MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Nicaraguan officials say more than 5,000 Cubans have visited the Central American country this year, a 900% percent increase over the full 2018 figure.
It lends evidence to anecdotal accounts from Cuban migrants who say they passed through Nicaragua en route to the U.S.-Mexico border, where they are requesting asylum.
Others come to buy hard-to-find goods for resale in Cuba.
Nicaragua has made it easier for Cubans to obtain visas. They need just a passport, photos and a $30 fee.
Nicaragua National Tourism Institute promotion director Ana Carolina García said Wednesday on the pro-government television Channel 4 that the visits increased after Venezuelan airline Conviasa started a Havana-Managua-Caracas route three times a week in December.
She says they're interested in visiting Nicaragua's volcanoes and lakes and buying inexpensive electronics.