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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-26-07 04:45 PM
Original message
25 feared dead in U.S.-to-Cuba voyage
Edited on Wed Dec-26-07 04:46 PM by Scurrilous
Source: Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald

<snip>

"As many as 25 Cuban nationals may have drowned when their vessel capsized off the northern coast of Havana in a failed attempt to reach South Florida last week.

According to family members of the victims, Cuban authorities so far have recovered 11 bodies at sea."

<snip>

"Details were sketchy Wednesday, but indications are that the group set out from the island in a smuggler's go-fast boat between midnight and 4 a.m. Friday, El Nuevo Herald reported.

But the vessel was apparently spotted by the Cuban Coast Guard, which gave chase. During the pursuit, the boat struck something in the ocean, sending many of its passengers into the water.

Indications are that the effort was a Miami-sponsored smuggling operation, El Nuevo is reporting. As of Wednesday, Cuban authorities had not commented publicly on the incident."

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking_news/story/357...
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-26-07 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. Why would the headline read "U.S. to Cuba" when it was a "Cuba to U.S." trip?
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-26-07 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. maybe the boat went from miami to cuba to pick up the nationals...?
they mention something about it being a miami-based smuggling operation.
:shrug:
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matcom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-26-07 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. are they ILLEGAL Nationals?
:crazy:

don't mind me, waiting for THIS one to blow off the roof
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-26-07 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. legal in cuba, illegal in the u.s....?
until they touch dry land, that is. :shrug:
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whopis01 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-26-07 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. The article does read "Cuba-to-U.S." n/t
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-26-07 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. This is tragic.
Usually, we get 'em all the way to Gitmo before they die.
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The Croquist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. 25 people are dead
I don't think it's very funny.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I don't either.
Edited on Thu Dec-27-07 05:53 PM by Mika
I think that Orsino was being sarcastic.

-

Human smuggling-for-dollars operations like this is one of the lowest and most repugnant occupations around. :puke:

Its shameful that the US gov accommodates & encourages their occupation with the current US Cuban immigration policy.

Essentially, the US gov accommodates & encourages the murder of Cubans in ops like this. All for Orwellian-like anti-Castro propaganda purposes.



-

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Sure, it's good for right-wing propaganda purposes. Helps to keep people in the dark.
IF this government had any intention of clearing up any of the mystery, it would simply let people go to Cuba themselves and see first hand just how horrible things are, and how scary life is away from the U.S., way off, 90 miles away, in a socialist country.

No, it really suits their purposes to keep up this outrageous, filthy charade.
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-26-07 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. Horrible way to die, how sad
I have a cousin who was stationed in key west with the coast guard during the haiti boat people times (early 90's maybe) He had/has horrible nightmares of recovering the bodies of those who didn't make it.
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-26-07 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
6. In 1994, my vessel picked up a group
Edited on Wed Dec-26-07 07:25 PM by Turbineguy
of Cubans on inner tubes as they were passing Miami. When you are floating out there you can see the city and the beach. Then, unless you get rescued, you get caught in the Gulf stream and make your way across the Atlantic to Europe. Nobody knows how many Cubans end their lives this way.

The 6 people we picked up had been at sea for a while and were drinking seawater. They started with two groups of 6 and one group disappeared. We stopped and launched the lifeboat to get them. They were in pitiful shape. It was terrible. The US Coast Guard sent a Cutter out and took them ashore. At least they made it.

I don't know that it would be good public policy to say that if you made your way to the US in such a manner you could stay, but those people certainly earned their place.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. They earned their place? Why? Why didn't they use legal avenues?
Edited on Thu Dec-27-07 03:22 PM by Mika
The US offers over 20,000 legal immigration visas to Cubans every year. Not all are even applied for.

Many of the Cubans who come here illegally have failed a US immigration visa application, as per US legal requirements. That is just why many choose to use the loophole provided for Cuban felons and other undesirables - the US wet foot/dry foot policy for Cubans only. This policy lets them gain parole onto the streets of Miami in under 24 hours, plus they get extra taxpayer provided socialist perks instantly.

Considering that there are ample legal visas, please do tell just how "those people certainly earned their place"?




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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Those "bennies" aren't available to any other people, as you point out, not even to
those who have attempted to get in here because they were in danger of being slaughtered in their own countries, like Haitians, and Guatemalans, etc.

Hell, no! Instead, the Cuban Adjustment Act sets aside a whole smorgasbord of perks, from instant legal status (no border guards chasing anyone around, whacking them, throwing them in jail, deporting them) to an instant work visa, social security, Section 8 U.S. taxpayers-derived housing, food stamps, welfare, medical treatment, financial assistance for education, etc., etc.

And, with all that going on, they game the system forever, like Florida State Senator Rudy Garcia's grandmother, who, when someone took her to the state offices to get her food stamps, didn't like the behavior of the employees, got SIX LEVELS of state employees fired, first the one who helped her, then the one who hired her, and then the one who hired the one who hired her, etc. before she was satisfied, FINALLY!

And, by god, she got her goddamned food stamps, this grandmother of a Florida State Senator, whose family owns a roofing business.

In the meantime, when death squads were roaming all over Haiti, slaughtering leftists (Aristide supporters) with guns and machetes, people tried and tried to run from Haiti in boats, and Bush had the Navy surround the island and turn them all back, feeding them all right back into that meat grinder. No place for them here. No refuge anywhere. They DIED, of course, for being leftists. This is the way right-wingers want it all to go, whenever possible.

No place for the boat loads of Haitians who have made the OVER 700 MILES trip from their homes to Florida and swim desperately to get ashore, fleeing from certain political death on their island. They all go back when they are spotted. (Don't forget the small girl, Sophonie, who was here at the same time as Elin, whose mother brought her here, got her ashore, found a guardian for her, then died. Florida, and the U.S. government were straining at the bit to get her back to Haiti A.S.A.P., where there was NO ONE who would be there to take her, no one at all. She was completely alone in the world. Only the desperate pleas from the hastily located guardian, and the local Congressman were able to get any hearing whatsoever. I still don't know what heppened to her. Jeez.)

There are some who don't go back coming across from Mexico, like the hundreds and hundreds who die each year in the desert or in the Rio Grande or in the undertow in the canals in California, who are coming across for NO ARRAY OF BENEFITS like instant sanctuary, food stamps, housing, green card, medical treatment, financial assistance for school, welfare, social security, etc., etc.

If you held out THOSE benefits to the others in this hemisphere, we would have one hell of a population problem, wouldn't we?
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Billy Burnett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Interesting that the US has to offer hyper socialistic programs just for them.
Cubans are used to a high degree of social support. That's why the US offers Cubans social perks that aren't even available to US born Americans. It's the carrot on a stick that the US gov offers up as an incentive for Cuban migration to the US, all while US propagandists claim that they are 'escaping' Dr Castro's evil island.

Yes indeed. Imagine if the US offered Wet Foot/Dry Foot to Mexico or the rest of the Caribbean (for example)?


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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. You know, I've wondered about that, myself! Cubans are USED to living in their own houses,
Edited on Thu Dec-27-07 07:00 PM by Judi Lynn
for free, aren't they, free medical treatment, some subsidized free food, other very cheap food, free education, etc., etc., etc.

The U.S. government attempts to recreate the conditions as closely resembling home as possible to tempt them to leave home and make the trek over here, depleting the stock of young, able bodied workers on the island, and seducing them with visions of tons of money and opportunity.

I've read there are some who simply return, like the boyfriend did, several times, before he went back to pick up Elin's mother to bring her over to live with him at his brother's house. Ann Louise Bardach, former N.Y. Times journalist, did a book, did tons of research in Cuba, and wrote about the people who don't find life as it was advertised, and either return permanently to Cuba, or divide their time between Cuba and the States. Of course we never hear about that, do we, outside Florida?

On edit:

Wasn't more than a month ago or so we were reading in the Miami Herald about the mother of the three children who flew here with her new husband, only to have him desert her at the airport, and move in with his own brother, and leave her to fend for herself.

From that moment she started regreting having come here, started talking about going back, people in Miami started getting angry at her, someone cut her out of the benefits she was supposed to be getting, simply cut her lose, she went to Houston, tried to kill herself, and has told tons of people she desperately wants to return home, and wants her child to go back and live with the child's father.

It was very easy to read in black and white, big as life, right in the Herald. Life here isn't all that great for everyone, and some really want to leave. Oh, yes, add in the couple of fellow survivors from the Elin crossing. They both started regretting it almost immediately, and told this to journalists. The man said his house had been far better, he hadn't had to hustle so hard, he had an enjoyable job as a chef, and with his girlfriend here, they had to work all the time just for an apartment, had no car, and were saving up their money to buy little presents to give to their relatives when they went back to visit at the first opportunity.

You just about have to live in Florida, or read the local papers constantly to ever know about this. They seem determined to keep the myths intact.
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #11
25. Maybe they earned it because they
Maybe they earned it because they were willing to die to get here? Sounds like a good way to earn something to me...

Anyway, "earning" something is more subjective than objective on this level, even in the best of circumstances.

But then again, I'm one of those nutty guys who thinks that people are more important than imaginary red and black lines on a map.




Man-- you'd hate my girlfriend. She's what people like you call "illegal immigrants". And enjoys "socialist" perks through my help. (But don't worry, amigo-- she's not after your job)
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Billy Burnett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. We should send the criminals your way then?
Edited on Fri Dec-28-07 05:43 PM by Billy Burnett
If people are more important than imaginary lines, what about the victims of criminals? What about the immigrations laws designed to protect people? You think that Cubans should be exempt from legal requirements that all others are subject to? The US has immigration visa application thresholds - one of which is not having a felony record. This applies to all who seek legal entry into the US. From any country. Except that Cuban felons are granted immediate entry when the arrive here illegally. Perhaps the miscreants who failed their visa application because of a criminal background should be paroled onto the streets of your town.

BTW, jobs are not even a consideration in any of my discussions of this issue. Simply a straw man issue you attempt to pass off as one of my concerns, despite my never mentioning it.

Cuban felony criminals who have failed a US visa application are still allowed in if they touch US shores, free to start life in the US with a clean criminal record (even though many have a known felony record because of their failed attempt to acquire a legal US immigration visa). That is a serious concern of mine since I reside in Miami, where 99% are paroled onto the streets

Again, perhaps the Cubans who failed their visa application because of a criminal background should be paroled onto the streets of your town.
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boricua79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #6
20. i think what he means
is that, at least for these people, they had earned their place through the suffering they had to endure to get here. I'm against the dry foot/wet foot policy, but even I would allow these people to enter the country.
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. Precisely
Thanks! :think:
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Billy Burnett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. Even if they had failed a US immigration visa due to a violent criminal record?
Edited on Fri Dec-28-07 10:27 AM by Billy Burnett
Allowing people into the country who have not gone through a legal process is simply a breakdown of law and safety.

Sorry, maybe I'm being silly, but, I don't want foreign criminals and other undesirables (some of whom have FAILED a US criminal background check for a legal visa) to be released onto the streets of my town simply because some people feel sorry for the method of illegal transportation they have taken.

Maybe they should be shipped to your town if feel so sorry for these illegals and criminals who have failed to qualify for legal immigration.

If you feel so sorry for their plight then maybe you should be voicing your displeasure with US policy that intends to, and does, create hardships on the Cuban people, while at the same time to be offering extra perks to entice illegals to come to the US using such dangerous means.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. The ones who can pass the background investigation, who come by plane aren't as good politically,
since they arrive without fanfare and melt into the crowd.

Only the ones who go to extremes attract the attention of photographers and reporters who get stories published about them, emphasizing the hazards of the trip.

You never see any stories about the hazards which confront the hundreds of Haitians who die attempting the 700+ mile trip, somewhat longer than the 90 miles from Cuba, or the HUNDREDS OF LATIN AMERICANS WHO DIE EVERY YEAR in the attempt to get across through the desert, crossing the rivers, canals, etc.
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GirlinContempt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Well they aren't communist
so clearly, whatever they're running away from can't be that bad!

RED SCARE!

:eyes:
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Truly! What are they, nuts?
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KeyLimeDem Donating Member (47 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-26-07 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
7. Wet foot/dry foot bad policy
We get too many of these stories down here, you don't hear that many in the MSM. Ninety percent of the time the Florida Straight is fairly calm. The pre-european locals went across in dug-out canoes.

Big money in smuggling, neighbor lost his boat to the federales. He swears he lent it to some friends and they took it over, can't figure out why they won't give it back to him. But he and his family all have new cars. Hard to explain on the salary of a dump truck driver and a hotel maid. Oh and they have a new 30 foot fast boat in the yard. Most of the human smuggling seems to be set up and paid for here in Miami.

Why don't the Repubs complain about these illegal immigrants?
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Tancredo & Thompson did complain about Cuban illegal migration.
Edited on Thu Dec-27-07 03:34 PM by Mika
They said that Castro could send terra-ists by raft, so Castro can fulfill his plan to bring down 'Murica.

:rofl:


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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 04:26 AM
Response to Reply #7
19. Very interesting find out pre-Colombians made that crossing in dug-out canoes. Amazing.
What a shame all that civilization was wiped out entirely, with so few exceptions when the Spanish invaded and claimed Florida. It would have been so important to know more about those extinct groups.

I've been waiting to hear right-wingers bitching about the unbelievable drain on the economy the entire anti-Cuba industry is, from all their Cuban Adjustment Act benefits to Radio-TV Marti, to all the university post-Castro programs being worked out in Florida universities, and on and on and on. So much money gets funneled into South Florida from the Congress, including TONS of money earmarked to be channeled to the "dissidents" in Cuba yearly.

Interesting neighbors!

Welcome to D.U., KeyLimedem. :hi: :hi: :hi:
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Billy Burnett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
10. A smuggling op from Miami. 28 persons @ $5,000 to $10,000 per person. 25 now dead.
Edited on Thu Dec-27-07 10:33 AM by Billy Burnett
That's the going rate for Miami based smugglers operating to and from Cuba. Unfortunately, money like this encourages extreme overloading of the typically used twin outboard motor go-fast speed boat. Couple the overloading, maneuvering at high speed, and any rough water in the Gulf Stream, makes it a highly risky operation.

These types of operations are directly encouraged by the US's Wet Foot/Dry Foot policy. That and the US Cuban Adjustment Act both provide extra privileges to Cubans who enter the US by illegal means.



Cubans drown in attempt to reach U.S.
A boat suspected of trying to smuggle Cubans into the United States overturned last week and at least 25 people are presumed dead.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/story/357895.h...


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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
21. Migrant smuggling spiked in past month
Twelve Cuban migrants made it to Elliott Key safely, but many who flee aren't so lucky. Up to 65 people went missing this month.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami_dade/story/359106...

<snip>

"As 12 Cubans were picked up on Elliott Key Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard announced it has stopped seven migrant-smuggling operations heading to Cuba within the past week, with 11 suspected smugglers among them.

The Cuban government also for the first time acknowledged that the sinking of a go-fast boat off the northern coast had resulted in two drownings among the 30 onboard, according to Agence France-Presse.

Two smugglers, suspected of traveling to Cuba from the United States, apparently escaped from Cuban authorities and a search was underway on the island, Cuba's Interior Ministry said, adding that the 26 surviving Cubans were being questioned. The bodies of the two dead had been turned over to family, the government said.

Earlier reports by family members to El Nuevo Herald and local Spanish-language Radio Mamb suggested that at least 25 had perished during a chase by the Cuban coast guard as the boat hit a reef.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Chris O'Neil said conflicting reports from communist Cuba make it difficult to track the number of lives lost at sea.

"If family members' reports are accurate, up to 65 people are missing at sea since Nov. 24," said O'Neil. The Coast Guard spokesman noted the report of one missing boat in November did not surface until Dec. 6, when family members notified his agency.

He attributed the deaths mostly to the recklessness of smugglers."
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Billy Burnett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. From your Miami Herald link
Comments by U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Chris O'Neil.

Bold is mine.

He attributed the deaths mostly to the recklessness of smugglers.

``You have these go-fast boats jammed with 30 or 40 people. When they're going at high speed, they start flooding, and people panic.''

Citing the July 2006 death of a young Cuban woman who suffered head trauma when she fell inside an overcrowded speedboat, O'Neil also said that folks on such packed vessels have no way to steady themselves, making the trip even more dangerous.

''Why do people think it's OK to pay a felon for endangering the lives of their loved ones when there are legal avenues available?'' O'Neil said. ``These smugglers don't care about safety. But they operate with the tacit approval of the community.''


U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Chris O'Neil is playing dumb for us. He knows that legal US immigration visa applicants have to pass the US performed background check. If they fail due to a criminal record that would disqualify them from gaining a legal visa, then US policy grants them instant entry into the US (paroled onto the streets of Miami in under 24 hours) if they are smuggled to US shores. No matter what their criminal history might be. Child abusers, rapists, murderers, thieves and bandits, assault and battery, etc etc - all paroled onto the streets of America within 24 hours.

The smugglers operate directly because of the US wet foot/ dry foot policy. If these illegal entrants knew they would be deported back home like Haitians and other illegal migrants are, instead of being on the receiving end of hyper social US taxpayer supported programs and perks (for Cubans only), they wouldn't be coming over by these illegal means in such numbers.



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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-29-07 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
30. Exiles urged to stem tide of Cubans
As another group of Cubans landed, the U.S. Coast Guard's top official called on Cuban exiles to stop financing trips that are resulting in more dead at sea.

http://www.miamiherald.com/top_stories/story/360428.htm...

<snip>

"As the Cuban government blamed U.S. policy Friday for an uptick in the number of Cubans leaving the island and disputed the number of dead in recent drownings off its coast, the top U.S. Coast Guard official in Miami called on exiles to denounce the illegal voyages.

Rear Admiral David W. Kunkel said the Coast Guard has patrol boats and cutters looking for migrants constantly. "We have federal, state and local help. But there's a link missing."

That link, he said, is the local community.

"They are not working with us. I know that's rather blunt, but the fact remains that these smugglers are being financed by desperate families," he said. "The only safe way is if we all work together."

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen agreed Friday that "we must all do more to stop these illegal human traffickers who are enriching themselves while exploiting the suffering of the divided Cuban families."
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Billy Burnett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-29-07 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. These people's names are added to the wingnut list of Castro's misdeeds.
Castro did this. Get with the program. :sarcasm:

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