After US President Barack Obama’s landmark visit to Cuba in March, “the people have lost their fear” of leaving, Rolando said.
“The bad thing is they have to put their lives in the hands of ‘coyotes’,” or people smugglers.
The conditions many are leaving behind are dire: a monthly state salary of just $20, and few prospects to carve out better lives under a regime that has accepted detente with the US but little social change.
SAN JOSE/PANAMA CITY, April 14 (Xinhua) — The violent entry into Costa Rica Wednesday by at least 1,000 U.S.-bound Cuban migrants stranded in Panama has sparked condemnation from regional countries on the United States’ Cuba policy.
Costa Rican Security Minister Gustavo Mata said the migrants stormed across the border and vandalized a vehicle before police brought the crowd under control. Panama shares a land border with Costa Rica.
Some of the migrants later crossed back into Panama, while others fled and would face deportation if found.
According to the Costa Rican official, some 150 police officers were deployed along the border and more reinforcements would be called in to control the area.
The migrants expect Costa Rican authorities to allow them to continue their north-bound journey to the United States, Panama’s TV Noticias (TVN) news network reported.
May 9, 2016
The government of Panama said Monday that it will organize daily flights to Mexico in order to transfer 3,800 Cuban migrants stranded in its territory.
Mexico and Panama elaborated on a plan last week to evacuate the Cuban migrants who have been stranded in Central America for several weeks, Panamanian officials told La Prensa newspaper.
The first flight would depart Monday from Panama City to Ciudad Juarez, a city in northern Mexico along the U.S. border.
“The Cuban migrants must pay for their air tickets,” said Jose Donderis, director general of Panama’s National Civil Protection System the media outlet.
La Prensa added that Panamanian authorities would facilitate the paperwork and health certificates to prepare the entrance of the Cubans in Mexico and then to the U.S.
The Cuban migrants have been blocked in Panama since December as Costa Rica decided to close its land borders to Cuban migrants.
Panama is currently overseeing daily flights to northern Mexico carrying nearly 4,000 Cubans who had become stranded on its territory over the past four months ©Rodrigo Arangua (AFP)