Ecuador to impose visa requirements on Cuban citizens

by Reuters
Friday, 27 November 2015 00:05 GMT

By Alexandra Valencia

QUITO, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Cuban citizens will require visas to enter Ecuador from Dec 1 as Ecuador attempts to regulate migration from the island and limit those going to the United States, Ecuador's deputy foreign minister said on Thursday.

The decision was taken at a regional meeting on 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 stepping stone 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." (Writing by Girish Gupta in Caracas; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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