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Dec 10, 2015

Costa Rican President Disappointed by Belize’s Refusal to Allow Cuban Transit

Luis Guillermo Solis

On Tuesday Cabinet made the decision to hold off on approving the transit of Cubans stuck in Costa Rica through Belize. An official release claimed that G.O.B. is willing to join a regional discussion to find a resolution to the matter, but pending that is not inclined to make a unilateral decision to allow the transit. Absent a clearly stated intent by Mexico to accept the Cubans once they arrive in Belize, it’s a rational decision, but the issue of the stranded Cubans who want to reach the US has become perhaps more emotional than rational. On getting word that Belize was sitting out for now, Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis expressed his disappointment at the action, or more accurately inaction of Belize and Nicaragua, claiming that the refusal to allow the transit is a sad thing in a region which is supposed to work closely in unity.

 

Luis Guillermo Solis, President, Costa Rican (Translated)

“Like yourselves, I am very disappointed that Belize and Guatemala have denied you access to their territory so that you all can enter Mexico, on your way to the United States. For many weeks now, since you’ve been here, I have been very busy, along with my government in obtaining facilities so that you can live here among us with dignity and affection, awaiting your departure to that country you wish to go. It has been difficult for this government as well as for the communities of Costa Rica to provide these conditions, and I believe a lot has been accomplished in protecting you from the weather, the cold, he nights, the insecurity. We have also granted you visas so that you can be identified as men and women of well-being, who are in transit, passing through this country. I would like to ratify that affection and that commitment. Some of you are concerned that the government of Costa Rica will negotiate a forceful return to Cuba. That will not happen. I will not do that. Only those who want to leave voluntarily will do so. But we will not negotiate with anyone’s life, or anyone who is a migrant in our country. The only reason a person is deported from Costa Rica is if that person has committed crimes. That is established by the law and not bad faith. Rest assured that all our efforts, from the first day, have been aimed so that you can continue with your journey to the United States. There is no other objective. It has been unfortunate that the government of Nicaragua has also denied you all passage through its territory, something that I cannot understand. This attitude harms the spirit of integration and fraternity of Central America. For me, it is an expression of sadness towards a Central America I thought was more unified.  But in any case, I want to tell you that that we will continue working intensely towards reaching a solution to your present situation.”

 

For the Cubans stranded in Costa Rica, the decision by Belize was not well received. They became agitated according to media reports since it seems that they will be remaining in Costa Rica for a longer period. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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