MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Pope Francis is calling for Central American countries to come together and help thousands of Cuban migrants stranded in the region.
According to BBC News, at least 3,000 Cubans are believed to be stranded at the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. All of them hoping to reach the U.S. by land.
Nicaragua is not allowing the migrants to pass through its border.
In their defense, the Pope said many of the Cubans at the border are victims of human trafficking, calling the situation a “humanitarian drama” while speaking at the Vatican’s St Peter’s Square on Sunday.
The mass migration comes as many Cuban migrants fear renewed relations between Cuba and the United States could bring an end to the Wet Foot Dry Foot Policy. This allows Cubans to apply for residency if they reach the U.S. by land.
Numbers of Cubans trying to reach the U.S. through Latin America has spiked since December 2014 – when the U.S. and Cuba announced efforts to normalize relations.
Meantime, Cuba’s communist government has accused the U.S. of promoting illegal migration with what they call ‘dated Cold War policy.’
The pope’s call for help of the stranded Cuban migrants comes as he is scheduled to visit Mexico in February. Migration is expected to be one of the main topics for his visit.
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