Posted 29 ноября 2021,, 11:19
Published 29 ноября 2021,, 11:19
Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
On November 14, Nicaragua held a general election and Daniel Ortega was given a new five-year term of office. Washington responded to the results of this election minutes after the results were announced. Personally, Joe Biden called them "pantomime", meaning that they were neither honest nor democratic. A few days later, the White House imposed tough sanctions against Ortega personally and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, depriving them of their entry visas to the United States.
And a few days later, the Nicaraguan government decided to cancel the visa regime with Cuba. But what does this have to do with Nicaragua's hostile relationship with America?
The most direct, writes the independent Cuban newspaper 14 y medio (Fourteen and a Half). “With this game, the Cuban regime provides Joe Biden with a serious headache, provoking an influx of migrants from the island,” newspaper editor-in-chief Yoani Sanchez says to Novye Izvestia. July 11".
Despite the many years of friendly relations between Cuba and Nicaragua, Managua maintained a visa regime for Cubans until last week. True, in 2019 it weakened it by placing Cuba in the list of countries in category B, which allowed it to purchase a tourist visa for a limited time for 30 convertible pesos (read — dollars). And the rise in visas issued from an average of 2,000 before the pandemic hit in 2019 jumped to 44,829 according to the Nicaraguan government.
And how many people will be willing to leave the island now that the visa regime has been canceled? According to the most rough estimates of American experts, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of Cubans who have lost all hope of finding a normal life in the conditions of a total deficit of everything and everyone, constant rolling blackouts and a lack of elementary political freedoms. And, of course, the final destination of their route is not poor Nicaragua, but the United States.
Cuba and the United States are separated by the Florida Strait, and along it the shortest distance between the two countries is 144 kilometers. From Managua to the US-Mexican border through Honduras, Guatemala and, possibly, El Salvador - over 2 thousand kilometers. On this path, fugitives from Castro socialism face a lot of dangers — predatory smugglers, thieves and criminals of all stripes. But the Cubans are convinced that it is still better than embarking on a risky voyage on the sea. It is not known how many thousands of people have died over the decades of incessant flight, becoming victims of sharks, lost in the sea and left without food and water.
In recent days, the most vibrant place in Havana has become a shopping center in the Miramar district, where offices of two airlines - Copa of Panama and Conviasa of Venezuela - are open. The latter promised to open a direct line from Havana to Managua in December, but the dates of the first flights have not yet been announced, which caused violent protests from the assembled residents of the Cuban capital. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, Conviasa flew three flights to Cuba. Now she has already opened flights with the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Russia, Panama. Havana will probably be added to these routes very soon, given the extremely high demand for tickets here. Added to this is the desire to annoy the Yankee imperialists, who have imposed sanctions against this company.
Thus, the number of those wishing to leave Cuba depends solely on the capabilities of the air carriers.
Prominent US politicians have already sounded the alarm, foreseeing what the uncontrolled migration from Cuba could lead to. “I have already expressed my concern that the Cuban regime will try to use a mass exodus to prevent a repeat of the historic July 11 protests”, - said Florida Senator Marco Rubio. - Ortega Murillo deliberately canceled visas for Cubans to further exacerbate the situation on our southern border. The Biden administration must act urgently against this extremely hostile act".
Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar fully agrees with this: “Ortega tells Cuba: “Let's create chaos on their border and I'll provide you with a corridor to do this”, - she says.
But the Biden administration's room for action is limited. It can intensify the deportation of illegal immigrants, as has been done with thousands of Haitians who have tried to cross the Rio Grande border river in Texas. The US Coast Guard returns Cubans caught on the high seas to the island. But it will be much more difficult to take these measures in relation to thousands of land fugitives. Moreover, the United States should host those who flee because of persecution in their countries for political reasons.