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The American Dream Is Over for Venezuelans Stranded in Costa Rica

  • Biden policy shift traps thousands in Mexico, Central America
  • Repatriation flights are open, but some don’t want to go home
Yulexny Gonzalez, left, and Rolando Suarez crossed the Darien Gap and are now stuck in Costa Rica. 
Yulexny Gonzalez, left, and Rolando Suarez crossed the Darien Gap and are now stuck in Costa Rica. Photographer: Michael McDonald/Bloomberg

They trudged through knee-high mud, slept under torrential rain and stepped over skeletons of those who didn’t make it. Like tens of thousands of Venezuelans suddenly stranded across Mexico and Central America, Yulexny Gonzalez and Rolando Suarez find themselves unexpectedly in Costa Rica, sick and penniless, selling sweets on a street corner, sleeping on the floor. 

“We can’t return and we can’t advance,” Suarez said. “We’re stuck.”