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Tensions high as Nicaragua closes border to more than 1,000 Cuban migrants arriving from Costa Rica

Nicaraguan Army troops have been deployed to the Costa Rican border to repel more than 1,000 Cuban migrants arriving from Costa Rica. (Photo courtesy of the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry)

Nicaraguan Army troops have been deployed to the Costa Rican border to repel more than 1,000 Cuban migrants arriving from Costa Rica. (Photo courtesy of the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry)

ICR NEWS BRIEF

Editor’s note: This is an ICR news brief.  Stay tuned to ICR for a full report on the Cuban migrant crisis in Costa Rica.

November 16th, 2015 (VOA) Nicaragua has sent more than 1,000 Cuban migrants, heading to the United States, back to Costa Rica, accusing San Jose of deliberately sparking a humanitarian crisis.

The diplomatic crisis began last week when Costa Rica said it would issue temporary transit visas to more than 1,000 Cubans it detained in recent days after crossing into the country from Panama.

Costa Rica’s immigration chief said the government initially was deporting Cubans who arrived without proper visas, but criminal gangs began using the deportation process to facilitate the illegal transportation of migrants to the United States.

Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry chided Nicaragua for using security forces to detain the migrants, citing unconfirmed reports that soldiers used tear gas.

Nicaragua said there were some altercations when migrants stormed the Penas Blancas border post on Sunday.

In recent months there has been a surge in Cubans seeking to reach the United States, by way of Mexico and Central America, following a thawing of relations between the former Cold War foes. The migrants now fear long standing asylum rights for Cuban immigrants in the United States will end.

costa rica news

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  • Ben

    Why didn’t the Costa rican goverment ask the Nicaraqua goverment is it alright to let 2000 cuban with no visa to enter there country? Good for Nicaraqua they can allow who even they want in there own country just like the wonderful US goverment. Cuban are running from free health care and free education and free housing. What a joke. Costa Rica goverment laws are weak when it comes to massive amount of people that show up. Next the Syrian your welcome.

    • Andrew

      Ben: good God man, put the crack pipe down. You have very few brain cells left. You can not afford to destroy any more!

  • Yeims

    It will be interesting to see how they handle this; my guess is that they will take the easy way out and simply allow them to stay here.

    • Derryl Hermanutz

      I don’t think they want to stay here. They seem determined to end up in the US.

    • Banana Republican

      But they don’t want to stay here. They want to go to the States. No freebies for them here.

  • MJ

    Without a military what choice does Costa Rica have??

  • duke ster

    1,000 Cubans and there was a skirmish? When they amass 1,500 Cubans it will be a war! These Cubans are dead set to make it to the land of plenty where they will immediately get money for a free apartment–food stamps, pocket money-welfare–. I was working as a maintenance man in S. Florida earning $5 per hour back in the days of the Mariel boat lift and I saw them come in and get everything free–apartments free while I was working my ass off for $5 per hour and trying to pay rent on a shithole. It burns my ass to see what they get free. But what are they saying now? That the US govt might cut off the “wet foot dry foot ” policy? That is where any Cuban who crosses by water and touches dry ground in USA gets immediate residency and everything free. So this B.S. might stop? WOW I see why the Cubans are willing to invade Nicaragua. However Nicaraguans aren’t Costa Ricans==they are bad asses who will fight the Cubans heads up. This could get interesting.

  • gc

    my understanding from bario jungle drums is the border is closed entirely, both directions. trucks backed up to stops north of Rivas.

    • gc

      i now read tourist and commercial traffic resumed

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