NationStates Jolt Archive

Balseros - Rafters and Defectors

La Habana Cuba
26-08-2005, 05:39
31 Cubans missing after shipwreck off Florida

AOL News

MIAMI (Reuters) August 22 / 2005 - The U.S. Coast Guard searched Monday for 31 Cubans reported missing at sea after their boat capsized between Florida and Cuba.

Three survivors were plucked out of the water by the crew of a merchant ship about 30 miles north of Matanzas, Cuba, on Sunday night and told their rescuers their speedboat had overturned with 31 other people aboard, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The survivors were taken ashore in Cuba and Cuban authorities alerted the U.S. Coast Guard. Search crews found a capsized boat in the area Monday but had not found any more survivors.

A Coast Guard spokesman said he did not know whether any passengers had life vests or if the voyage was a migrant smuggling attempt.

"We haven't talked to the three who were rescued so everything we're getting is coming from the Cuban government," U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Ryan Doss said.

Under immigration accords between the United States and Cuba, Cuban migrants stopped at sea are generally taken home. But undocumented Cubans who reach U.S. shores are usually allowed to stay, a policy that Cuba says encourages migrants to attempt the dangerous voyage in overloaded or unseaworthy vessels.

The Coast Guard has intercepted an increasing number of Cuban migrants at sea this year, though nothing like what occurred in the 1994 rafter crisis when more than 30,000 tried to make the voyage to Florida.

They have halted 2,366 Cubans at sea since the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1, up from 1,225 last year and the biggest number since 1994.


31 Cuban migrants feared dead


Associated Press

The New Herald

Aug 24 / 2005

The Coast Guard spent a second day Tuesday searching the Florida Straits for survivors of the deadliest migrant boating accident in years.

But hope was fading for finding any of the missing Cubans, who were part of an illegal smuggling operation and likely had no life jackets.

The Coast Guard learned of the accident late Sunday night after two women and one man were rescued by an Antiguan merchant ship about 30 miles north of Matanzas, Cuba.

The three, who were taken back to a Cuban port, described a speedboat equipped to carry only about 10 people but was holding 34, including themselves.

The boat capsized about 30 minutes after leaving Cuba on Aug. 1O, the Coast Guard reported. Some 20 floated away immediately.

If the survivors' account is accurate, it would be the deadliest known trip across the water between Cuba and Florida in recent years.

Five hours after the survivors were found, rescuers discovered an overturned 28-foot speedboat about 16 miles away -- but they found only a life jacket nearby.

The boat was righted and towed to Key West.


Deadly boat trip only option for many desperate Cubans
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (AP) - AOL News The U.S. Coast Guard spent a second day Tuesday searching for survivors of a capsized Cuban speed boat, but hope was fading for finding any of the 31 missing migrants, who likely had no life jackets.

One person feared to be among the victims is Dr. Pablo Delvis Ruiz Pores, who left his home in Cuba on Aug. 15 with plans for a boat trip to reunite with his wife in Miami.

His relatives feared he could have died in the accident.

"They're all going crazy trying to find out what's happening. They know he's on a boat and they think it may be that boat. They're absolutely falling apart," Mania Perez, a family friend in New Jersey, said Tuesday.

Coast Guard crews located a capsized 28-foot (8.4-meter) boat matching the Cubans' description about 16 miles (25 kilometers) from where three people were picked up alive Sunday, but they did not find any bodies. No one other than the survivors was wearing life jackets in the shark-infested Florida Straits.

An increasing number of Cubans are turning to illegal operations and other dangerous options for travel to the United States, according to Camila Ruiz, director of government relations at the Cuban American National Foundation in Miami.

"People are so desperate they'll try to find any avenue out of the island. There are very limited options. And these people will go on anything that floats," Ruiz said.

Pores, the missing physician, had a U.S. visa that could have allowed him an easier passage to reunite with his wife in Florida, but the Cuban government would not let him leave because his profession is considered too valuable.

Doctors, teachers and those eligible for entering the U.S. military might receive a U.S. visa, but Cuban authorities forbid them from leaving, Ruiz said.

Many Cubans build rafts with inner tubes or other supplies, including old cars, trucks, refrigerators, bathtubs and surfboards. The homemade rafts can be as dangerous as traveling on a packed speedboat with smugglers who charge as much as $10,000 (8,170) for the trip.

In December, rescuers searched the waters off Boynton Beach, Florida, for six Cuban rafters, just a year after 10 Cubans aboard a raft died while attempting to reach Florida.

So far this year, the Coast Guard has intercepted 1,500 migrants from Cuba and thousands more from other countries, but U.S. officials don't know how many more die trying to make it to the U.S. shore.

Under a "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy, Cubans who make it to land generally are allowed to remain in the United States while those stopped at sea are returned to Cuba.

About 25 percent of the thousands of Cuban rafters don't make it across the difficult 90-mile (145-kilometer) stretch of sea, according to Ruiz.

The Coast Guard learned of the latest boating accident Sunday night after two women and one man were rescued by an Antiguan merchant ship about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Matanzas, Cuba.

The three survivors, who were taken back to a Cuban port, described a speed boat that was equipped to carry only about 10 people and said it capsized about 30 minutes after leaving Cuba on Aug. 16.

They said 31 others were aboard; 20 floated away immediately, while others were clinging to the hull for a time before letting go, the Coast Guard reported. If the survivors' account is accurate, it would be the deadliest known migrant trip across the water between Cuba and Florida in recent years.
La Habana Cuba
26-08-2005, 05:42
Posted on Wed, Aug. 10, 2005


ASYLUMthe dancer Rolando Sarabia, first figure of the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC), is in Miami after crossing the Mexican border to ask for asylum.

The critic recognizes Sarabia, of 24 years, like one of the most talented classic dancers of the present time, with ready being bulky of international prizes during its ascending artistic race, that began in 1995.

Sarabia yesterday declined to make declarations.

The dancer remained several days next to his relatives of Miami and left yesterday course to Boston, where he tries to accept a contract with the company of that city. In the 2003, the Ballet of Boston had extended him a contract like first dancer, but the Cuban authorities prevented him to travel. Then, it waited by a special authorization of the Ministry of Culture to dance in Mexico and took advantage of the occasion to take refuge in the U.S.A., where it had deserted, for three months, their brother, also the dancer Daniel Sarabia, of 20 years, awarded in the most recent aid of New York.

But the local public soon will have opportunity to see Rolando Sarabia in scene. Pedro Pablo Rock, the director of the Festival the International of Ballet of Miami, announced yesterday that the dancer will participate in the tenth edition of the event, programmed of the 26 of August to the 18 of September.
La Habana Cuba
26-08-2005, 05:46
According to President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela
and President Fidel Castro of Cuba, Cuba is a
revolutionary communist socialist democracy.

Cuba trades with the European Union nations,
Canada, Australia, New Zeeland, Japan, Mexico and
even the USA.

So these things should not be happening in Cuba.
La Habana Cuba
26-08-2005, 06:48
The exodus of over 125,000 Cuban men, women and children started when more than 10,800 Cubans moved into the grounds of the Peruvian Embassy in Havana, on April 4, 1980, after the Cuban Government guards were removed from the Peruvian Embassy. The word quickly spread throughout the island. The removal of the guards was Castro's response to a dispute between the Cuban and the Peruvian Governments, when the previous week a small group broke into the Embassy seeking asylum.