Since last November, the Nicaraguan government has granted Cubans the possibility of traveling to its territory, without the need for a visa (visa-free), these nationals are desperately looking for flights to Nicaragua from Cuba, some for the possibility of shopping cheap and resell on the island and others as a means of migrating to the United States. For many it is the starting point of a long road to the southern border of the northern country, but the road becomes more difficult every day.
Although there are no official figures that collect the exact number of these migratory flows, several organizations point out that the wave of Cubans using Nicaragua as a route to the United States is increasing. While on the island, many sell their properties to begin a journey to the “American Dream”.
In late January, Adam Isaacson of the Washington Office for Latin American Affairs (WOLA) warned of an increase in the number of Cubans embarking on the Central American route using Nicaragua as a starting point. He pointed out that Cubans and Haitians are among the top five nationalities on the US border with Mexico.
According to this organization, on the Aztec border with the United States, the presence of Cubans has increased since the end of 2021, going from 862 in August to nearly 8,000 Cubans in December. Almost daily, the press reports the capture of migrants in countries like Guatemala or Mexico, sent back by the hundreds to the island. The official Granma newspaper itself reported that last year, with restrictions, at least a thousand Cubans were expelled.
THE CUBAN ROUTE THROUGH NICARAGUA
The Cubans’ route through Nicaragua to the United States is a 4,000 kilometer journey full of dangers along the way, full of mafias, coyotes and migratory surveillance blocks along the way. However, the Cubans do it, despite the robberies, the demands for money or even the car accidents which cost the lives of these nationals in Nicaragua.
But the road is narrowing every day and many fear that the measure will be removed soon, due to this wave of migration. In fact, this week several pieces of news came out that put an end to the plans of several Cubans seeking to leave the island by air. For example the Colombian consulate has canceled transit visas until further notice. This eliminated the possibility of using Dorado airport as a stopover on the way to Nicaragua.
Last Friday, Costa Rica announced that it was imposing a transit visa on Cuban citizens in an effort to reduce entries of these nationals en route to Nicaragua. Gradually, the possibilities of taking this route to the United States are becoming more complicated.
FLIGHTS TO NICARAGUA FROM CUBA
That wasn’t the only bad news. A few days earlier, the Panamanian company Copa Airlines had announced that it would no longer sell plane tickets from Cuba to any country in Central America, due to the company’s “high demand” and “low availability”. Aerial.
While the Venezuelan Conviasa was only rescheduling old connections lost during the health crisis. The only option left is regional Caribbean airline Aruba Airlines, on flights to Nicaragua. If you want to know the whole calendar: click here.