14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 22 February 2022 — Hundreds of people gathered this Monday outside the Costa Rican Embassy in Miramar, Havana, demanding a “response” to their request for a transit permit through San José to Managua. The police broke up the protest and the area is currently under strict surveillance.
Those gathered in the vicinity of the consulate, located on Fifth Avenue, between 66th and 68th, in Miramar, demanded that the permits be granted expeditiously or that they be allowed to fly without one. Some spent the night there since the early hours, sitting on cardboard on the sidewalk and in other nearby areas.
The police operation around the diplomatic headquarters was reinforced throughout the morning with uniformed officers and police cars. This newspaper was able to verify, in the afternoon, the presence of a large number of police officers, buses to transport the protesters and a lot of surveillance to avoid anyone taking photos or videos in the surroundings.
The command post with police forces and special troops of Black Berets is located in the National Aquarium, a few meters from the Costa Rican consulate. A public transport driver confirmed to 14ymedio that the transfer of the protesters in buses congested traffic on Third Street.
“What we want is that they respect the people who purchased tickets before the new law was applied,” one of those protesting this morning lamented through a video recording. On the perimeter fence of the consulate, a poster explained how to request the new permit through a letter addressed to the consul.
Last Thursday, the Costa Rican Migration Directorate announced that starting this Monday they would require a transit visa from Cuban travelers who made a stopover at Costa Rican airports en route to a third country.
The command post with police forces and special troops of Black Berets is located in the National Aquarium, a few meters from the Costa Rican consulate. (14ymedio)
The agency explained that the objective of this measure is “to ensure that the different airlines bound for Europe and the United States can transport these foreigners safely.” The resolution not only affects Cubans, but also Nicaraguans and Venezuelans.
“Changes in migration policy worldwide have caused differences in the dynamics of mobility of these nationalities, through the different air, land and sea borders” and, therefore, “other countries have adopted the visa application,” argued the Costa Rican immigration authorities.
On Monday, Costa Rican media featured the case of a Cuban couple stranded for 15 days in the transit area of the San José airport. They remain there, in “inhuman conditions,” Yulmis Acosta, sister of the affected woman, told TeleDiario, waiting to be granted refuge.
According to this relative, the responsibility for the migrants is transferred between Migration and the airline. “It is not known who is taking care of them,” declares Acosta, who details that they are guarded by six police officers who insist that they are private, and do not work for the company or to the State.
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.