Mexico and several Central American countries agreed Wednesday to carry out more flights that will allow thousands of stranded Cubans in Costa Rica to continue their journey to the United States.
Government officials from Costa Rica, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Mexico met Wednesday in Guatemala City where they evaluated the initial movement of 180 Cubans on Jan. 12 from Costa Rica’s border with Panama to Mexico.
The representatives deemed a “success” the Jan. 13 pilot trip, which took 180 Cubans to Mexico where they then received transit visas to continue on to the U.S. border.
"This allows us to pass to the second stage, with two weekly flights following the same route," said Manuel Gonzalez, Costa Rica's foreign minister.
The flights will resume Feb. 4 and governments will meet mid-February to reassess the program.
Although the authorities didn’t reveal how many migrants would leave on each flight, they said that priority will be given to pregnant women, children and families.
Around 7,800 Cubans who wish to relocate to the U.S. have been stuck in Costa Rica since mid-November, when Nicaragua closed its borders.
Thousands of Cubans have sought to travel to the U.S. through Central America amid fears that the normalization of relations between Havana and Washington will end preferential U.S. asylum rights for Cubans, which allow them to enter the U.S. by land without a visa. Those found at sea are deported.
WATCH: U.S.- Cuba Relations Develop