Accessibility links

Breaking News

Ecuador to Impose Visa Requirements on Cuban Citizens

Migrant Yordanis Boza, one of thousands of Cubans stuck on the Costa Rican side of the border with Nicaragua, peels a plantain in the kitchen of a shelter in Liberia, Costa Rica, Nov. 26, 2015.

Cuban citizens will require visas to enter Ecuador starting December 1 as Ecuador attempts to regulate migration from the island and limit those going to the United States, Ecuador's deputy foreign minister said Thursday.

The decision was taken at a regional meeting Tuesday in El Salvador to discuss the future of thousands of Cubans who are stranded at the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border in their journey to the United States.

With an open-door policy to most of the world's citizens, Ecuador has become a steppingstone for many to the United States.

"We decided to impose the visa requirement for Cuban citizens in order to discourage the flow of people seeking to reach the United States," Ecuador's deputy foreign minister, Xavier Lasso, told reporters.

Cuban citizens will have to make a formal request to Ecuador to enter its territory for a period of 90 days.

Lasso added that this does not imply that Ecuador "is closing the doors to Cubans."