“We can tell the Holy Father, Pope Francis […] we are in full readiness for dialogue and to contribute to the respect for tranquility and peace between our two peoples,” government spokeswoman and First Lady, Rosario Murillo said through state media.
Murillo said that Nicaragua welcomed the Pope’s call for dialogue, and that Nicaragua has expressed its willingness to work together with Costa Rica since the December 16th ruling by the International Court of Justice in The Hague which ruled in favor of Costa Rica over a border spat that had continued between the countries for five years.
In its ruling, the ICJ ordered Nicaragua to pay damages to Costa Rica for environmental damage it caused in the wetlands at the mouth of the San Juan River.
The court, however left it to the Central American neighbors to agree between themselves the amount of such compensation. If the countries are unable to do so within one year, the court said it would determine the sum owed in a separate proceeding.
In addition to the border dispute, tensions between the neighbors have been high after Nicaragua decided on November 15th to close its borders to Cuban migrants making their way to the United States, leaving thousands stranded in shelters in Costa Rica since.
On Friday, Nicaragua – a close ally of the Castro regime in Cuba – proposed that the United States should airlift the Cubans to US soil, where Cubans receive immediate permission to remain in that country under the US’s “wet foot, dry foot” policy, known as the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, which many in Latin America are blaming for the current crisis.