Give Cuban Immigrants a Chance at a Better Life

Nicaraguan Military blocking Cubans at the Costa Rica- Nicaragua border of Peñas Blancas by Álvaro Sánchez.

Target: Nicaraguan Ministry of External Relations (International Relations)

Goal: Allow Cuban immigrants to pass through Nicaragua and reach the United States.

Some 3,000 Cuban immigrants have been unable to migrate past Costa Rica to the United States because Nicaragua has closed its borders with the use of its military. Demand that Nicaragua open its borders to allow Cubans to safely reach safety in the United States. According to the Red Cross, 200-300 more Cuban immigrants reach Costa Rica every day. These people, mostly families, are escaping Cuba due to high rates of unemployment and unfair pay. Cubans fear it will soon become much harder to enter the US because of thawing political relations. Cuban immigration into the US has increased 78% from last year.

November 15th, Nicaragua closed its borders to busloads Cubans that had attained transit visas in Costa Rica. 700 immigrants were then tear gassed when they attempted to cross the Peñas Blancas border, also injuring children. Nicaragua’s reaction to Cuba’s immigrants parallels recent US governors’ ridiculous reactions to the Syrian Refugee crisis; without any constitutional right to do so, 28 Governors said they would not accept Syrian refugees into their respective states. Closing borders to innocent people that are fleeing inequalities is unjust and inhumane politics. Demand that Nicaragua open its borders to Cuban immigrants seeking a chance at a better life.

This demand is also supported by member states of the Central American Integration System (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Panama) that have, so far, been unable to convince Nicaragua, another of the member states, to open its borders.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Nicaraguan Ministry of External Relations,

Thousands of peaceful people, already escaping inequality in their country of origin, are trying to pass through Nicaragua to reach a better life. These families are not attempting to settle in Latin American countries but, because they cannot cross borders, they are being forced to stay within the Costa Rican border, or detained in other countries like Honduras.

Opening the borders does not require loosening immigration relations in the long term but can create a safe way for these people to reach their destination. There are options; Costa Rican foreign minister, Manuel Gonzalez, proposed a humanitarian corridor to prevent these innocent migrants from falling victim to smugglers. We are not talking about herds of animals that can be corralled and manipulated by political powers– these are men, women, and children that are trying to cross eight borders to escape injustice. The pope, another important Latin American figure, argues in a recent speech in the United States the same point; immigrants are people and not to be feared. SICA (the Central American Integration System) also demands that humanitarian action be taken as soon as possible by the Nicaraguan government.

This trending and zealous fear of immigrants or refugees, where governments consider them to be criminals, has no basis other than fear. It is right to help our fellow citizens of the world at any cost. It is wrong to turn our backs on one another. We should exercise solidarity and support to families in need – we can take action towards a united Americas today.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

 

PETICIÓN ESPAÑOL

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores,

Miles de personas pacíficas, evadiendo la desigualdad en su país de origen, están tratando de pasar a través de Nicaragua y comenzar una vida mejor en otro país. Estas familias no están tratando de establecerse en países de América Latina, pero, porque no les permiten cruzar las fronteras, se ven obligados a permanecer en Costa Rica, o se encuentran detenidas en otros países como Honduras.

La apertura de las fronteras no requiere aflojar las relaciones de inmigración en el largo plazo, pero permitiría que estas personas lleguen finalmente a su destino de un modo seguro. Hay opciones; el Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Costa Rica, Manuel González, propuso un corredor humanitario para evitar que estos inmigrantes inocentes sean víctimas de los traficantes. No estamos hablando de manadas de animales que pueden ser acorralados y manipulados por poderes políticos, éstos son hombres, mujeres y niños que están tratando de cruzar ocho fronteras para escapar de la injusticia exístanse en su país de origen. El Papa Francisco, pidió al mundo en un discurso dado recientemente en los Estados Unidos que recordemos que inmigrantes son personas antes que todo y que no se les debe temer. SICA (Sistema de Integración Centroamericana) también exige que el gobierno Nicaragüense tome una  decisión y acción humanitaria tan pronto como sea posible.

Esta tendencia de temor a inmigrantes o refugiados, donde los gobiernos consideran que son criminales, no tiene ninguna base sólida. Es justo el ayudar a nuestros conciudadanos del mundo a cualquier precio. Es un error dar la espalda a los otros. Debemos ejercer la solidaridad y el apoyo a las familias necesitadas – podemos tomar medidas hacia una América unida hoy….

Sinceramente,

[Su Nombre Aquí]

Photo Credit: Álvaro Sánchez

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