Cuba Escape Attempt Leaves Four Dead and Six Arrested

Playa Baracoa in the township of Bauta, west of Havana. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — At least four persons were murdered and six others were arrested in an incident involving an attempted escape by Cuban citizens, reported the authorities on Wednesday.

The four bodies were found Tuesday at a farm in the town of Playa Baracoa, in the township of Bauta, about 25 kilometers west of Havana in the province of Artemisa, reported dpa news.

All four victims had been “violently killed,” said the Cuban Interior Ministry in a statement. Six people are arrested for the crime related to “an alleged plan to leave the country illegally with outside support,” states the text, without elaborating on what happened.

The TV news said that the authorities are investigating the facts.

For decades Cuba had prevented its citizens from traveling abroad freely. Since January 2013, however, Cubans can now leave the island without an exit permit. However, two of the main incentives for illegal immigration are the difficulties in obtaining visas from other countries and the money needed to travel.

The news of the deaths and arrests comes shortly after it became known that at least eight dancers of the National Ballet of Cuba had abandoned their troupe on a recent trip to Puerto Rico. The artists fled to Miami, where they will receive government assistance and a fast track to permanent residency under the Cuban Adjustment Act.

Likewise Café Fuerte reports of the defection of two Cuban tennis players who also were in Puerto Rico, in their case for a Davis Cup elimination match. The athletes, Randy White, 21, and Ernesto Alfonso, 24, arrived Tuesday night in the United States.

18 thoughts on “Cuba Escape Attempt Leaves Four Dead and Six Arrested

  • Thanks, Griffin, I’ll check out your link, then get a copy of Latour’s book. Actually, one of the Lt. Conde novels, I think the first one (at least the first translated and published in English, HAVANA BLUE, has a similar plot.

  • Get your facts straight. The US does not threaten Cuba if Cubans are allowed to travel freely. Food sales are permitted under the US embargo. Other than US businesses, no one is “blocked” from doing business with Cuba. The US represents just 6% of the world population. The other 7.5 billion people on the planet are not subject to the embargo. The last thing American business want, the very last, is to privatize Cuban public infrastructure.

  • When you also threaten force against the wife-beater if he lets his wife leave on her own while pretending to encourage her to leave at the same time, while blocking anyone from bringing food or doing normal business etc, yes it is. Requiring Cuba to do everything in it’s power to stop it’s own citizens from leaving while using economic sabotage to make sure Cubans remain in poverty is definitely dirty politics, especially while pretending to ‘help’ so they can privatize public infrastructure as a giveaway to parasitic US corporations.

  • Interesting. I remember back in the 90’s when the ban on leaving the country was totally lifted and the US demanded Cuba re-institute it because the symbolic game of helping Cubans escape Cuba is just another aspect of the ongoing US economic and political harassment campaign against Cuba.

  • Sounds like a case for Lt. Conde! Bring him out of retirement!

  • Actually, most of these “defectors,” (hardly the accurate word, since Cuba now allows its citizens to freely emigrate) especially athletes and highly-skilled professionals, will benefit Cuba! If successful, they usually send remittances back so their families and friends can start businesses or live more comfortably. Moreover, since Cuba now allows its citizens to freely emigrate, the onus is on the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Mexico, Ecuador, etc. to accept them. (Often, before they are allowed to legally immigrate, citizens of the countries to which they are emigrating have to guarantee they will not become wards of the accepting state.) One example of the benefit of these, err, “defections,” are the hordes of “mules” loaded down with flat-screened tv’s, dvd players, laptops, etc. etc., who daily board the flights from Miami. They are a good method of breaking the embargo while waiting for it to be lifted. Since the latter is like “Waiting for Godot,” in the meantime, in between time, this is a good way to “improvise!”

  • The Castro regime does not care a whit about those who drown themselves and their families in frail boats sailing to Florida. Cubans and others only want a brighter financial future and rcognize that if they can get to the US or other western democratic countries they will have freedom and a better life. The Cubans and others who wish to see an end to the Castro regime are reacting against a communist dictatorship and wish to bring it down. Critics of those who seek freedom and the countries which offer such freedom should immigrate to Cuba and live in the “Socialismo” paradise. Doing so would enable them to comprehend why Cubans seek freedom, human rights, democracy and capitalism and are willing to risk their lives to do so.

  • Venezuelan players like Miguel Cabrera who plays for the Detroit Tigers and enjoys a $292 million contract are free to come and go between the US and Venezuela and invest their millions in building ballparks and supporting sports programs as they please in their native country. The Maduro government does not take 80% of their earnings as does the Castro regime from Cuban players who play ball in Mexico and Japan. To escape the tyranny of the dictatorship in Cuba, Cubans must “escape” or “defect” or “flee”. Hence the brand.

  • If the Castros did not create the conditions from which Cubans are desperate to flee, the Wet foot/Dry foot policy would not function. The original sin lies with the Castros.

  • A guy beats his wife. His neighbors says to the wife that the next time that ogre put his hands on you, you can come to our house for safety. The wife-beater does his thing again and now the wife leaves for the neighbors’ house, penniless and with just the clothes on her back. Your comment implies that the neighbor who opens his home is guilty of the “nasty politics” that broke up their marriage. Are you serious?

  • add the captain of the Cuban female hockey team to the list. She defected in Mexico after a tournament and has arrived in Miami.
    The January 2013 changes in the law does not ensure freedom to travel. Lots of people trying to travel were stopped from leaving. The “carta blanca” (exit visa) is replaced by the “carta azul” (passport).
    A valid passport is no guarantee for travel. It is the new means of “filtering”.

  • Right. People are dying and killing to get out of Cuba and it’s all the fault of America. America is so bad to be where everybody wants to go.

    Is it where you chose to live? How nasty of America to make you prefer to live there. Still, you do have the privilege of condemning your home, so there is that.

  • The commenters here at HT who celebrate the victory of Castro’s revolution should counsel these ‘escapees’ so that they would understand the error of leaving their Cuban paradise and encourage their repatriation. After all, who better than a retired American professor who lives in Vermont or family-hating anarchist who has never been to Cuba to advice Cubans on how wonderful life is in Cuba.

  • So very, very true.

  • professional athletes and dancers should be free to sell their services wherever they can get the best deal. those who leave should not be called defectors. are venezuelan players in the US branded as such?

  • The US offers a fast track to all Cubans who can put a foot on US land while building a fence to keep out tens of thousands Mexicans. It’s just nasty politics aimed at bringing down the Cuban revolution. The US doesn’t care a whit about those who drown themselves and their families in frail boats sailing to Florida. Mexicans, Cubans and others only want a brighter financial future. US talk of fleeing oppression and seeking freedom is all self-serving bullshit.

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