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Nicaragua welcomes the exodus of Cubans with the “free visa”

The “free visa” could create an exodus of Cubans from the island.

Travel | Shutterstock

November 24, 2021 6:23pm

Updated: November 24, 2021 6:23pm

On Monday, the Nicaraguan government announced the establishment of a “free visa” for Cubans seeking to enter the country. With this move, Daniel Ortega’s regime is creating a possible exodus of Cubans from the island because of Nicaragua’s proximity to Mexico and the U.S. border.

Nicaragua implemented the measure as a “humanitarian” act that will benefit all Cubans with relatives in Central America, according to several news sources. The decision has as its main objective “to facilitate travel for business, tourism, and to see relatives.”

"Given the number of requests from our Cuban citizen brothers with relatives in Nicaragua, and in order to promote trade, tourism, and humanitarian family relationship, from Monday, November 22, 2021, a free visa is established for all Cuban citizens wishing to enter Nicaragua," said the Nicaraguan Ministry of Interior.

With the “free visa” Cubans will no longer have to pay the $18 “consulted visa” offered by Nicaragua, which is good for 30 days. Cubans will no longer have to justify their trip to obtain permission to travel to Nicaragua. From now on, Cubans only need to board a flight and they will be allowed to enter Nicaragua.

The visa waiver is also a “business” decision that includes the Venezuelan government. The Chavista airline, Conviasa, offers direct flights from Havana to Managua. The “free visa” would boost demand for those flights.

The other airline that could be incorporated is Aruba Airlines.

Since the Ortega regime loosened up entry restrictions for Cubans, more than 44,000 Cubans have come to Nicaragua under the pretext of “shopping tourism.” In previous years, Cuban tourism to Nicaragua barely reached 2,000 visitors.

Nicaragua and Cuba are under dictatorships. Whenever the Central American country has been governed by President Daniel Ortega — 1979-1990 and since 2007 — relations between the two countries have become closer. Nicaragua and Cuba are also part of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas - People’s Trade Treaty.