Updated 07:54 AM EST, Sun, Nov 29, 2020

Pope Francis Encourages Central American Government to Find a ‘Quick Solution’ to the Cuban Migrant Crisis

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Pope Francis encouraged Central American governments to formulate an urgent solution to assist thousands of United States-bound Cuban migrants stuck on the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Speaking from his window overlooking St. Peter's Square for his Sunday blessing, the pontiff told tens of thousands of people that majority of those stranded were victims of human trafficking, Reuters reported.

"I ask the countries of the region to generously resume efforts to find a quick solution to this humanitarian drama," Pope Francis remarked, as quoted in Reuters' report.

The migrant crisis is expected to be one of the central topics of the pope's trip to Mexico scheduled in February, the news outlet added. He will conduct Mass at the country's Ciudad Juarez within meters of the border with Texas.

The Cubans have been stuck in Costa Rica since Nicaragua shut down their borders in November and refused to let them pass through its territory. About 5,000 Cuban migrants are currently on the border, Reuters noted.

Central America and Mexico have been swamped with a wave of migrants from Cuba due to the process of a détente between Washington and Havana, Reuters wrote. This prospect indicated that current U.S. asylum rights that Cubans enjoy may soon be terminated.

Last week, the Nicaraguan government suggested that the U.S. government arrange an airlift to transport the migrants directly from Costa Rica to the U.S., the news outlet added. Costa Rica's government has tried to convince both Belize and Guatemala to allow passage to the Cuban migrants to get to Mexico.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Maldonado said that he would "consider" receiving "some" Cubans currently stranded in Costa Rica while attempting to reach the U.S., but said the process would only push through "gradually," teleSUR reported from local media.

Costa Rica has granted thousands of transitory visas to Cuban migrants since Nov. 14, according to teleSUR. However, the country's officials informed Cuba's government that it can no longer provide assistance to the migrants, with Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis announcing last week that the nation will not be handing out transit visas anymore.

Maldonado has told Solis to "reconsider" his decision, and pushed for a larger discussion to arrive to a diplomatic solution to the migrant crisis, teleSUR noted.

Earlier this month, Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez said that his country will continue diplomatic efforts "with the aim of helping these migrants transit on Central American soil," urging Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama to put more efforts to hamper the surge of migrants heading to Costa Rica, a separate report from Reuters stated.

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