Costa Rican President Promises He Will Not Deport Cubans / 14ymedio

Luis Guillermo Solis, president of Costa Rica, in his message Wednesday. (Youtube / screenshot)
Luis Guillermo Solis, president of Costa Rica, in his message Wednesday. (Youtube / screenshot)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 10December 2015 – Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis sent a message of reassurance Wednesday to the nearly 6,000 Cuban migrants now stranded in his country, since Nicaragua closed its border to their journey north.

In a video of just over eight minutes the president guaranteed that no one will be returned to the island against their will. “I know that you are all concerned that the government of Costa Rica could negotiate to return you to Cuba. This is not going to happen, this I will not do,” emphasized Solis. “The life plans of any person who is a migrant in our country will not be negotiated. The only reason why a person is deported from Costa Rica is for having committed crimes, and this does not establish bad faith, it is the law,” he explained.

The president also urged Cubans who are in other countries waiting to cross the Costa Rican border not to do so until a solution is found for the nearly 6,000 migrants now sheltered in Costa Rica. He said, “If this doesn’t happen and migrants continue to gather in Costa Rican territory, we are going to have a double concern: the one we already have, in order to take good care of you, and we are going to have a problem offering equal conditions to your brothers and sisters who are on the way.”

Earlier, Solis complained about the attitude of his Central American neighbors with respect to the immigration crisis caused by the massive influx of Cubans, from Ecuador, trying to get to the United States. “Like you, I feel very disappointed that both Guatemala and Belize have refused passage through their territory to reach Mexico, and from there continue on your journey to the United States,” he said at the beginning of his message. And later, “”It was unfortunate, indeed, that the Government of Nicaragua, in an action that I still find it incomprehensible, has also denied you passage through its territory,” an attitude that, in his opinion, “damages the spirit of integration and Central American fraternity. ”

After praising the “exemplary” behavior of Cubans since the crisis began, the president asked them “to continue in the same way… No government in Latin America is going to pay more attention because you block a street or leave the shelters where you are,” he said.

Solis ended his message by reiterating, “with all my heart that we are not going to leave you on your own.” And he confided, “Know that this comes from the heart of a man whose family was also immigrants, because my greatgrandmother and my grandmother came from Jamaica in an exodus very like yours. My motivation is not only political, but has to be so because that is my job. It is also humanity.

The Costa Rican President will begin an official visit to Cuba on 13 December, where he will discuss the issue of the migrants with President Raul Castro.