TODAY NICARAGUA (La Prensa) The free visa granted to Cubans to enter Nicaragua has encouraged thousands of Cubans to reinforce the route through Nicaragua to reach the United States.
The decision of the Daniel Ortega regime has meant that they no longer opt for land routes from South America and that Cubans travel directly by plane to Nicaragua.
– pay the bills –
According to official statistics which count the number of foreigners by country who enter Panamanian territory irregularly through the Darien, a 266 kilometer jungle corridor between Colombia and Panama, a total of 17,603 Cubans have crossed what is the most dangerous passage for irregular migration from South America to the United States between January and November 2021.
While between January and March the number of Cubans crossing the Darien was around 200 per month, in the following months thousands followed this route, October being the month with the highest number with 3,108 Cubans crossing. to Panama.
November with less irregular crosses
However, figures also show that in November there was a drop in such irregular crossings, with only 1,639 Cubans crossing the Darien this month, 46% less than in October.
According to international media 14ymedio, one of the reasons for this decline is that Cubans are choosing to fly directly to Managua, regardless of the cost.
– pay the bills –
Information gathered by this media indicates that Cubans residing in Ecuador sell their goods to fly directly to Nicaragua without having to cross the Darien.
âAlthough the migratory flow does not stop for the moment, Cubans are considering new routes that would not include the jungle corridor. Roger, a Cuban who has lived in Ecuador for seven years, plans to fly between Quito and Managua in mid-January. With the introduction of a free visa for the citizens of the island, Nicaragua has become the new stepping stone on the road to the United States, âreported 14ymedio.
The testimony of a Cuban consulted by 14ymedio indicates that the plane ticket to Managua from Ecuador is valued at 480 US dollars. “The young man gradually sold all his goods in Ecuador in order to save money and start the journey with the aim of seeking asylum in the United States,” the article says. The islander also pointed out that there are hundreds of Cubans who are in the same situation.
Nicaragua doesn’t care about the cost
The goal is one, reach Nicaragua then pass through Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and finally reach the United States, and for many Cubans the cost does not matter because the media in that country reports that many paid up to $ 3,300 for a plane ticket. in Managua.
âAbout 200 Cuban passengers were waiting for the Air Century flight that would take them from Santiago de Cuba to Managua with a stopover in the Dominican Republic. This, after paying the outrageous sum of US $ 3,300 for his tickets, âCuban Directory reported. The plane had mechanical defects according to the report.
Likewise, this was confirmed by the Nicaraguans who entered the country with a stopover in Panama. A passenger consulted by La Prensa reported that on a flight from Panama, almost all of the passengers who came to Nicaragua were from Havana.
– pay the bills –
The free visa authorized by Ortega
Through the Ministry of the Interior, the Ortega regime introduced on November 22 a “free visa” for all Cuban citizens who wish to enter Nicaragua, in order to “promote trade, tourism and relations. humanitarian family â.
In a statement, the state entity stressed that the decision is made due to the high demand for visa applications received by Cuban citizens, with relatives in Nicaragua, at the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners. However, they did not specify the number of requests.
Since January 2019, the regime of Daniel Ortega had relaxed the conditions of travel to Nicaragua for Cuban citizens, including them in “migratory category B”, which allowed them to obtain a tourist visa for a 30-day stay in Managua. .
Since then, Nicaragua has become a shopping destination for thousands of Cubans who take advantage of the travel facilities to source rare goods from the island to Managua.
According to official statistics, in 2019, a total of 44,829 Cubans visited Nicaragua, a figure that has skyrocketed when you take into account that in the previous two years, the number of Cubans who disembarked in Managua did not exceed 2,000.