Comerciantes de Nicaragua se preparan en el populoso mercado Oriental, el más grande de Centroamérica, con las expectativas de recibir a un buen grupo de cubanos una vez que se restablezcan los vuelos entre ambos países.
Since January 2019, the Government of Daniel Ortega had made certain requirements more flexible for Cubans to travel to the Central American country, so many took the opportunity to make purchases in Managua, especially in the eastern market.However, pandemic paralyzed economic activities.
Today again, with the recent announcement of the migration authorities of Nicaragua to grant a free visa for the citizens of the Caribbean island, expectations have increased exponentially.
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An eastern market merchant, in Managua, said in a condition of anonymity to the voice of America that in 2019 the entry of buyers from abroad, mostly from Cuba, generated good flows.
“They were big suitcases they carried.We hope to see this again now that a free visa was awarded, ”says the 45 -year -old merchant who is dedicated to selling footwear and clothing.
In fact, in 2019, trade was dynamic at the end of the year due to the mass purchases of Cubans, as confirmed by the official of the Central Bank of Nicaragua, Leonardo Torres, to the digital media Nicaragua investigates.
“They come quite merchants, Cuban buyers who buy at good prices and that boosters the market to us.They are groups of 60 people who bring dollars, ”said Torres.
The panorama in Cuba
Meanwhile in the streets of Havana there is a topic of conversation among its inhabitants: Nicaragua.Testimonies obtained by VOA through video calls and social networks indicate that some in Cuba even encourage their homes and other properties to make the trip.They explain that housing with posters are more frequent where you can read: "it is sold."
Eliécer, a young Cuban who recently graduated as an engineer, told the voice of America via telephone that he, along with many of his friends they see this measure as an opportunity.
“In all Cuba there is talk of this.The issue of free visa is very powerful because it is not a secret that everyone wants to travel here, either for economic or political issues and Nicaragua is an escape for anyone who wants to follow its course for the United States or go and do tourism fromshopping.Right now, the Havana Commerce Center is collapsed because there is much demand for tickets, ”says Eliécer, as he prefers to be summoned for security reasons.
The Government of Cuba flexible a few years ago its immigration policy, eliminating since 2013 a group of requirements that hindered temporary and tourist trips to other nations.The children could then travel abroad with equal ends.However, most countries require visas to Cubans.
Some private airlines in Havana are already covered and there is availability of flights to Managua until March 2021 and with excessive costs, according to the VOA via telephone in a survey with several companies.
The cost of a flight can vary between $ 1,800, up to $ 3,000."It is an exaggeration," says Eliécer, who has traveled only on one occasion to Nicaragua and another to Russia, which is another country where Cubans can travel without visa requirement.
He explains that he travels for purchases and trade on the island.He states that after graduating as an engineer he won "a misery."
“There are 3,600 Cuban pesos that, in the end, when you turn them to the American dollar, are sixty dollars a month.And with that you do not solve anything, you have to look for other ways to be able to subsist because it does not give the account, ”he says.
With the new measure of the Nicaraguan authorities, the 26 -year -old merchant has expectations to return to shopping, but indicates that right now the cost of the ticket shot as a result of high demand.
In fact, it indicates that it is cheaper to travel to Russia, than to Managua.On the last trip he made to Moscow he spent about $ 1,500, but "go to Nicaragua right now because it cost you a lot of money."
In the case of his friends, he says they are doing everything to prepare when airlines return to Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua.
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“My friends do everything.Here all the properties they have are being sold.Motors, engines, houses, what they have in their hands, on their property, which wants to migrate to the United States has to sell it because it is not easy to pay those passages so expensive. ”
According to the 2019 United States Census Office, a little more than one million people born in Cuba are based on American soil and in fact represent the third Hispanic community in North America, behind Mexico and El Salvador.
If the amount of the Cuban population that is around 11 million inhabitants is taken into account, the community that is in the United States is a little more than 10%.
But Eliécer believes that the number of people looking to leave Cuba once the flights resume will be much greater.He even ensures that many of his acquaintances want to reach the United States.
"At this time there is another country of free visa that is Russia and is obviously more complicated to get to North America," he estimates.
In social networks such as Facebook, despair for information is also remarkable.Groups of Cubans request information on the closest flights and costs.The same happens in Telegram groups and other applications.
Based on the United States, Laritza Diversent is the director of Cubalex, an organization that defends and promotes human rights on the island.In conversation with the VOA she explained that following the protests of July 11 in Cuba, the migration was reactivated.
And states that this will be reflected as soon as the flights to Managua are reactivated that are at the moment suspended by the pandemic.
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Luis, another Cuban who talked with VOA under anonymity also related his desire to travel to Nicaragua as soon as he has enough money.
In his case he says that he will wait "to calm the waters" and then resort to remittances to get out of Cuba and obtain a better quality of life.
“The hope here, the dream of all young people here is to leave.Here you can go out the streets, ask, and here what everyone wants is to leave.Be a student, be a negotiating, be a worker;Young's dream is to leave, ”she says without hesitation.
Since 2019, the Government of Daniel Ortega had made the requirements for Cubans traveling to Nicaragua, when included in the migratory c category B, which allowed them a tourism visa for a stay for 30 days.
Following that time, thousands of Cubans were traveling to purchases to the Managua markets to later sell on the island.
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