Some 1,100 Cuban migrants were denied entry into Nicaragua when they tried to cross Costa Rica’s northern border Sunday.
Nicaragua called out its army to block the entries. Some reports say that tear gas was used.
The Cubans are some of those who turned up at Costa Rica’s southern border at Paso Canoas Thursday and sought entry. At first Costa Rican officials balked, but the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto said that many had been granted seven-day humanitarian visas.
Now these people are more or less trapped in Costa Rica.
The migrants are trying to make their way north to the United States where they would enter as illegal aliens.
Costa Rican officials and the Cruz Roja are trying to handle the crowds of Cubans.
Manuel González Sanz, the foreign minister, said that closing the border would put the migrants in the hands of human trafficking rings.
Technically, as human trafficking victims, the Cubans would be eligible for temporary residency and support here.
Earlier in the week, Nicaragua let some Cubans enter.
The Cruz Roja Costarricense said it was working at both borders to ease the plight of the migrants. Volunteers and Cruz Roja staffers are providing medical care short of hospitalization and also distributing food and water. Some migrants are suffering from high blood pressure, nerves, dehydration and injuries.