Costa Rica is alone among Central American nations in managing the flood of Cuban immigrants.
The country of Belize said Tuesday that the Cuban migration problem is one for regional governments. It rejected a proposal by Costa Rica that the migrants be allowed to travel through that country on the way to the United States, according to Costa Rican officials.
Costa Rica was hoping that Belize would agree to serve as a land bridge so the migrants could avoid Nicaragua, which has forbidden them entry.
Transporting the migrants who now number at least 5,000 to Belize would be easier and cheaper than taking them to México even if México agreed to accept them. Guatemala already has decided not to become involved.
Costa Rica said it plans to raise the issue at a meeting of the Sistema de Integración Centroamericana Dec. 18.
President Luis Guillermo Solís plans a state visit to Cuba next week, and now Casa Presidencial says the Cuban situation is a priority.
The government also issued a statement to Cubans who remain on their home island and urged them not to follow the same route that would put them in Costa Rica because the country cannot continue to accommodate them.
Some migrants have been here since the middle of November.
The Cubans are headed for the United States where they will benefit from special immigration rules that will provide them with residency.