Stranded Cuban migrants to be allowed passage to the US

Nicaraguan police block Cuban Migrants from entering the country on November 5, 2015. (Photo courtesy USA Today)

Thousands of Cuban migrants who have been stranded in Costa Rica for over a month, will be allowed to continue their journey to the United States.

An estimated 7,000 Cubans have been living on the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua since November 14, when the Nicaraguan government denied them access.

However Central American nations have now reached an agreement, which will see the migrants being airlifted to El Salvador and placed on buses that will take them to the US.

American legislation gives Cuban migrants preferential treatment.

“We have agreed to make the first humanitarian transfer in January,” said foreign ministers from the Central American Integration System regional group and Mexico, who met in Guatemala City to try to find a solution to the crisis.

Cuba did not attend the meeting, but said it expected “a quick and adequate solution” from the nations involved.

“I strongly believe that the politicization of US migration policy toward Cuba must change,” said Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

If they arrive at the US border by land, they are allowed to enter the country and apply for residency, but those intercepted at sea are sent back to Cuba, under the special immigration policy known as “wet foot, dry foot”.

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.

The number of Cubans trying to make their way to the US through Latin America by land has risen sharply since December 2014, when the two countries announced they had agreed to begin restoring relations.

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