Costa Rican president to talk migrant crisis in Havana visit

Cuban migrants crisis is on agenda of Costa Rican President Solis' Havana visit

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis (R) delivers a press conference upon his arrival to Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, December 13, 2015

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis will talk to his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro on the flow of thousands of Cuban migrants in his official visit which is the first by a Costa Rican president in 72 years.

"That will be one of the topics on the agenda," Solis replied a journalist’s question on Cuban migrants, as he landed at the airport in Cuba’s capital Havana.

"We cannot maintain this task indefinitely," Solis has said before leaving Costa Rica, referring to supporting the Cubans, most of them living in shelters.

Cubans migrants rest at a shelter in La Cruz, Costa Rica November 27, 2015


There are currently nearly 5,000 Cubans in Costa Rica who aim to reach the United States to seek residency and the right to work.

The US has long provided Cuban migrants residence with relative ease.

Number of Cuban migrants has been increasing recently as Cubans fear that US policy might change soon as the relations between the two countries softened with the reestablishment diplomatic relations in summer after more than a decade of hostility.

Solis explained the purpose of his visit, which was planned before the crisis, as “to promote commerce between the two countries.”

The flow of Cuban migrants caused a regional headache, with Nicaragua and Ecuador, -both allies of Cuba unlike Costa Rica- stopped accepting Cubans without a visa as they used to do before the recent crisis.

Costa Rica, on the other hand, provides temporary visas to the migrants.

There are around an additional 1300 Cuban migrants in Panama, attempting to pass to Costa Rica.

Solis has promised not to deport Cubans and find a solution for them to pass to the US.



TRTWorld and agencies