond to Nicaragua’s communist regime using its main airport as a hub for U.S.-bound migrants have had little to no effect in curbing migration, the Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa reported on Thursday.
Nicaragua’s communist dictator Daniel Ortega has been accused of “weaponizing” Managua’s international airport against the United States by allowing migrants to arrive to the airport and freely pass through the country en route to the United States.
Thousands of migrants from Latin America and other continents seeking to cross the U.S. southern border have opted to first land in Managua because the Sandinista government has very limited visa requirements. Nicaragua’s location in Central America also allows migrants to avoid having to cross through the deadly Darién Gap jungle trail located between Colombia and Panama.
The Ortega regime has been able to profit from allowing migrants to transit through its airport by reportedly charging them a fee of upwards $200 per person to use the facilities. Experts have suggested that Ortega sees migrants as a “golden opportunity” bargaining tool to negotiate potential sanctions relief with the United States.
In recent months, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has attempted to “crack down” on the use of charter flights that land in Nicaragua, a growing trend among migrants seeking to reach the United States, and imposed sanctions on Nicaraguan-based charter flight airlines and its executives. The Biden administration issued a warning to relevant airlines suggesting they undergo vetting processes and take measures to “avoid complicity.”
Experts estimate that roughly 1,150 charter flights landed in Managua between May 2024 and May 2024.
The measures adopted by the Biden administration, according to La Prensa’s report, have had an “insufficient” effect in the reduction of U.S.-bound migrants using Nicaragua. The migrant flow remains “constant and almost unchanged” compared to 2023, which reportedly saw more than 300,000 migrants use the airport in their journey towards the United States, the report claimed.
According to statistics from the Central Bank of Nicaragua quoted by the newspaper, a total of 198,500 travelers landed in Managua’s airport between January and March 2024, of which only 179,600 left the country on an outbound flight, leaving 18,900 individuals who potentially left the country by land towards the United States. --->READ MORE HERE
Managua Airport Reports Record Profits From Migrant Traffic To The US, Driven by Ortega
After nearly two decades of navigating its financial crisis through loans and increasing service fees, the National and International Airports Administration Company (EAAI) found in the thousands of migrants pursuing the so-called American dream the perfect mechanism to end its financial crisis.
In 2022, for the first time in decades, the balance sheet of the EAAI, which manages the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (Managua Airport), reported profits of 150 million córdobas (about 4 million dollars).
These increased by 386 percent in 2023 when the Ortega regime decided to deepen its strategy of facilitating the arrival of migrants from all over the world to the United States border.
The financial balance for 2023 shows that EAAI ended the period with profits of 730 million córdobas (about 20 million dollars), so in the two years of using the Managua airport as a springboard to reach the United States, it generated 880 million córdobas (about 24 million dollars) for public finances.
The Daniel Ortega regime began weaving its migration strategy against the United States in 2021 when, in November of that year, it suspended the visa requirement for Cubans. The second step was taken in February 2022 when it ratified the decision made in December 2016 to include his son Laureano Ortega Murillo, his frontman José Mojica Mejía, and the chief of Police, Commissioner Francisco Díaz Madriz (who is an in-law of Ortega), on the Advisory Council of the EAAI, thereby ensuring control over decision-making --->READ MORE HERE
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