Costa Rica pro­poses a mi­grant ‘cor­ri­dor’

Ten­sions rise as Cubans are pushed back by Nicaragua

Metro Canada (Winnipeg) - - METRO NEWS - The As­so­ci­ATed Press

Cen­tral amer­iCa Costa Rica on Tues­day pro­posed the cre­ation of a “hu­man­i­tar­ian cor­ri­dor” for Cuban mi­grants tran­sit­ing Cen­tral Amer­ica en route to the United States as their num­bers swell at its north­ern border with Nicaragua.

For­eign Min­is­ter Manuel Gon­za­lez said in a ra­dio in­ter­view that there must be a co-or­di­nated so­lu­tion for the Cubans, who are cur­rently be­ing blocked by Nicaraguan sol­diers from en­ter­ing the coun­try.

“We have nearly 2,000 peo­ple at the border,” Gon­za­lez said. “We have to do some­thing with them, give them a so­lu­tion. They want to con­tinue. Even though a gov­ern­ment sends the army af­ter a peace­ful mi­grant pop­u­la­tion, they are go­ing to find a way to go.”

Nicaraguan troops force­fully pushed the Cubans back into Costa Rica on Sun­day.

Dagob­erto Fer­nan­dez, a Cuban me­chanic trav­el­ling with his preg­nant wife, said they be­gan their jour­ney from Ecuador and had no prob­lems un­til now.

“Ev­ery­one that we have en­coun­tered since leav­ing Ecuador is be­hav­ing well. The prob­lem be­gan upon ar­riv­ing at the border with Nicaragua,” Fer­nan­dez said.

“We don’t want to stay. We don’t want prob­lems,” he said. “We’re a group of hu­man beings try­ing to achieve their dream: ar­rive in the United States.”

Costa Rica an­nounced Fri­day that it was is­su­ing spe­cial sev­en­day tran­sit visas for Cuban mi­grants. The pro­posed hu­man­i­tar­ian cor­ri­dor would seek to pro­tect their rights as they travel north.

EstE­ban FElix/thE as­so­ci­atEd prEss

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