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20 years

Cuban man returned to SJO airport after trip to hospital

Yorvanky Perez de Piña and wife Yorleny Marín (YouTube)

Yorvanky Perez de Piña and wife Yorleny Marín (YouTube)

May 23rd, 2014 ( Yorvanky Perez de Piña, a Cuban man who has been living in the Juan Santamaria International Airport since his arrival on April 24th, is back to the airport after a trip to the hospital for dehydration Wednesday night.


Perez was treated for “mild dehydration” according to the doctor who treated him at San Rafael Hospital in Alajuela.  Perez has allegedly been on hunger strike since about May 7th.


Perez had previously been living in Costa Rica since early 2012.  He had traveled to Cuba and spent six months caring for his ill mother, according to Perez, but was refused re-entry to Costa Rica after returning from the trip on April 24th.


Perez had a provisional refugee ID card and a work permit but both were expired, his lawyer said, adding that Perez had never requested permanent residence despite the fact that he has been married to a Costa Rican woman since April 2012.


Last month, the couple’s lawyer filed a writ of habeas corpus aimed at getting his client released, after which the constitutional court ordered authorities to provide Perez with food and facilities for his personal hygiene and to not deport him while the matter is being resolved.


Immigration authorities refused Perez’s asylum request for the third time on May 13th, and his lawyer said this week that all legal avenues for his client’s asylum in Costa Rica have been exhausted, forcing them to consider seeking asylum in a third-party country.


Perez has claimed that his life would be in danger if returned to his native Cuba.


Perez remains living in the airport as of press time.  Tomorrow will mark one month since his arrival.


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  • disgusted

    Timothy, Thanks for the update. Still be interest to me what passport did he travel under going and coming. I am sure the attorney said all avenues exhausted and this guys money as well.He spent 6 months in Cuba however , now fears for his life. Something Does not add up here..



    Thanks for the update. It looks like New Prez of Costa Rica is not going to help this guy. I wonder if there is a law if married to a Costa Rica can the Goverment of Costa Rica keep you separated from your spouse? Being Married to a Costa Rican is not enough to keep this guy in Country? This Situation is very strange. I think Cuban goverment and Costa Rican goverment are talking and this guy has some problem that we don´t know about him. Does his wife have anything she could do like a court order to keep in country.

    • Timothy Williams

      You’re welcome. To try to answer some of your questions: being married to a Costa Rican would likely be enough to keep him in Costa Rica if he were technically “in” Costa Rica right now, which he is not.

      His wife and attorney have done just about everything possible up to this point. While his attorney says they have ‘exhausted all legal means,’ his wife has stated that she is continuing to attempt to work with immigration authorities to renew his status.

      I agree it seems odd that he elected to return to Cuba for an extended period, and upon his return to Costa Rica suddenly is afraid to return to the country he had just visited. We have no information as to the reason for this at this point.

      • HONEST MAN

        Thank you Inside Costa Rica is great.

    • expatin paradise

      This man and his wife don’t have to stay apart. They merely can’t live together in Costa Rica. Even if this was a marriage out of love, there are requirements for making his residency legal, and this guy didn’t bother to comply with them. For all but a very few political figures, refugee status is a scam. This guy used it once, and it was arrogant for him to think that he cound pull it off twice. The fact that his attorney believes that a third country is an option suggests that this man has a valid (Cuban) passport. If the Cuban government wanted to prosecute him, that would not be the case. He should be given a time limit for leaving on his own, and returned to Havana if he hasn’t left by the expiration of that deadline. My guess is that he’ll go to Nicaragua (an ally of Cuba, but he really isn’t a refugee) and be back in Costa Rica in no time.

  • Luis Diego Campos

    This Cuban gentleman applied for a political refugee status visa, when back to Cuba to see his mom and came back with an expired political asylum visa.
    Huhuhu come on! he lied to CR authorities in order to be legal in CR and that is consider a crime that automatically makes him a winner to a one way trip back to Fidels land. He can see his sweetheart but she most travel to Cuba. CR is becoming tougher on refugges or political visas. At least most of legal foreigners that has been caught for some kind of a crime, has gained their status under the refugge,political and marriage format.

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