Costa Rica’s top diplomat says the country has asked authorities in Belize to accept nearly 3,000 Cuban migrants, stuck at the Costa Rican border with Nicaragua for weeks.
The plan envisions flying the Cubans to Belize, on Mexico’s southeastern border. From there the Cubans would be able to continue north toward their stated destination: the United States, where Cuban nationals benefit from special migrant policies enabling them to stay in the U.S.
Passed in 1966, the Cuban adjustment act enables Cubans to legally migrate to the U.S. through various migration programs which include immigrant visa issuance, refugee status admission, the diversity lottery, and the Special Cuban Migration Program (SCMP), also known as the Cuban lottery.
Nicaragua closed its border to the Cubans in mid-November after Costa Rica granted them transit visas to travel across its territory, sparking a diplomatic spat between the two Central American neighbors.
Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez said that Belize’s council of ministers will meet Tuesday to consider Costa Rica’s proposal.