Nicaragua eliminates visa requirement for Cubans

The Nicaraguan government eliminated the visa requirement for Cuban citizens, a measure that could trigger an increase in the number of Cubans arriving in the country and then heading to the United States.

The Nicaraguan Ministry of the Interior (Interior) published a statement on its website on Monday in which it explained that the decision was made “in order to promote commercial exchange, tourism and humanitarian family relations.”

The agency indicated that it had received a large number of visa applications from Cubans with relatives in Nicaragua.

Many Cubans travel to different parts of South America to find a land route to the United States border. Flying to Nicaragua would reduce a considerable amount of time and distance on that journey.

The move comes after the United States condemned the reelection of President Daniel Ortega on November 7. Ortega has been an ally of the Cuban government for several years.

Ortega obtained more than 75% of the votes in Sunday’s elections, but the result was never in doubt after his government jailed seven of the main opposition candidates.

US President Joe Biden has said that the Nicaraguan elections were “rigged” and assures that the United States will use the tools at its disposal to hold the Nicaraguan government accountable.