US-bound Cubans to leave Costa Rica on Tuesday

The first batch of Cuban migrants trying to enter the United States will be set to depart Costa Rica next week. According to Costa Rica’s foreign minister Manuel Gonzalez, 180 Cubans will head to El Salvador next Tuesday evening, and from there they will have ground transportation to the Guatemala-Mexico border. Gonzalez said other flights from Costa Rica will depend on the success of the one on Tuesday. An estimated 7,000 Cubans have been living at the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border since November 14, when the Nicaraguan government denied them access. Last month, Central American nations reached an agreement to transport the migrants all the way to the US, and American legislation gives Cuban migrants preferential treatment. If the Cubans arrive in the US by land, they are allowed to apply for US residency, but those intercepted at sea are sent back to Cuba, under the special “wet foot, dry foot” immigration policy. The Cubans are trying to take advantage of this policy, fearing that the thaw in relations between Washington and Havana may bring to an end the preferential treatment given to them.
(Image source: The Tico Times)

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