US Coastguard Rescues 6 Cuban Rafters

Off the Coast of Miami

By Café Fuerte

A polyethylene foam vessel, on which the six Cuban immigrants rescued at Key Biscayne this Wednesday traveled to Miami. Photo: US Coastguard Service
A polyethylene foam vessel, on which the six Cuban immigrants rescued at Key Biscayne this Wednesday traveled to Miami. Photo: US Coastguard Service

HAVANA TIMES — Six immigrants were rescued this Wednesday floating on inner tubes near the coast of Miami, the US Coastguard Service reported.

The six men were found five miles from Key Biscayne after a good Samaritan informed the Miami Beach coast patrol station of his discovery. A 45-feet long vessel was immediately sent out to the rescue.

All of the castaways appeared to be in good health. They were sent to a small watercraft to determine their migratory status.

“The alleged immigrants were rescued at sea without difficulties and transferred to a watercraft belonging to the Coastguard Service. Their cases are being evaluated,” a communiqué reported.

Though authorities have yet to confirm where the group comes from, everything seems to indicate the men are Cuban migrants. Those rescued said they were traveling on a makeshift raft and that they abandoned the vessel and held on to the inner tubes.

Should their Cuban nationality be confirmed, the men would have to demonstrate a history of persecution or political harassment on the island to avoid repatriation.

Shortly after, the coastguard came upon a rustic vessel made of polyethylene foam and wrapped in a blue sailcloth. The men used this makeshift vessel to reach the Miami coast area.

The first images made public of those rescued do not appear to be individuals who have made a long sea voyage.

During the present US fiscal year (which began this past October), the US Coastguard Service has intercepted as many as 1,561 Cubans in the high seas, the highest figure reported since 2008. The summer months have been particularly active in terms of Cuban sea voyages towards Florida. As many as 218 rafters were captured in June and 337 in July.

11 thoughts on “US Coastguard Rescues 6 Cuban Rafters

  • Please…I don’t even want to try to envision a Cuba with a WalMart or a McDonald’s. That’s a nightmare scenario for me and I hope it never happens.

    That’s not at all what I’m talking about either. Cuba won’t be a consumer based economy in the traditional sense for the foreseeable future. However Cuba could be an extremely lucrative manufacturing and assembly center for US based companies and their products.

    Moses, I don’t understand why you have so little faith in your country’s ability to negotiate incremental and meaningful change in Cuba as a prerequisite of setting up shop there. Surely you can’t honestly still believe that your country’s existing isolationist policies will have the desired effect. If that were so, we’d already be seeing the results and celebrating the effectiveness of current US policy. Change will only occur in Cuba when their government is tied economically to US interests. You really need to forget about Cuba completely changing overnight…that simply won’t happen…with or without the embargo, and with or without the Castros.

    Change will slowly evolve in Cuba…one negotiated contract at a time, until a tipping point is reached. How long will that take? Your guess is as good as mine. But one thing is certain…no progress will be made at all if current US policy remains unchanged.

  • First of all, “Cuban government”, at least for the last 55 years, has been synonymous with “the Castros”. Your comment “the Cuban government will effectively evolve through the defining influence of corporate America”. Really? Name one dictatorship where this has been true. By that I mean, where because of WalMart and McDonald’s influence, a dictator woke up one morning and decided to step down and schedule a democratic election. I consider your optimism to be naïve. At least we know where we disagree.

  • Moses, it only stands to reason that the Cuban government will effectively evolve through the defining influence of corporate America in conjunction with your government, post embargo / Helms-Burton. The Cuban government won’t “give up”…as you put it. But I’m convinced that without the pressure of Helms-Burton, together with normalized relations, the Cuban government will ultimately decide for themselves that it’s in their best interest to align themselves with the expectations of corporate America. Your government will still have expectations of Cuba in support of economic development, and those issues will remain subject to negotiation through respectful dialogue.

    I don’t share your pessimistic outlook regarding a Cuba free of US pressure, interference, and demands. I believe the US has always had the ability to significantly influence change in Cuba, however your government has attempted to go about it bass-akwards for far too long by isolating Cuba from America’s influence. But it’s not Kennedy’s Cuba anymore, and both America and Cuba deserve to lay those old animosities to rest to allow the evolution of Cuba to begin and potentially fast-track in the future.

  • At least we are consistent. Once again, it would appear that you would have the US leave Cuba to find it’s own way to the goals detailed in Helms-Burton without the pressure to do so created by Helms-Burton. I “get it”. I simply do not believe nor is there historical precedence to support your hope that tyrants like the Castros will evolve on their own. Worse yet, with the economic fuel from the US, Cuba without the embargo would likely become even more repressive and barbaric. Don’t confuse your ‘blind optimism’ that with time a dictatorship like the Castros will simply give up with “foresight”. While I do have contempt for repressive and totalitarian regimes, my foresight is far from being limited. I see Castro-style socialism as having failed for the last 55 years and getting worse every day.

  • “The stipulations set forth under Helms-Burton are quite clear and straightforward: Get rid of the Castros, schedule open and democratic elections, release political prisoners, legalize an independent media, and allow freedom of speech and assembly. Terry, which of these do you oppose for the Cuban people?”

    Moses, I oppose the Helm-Burton act…not it’s content and goals…you already know this about me. You and I also know that the Cuban government cannot be forced into submission with a siege mentality. It’s been proven that it just doesn’t work. What it does do, ironically, is bolster the status quo on the island as it lends credibility to the Cuban government’s war-time policies limiting freedoms in an effort to maintain the survival of the revolution in the face of adversity, and to maintain a Cuba free of US interference. Your government’s policies only serve to punish the Cuban people.

    All of the freedoms on your wish list (and mine) continue to be jeopardized by your government. You want to blame the Castros….but what you fail to comprehend is that it’s your continued war on Cuba that insures a continuation of the war-time measures that our necessary to secure a future free of US intervention. Unfortunately the Cuban people are caught in the middle…and yes, they are the true casualties in your war on their government. The playing field needs to be leveled before any conclusions can be drawn about the Cuban government’s intentions for establishing renewed freedoms. But with your contemptible attitude and limited foresight, I’m sure hell will freeze over first before you eventually “get it”. I don’t support the Castros from my comfy sofa…I support Cuba’s right to self-determination free of US intervention.

  • Statistics collected and reported by the Castro regime should never be trusted at face value. ‘On the ground’ it is clear that, if anything, the black population in Cuba as a percentage has increased, not decreased.

  • With regards to Cuba, there is no call for creativity. The stipulations set forth under Helms-Burton are quite clear and straightforward: Get rid of the Castros, schedule open and democratic elections, release political prisoners, legalize an independent media, and allow freedom of speech and assembly. Terry, which of these do you oppose for the Cuban people? My contemptible attitude is a reflection of my contempt for the Castro regime. What you perceive as cynicism is frustration and there was nothing sarcastic in my comments. You support the Castros from your comfy sofa. I simply do not believe you would feel the same if you were forced to live on $22.00 per month while living with 3 generations of your family in a building near collapse in San Miguel de Padron. As a result, here’s a word for you….hypocrite.

  • The US has helped to create the situation, and your government is duty-bound to insure that it continues. So when you have a good chuckle at the expense of the Cuban people, you’re really laughing at yourselves. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…if you want to help promote real change in Cuba, look for a change of attitude from within first…something positive and mildly constructive. Your contemptible attitude, cynicism, and sarcasm do nothing to help effect meaningful change in Cuba. To the contrary… you merely seem quite juvenile and bankrupt of creative and workable ideas that go beyond your governments vain and failed attempts to force Cuba into submission.

  • Moses, I wonder how and why the percentage of blacks in Cuba has reduced between the 2002 and 2012 census. Could it be that the infant mortality has been confined to one sector of the population?

  • …Lest we forget the much-heralded and ‘self-reported’ Cuban infant mortality rate. Surely these rafters must have forgotten this Castro achievement. The rafters must also be ignoring the fact that life in Haiti is worse and that once they arrive in the US, they will be assaulted by the likes of McDonald’s and WalMart savage acts of commercialism. Nonetheless, Castro sycophants remain willing to endure their downtrodden capitalist lives despite their obvious preference to trade their weekly cable guide of TV shows for a Cuban libreta.

  • Why would people wish to leave the Socialismo paradise constructed with such care by the Castro family regime over the fifty five years that have elapsed since the Revolution?
    Could it possibly be that they seek freedom?
    Could it possibly be that they are weary of their dreary lives in Cuba?
    Could it be that they don’t wish to have to exist on an $8 per month pension?
    Could it possibly be that they hope to earn more than $20 per month?
    Could it possibly be that they want the opportunities offered by capitalism?
    Could it possibly be that the risk of death on the high seas is compensated by the potential rewards of living in the US?
    There are those – many of US citizenship, who praise the dictatorship of the Castro Ruz family while sitting secure at home in the US in their rocking chairs. They pontificate about the merits of the Cuban educational and medical systems, ignoring the poverty, controls and regulations imposed upon Cubans with no hope of change. Let them reflect upon the degree of risk that people are willing to take in order to abandon Socialismo!

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