Cuban asylum seekers in Cayman begin hunger strike

| 03/07/2018 | 58 Comments
Cuban asylum seekers

Cuban asylum seekers in the Cayman Islands planning to go on hunger strike

(CNS): At least nine Cuban men who are seeking asylum in the Cayman Islands, some of whom have now been detained for more than two years and consider themselves political prisoners, have begun a hunger strike. The men are members of the Cuban Nationalist Party (PNC), the unofficial opposition to the current regime. They have posted both a video and information about their protest on Facebook, apparently from inside the Immigration Detention Centre using cellphones.  

Outlining what they claim is the collaboration of the Cayman authorities with the Cuban government by refusing or not hearing their asylum claims, they are seeking attention for their cause and what they said was the failure of the authorities here to understand that they are politically oppressed. The men posted the video and information on the political party’s Facebook page on Sunday, stating that they were beginning the hunger strike over the collaboration of Cayman with “the cruel dictatorships in our country”.

Cayman has an MOU with Havana, which lays out the process to return people considered by both governments to be economic migrants. Over the two decades, few of the Cubans who land in Cayman apply for political asylum, as most are aiming to get to the US, where, because of the ‘wet-foot, dry-foot’ policy, they have the automatic right to remain legally.

According to the Facebook posts, the nine Cuban asylum seekers have been at the IDC in Fairbanks for various periods of time, with two men having been imprisoned since landing without documentation two and a half years ago. Others are more recent arrivals, with one member of the group having landed just three months ago.

As they begin their hunger strike to protest being held in jail when they consider themselves refugees, their situation is about to get more complex, since around 20 prison inmates from HMP Northward are set to be transferred to an area of the IDC to alleviate the overcrowding at the main jail.

Although officials have said the two groups will be detained separately, there are obvious international and human rights issues over the detention of those claiming asylum as refugees from people who have been convicted of crimes.

CNS has contacted the IDC authorities and the governor’s office about the protest and we are awaiting a response.

Prison to use IDC as jails overflow

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Category: Local News, Politics

Comments (58)

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  1. Do says:

    Build a wall and let Cuba pay

  2. Anonymous says:

    for the ‘caymankind’ christians:…what would jesus do?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Everything else aside, the Cayman islands, as a country, can’t be forced to follow the same international rules when it comes to asylum seekers and refugees simply because there’s no room on the tiny rock. Continental Europe or America or even territory wise large islands can accommodate them, but a tiny speck on a map, called the Cayman islands, is one leg in the water itself, the entire population of which could be heading for the higher grounds in not so distant future.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There is more space per capita here than most European countries, but just find another reason to not write down your true feelings-CaymanHate…

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  4. Anonymous says:

    In every batch that arrives there will be a few who probably have some type of opposition political affiliation.

    The majority are not. Don’t know about this crew but the numbers don’t suggest it’s possible they are all part of some political party.

    The problem is that these guys don’t want to go back. Risking your life in a raft makes that point pretty clear.

    But now they have been here so long and with the support of wealthy family and friends in he US they are able to coordinate their stories and create all sorts of links.

    And when they can’t get their way, they run riot. Its how they act every where they go. Someone needs to tell the caterer to not put any pepper in the food. Cubans can’t handle spice.

    This has nothing to do with Cayman’s humanitarianism. Judging by hotel Northward standards, they are probably getting very good treatment. Just attempt to get what they want by force. Typical…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians starving in their country call the cayman islands and where are their rights?. While they as refugees getting so big and fat that they have too go on a hunger strike now to lose weight. And if they were in cuba living they will be most likely slim-n-trim or skinny and all of their ribs would be showing. They are very deceitful and unthankful people. That could be the reason Fidel Castro gave his people such a hardship to get the permission to visit other countries because he knew everywhere they would go they would give trouble.

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    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      How does such hate language get 7 thumbs up and no thumbs down? All Cubans are deceitful and unthankful, and deserve to be ruled by a dictator who wont let them travel? SMH

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      • Anonymous says:

        @6:21 am

        why do you put Cuba’s problems on your shoulders? Things usually not as bad as they look. They look bad to you, because you apply YOUR standards. Cuba, as a country, functions quite well. Bread is baked daily, roads are swept, children go to school , there is law and order, its borders protected, education and healthcare is free.

        Some cubans want more, some satisfied with what they have. Not everyone wants to travel to overcrowded, over-polluted places or need/want an Iphone.

        As for dictatorship, if you remember, Tony Blair admitted Iraq war mistakes and apologized “for some of the mistakes in planning and, certainly, our mistake in OUR understanding of WHAT WOULD HAPPEN once you removed the regime.”

        So let Cuba be. Don’t feel sorry for its people. Those who do leave the country for one reason or another don’t represent the entire population. Wish them well and send them on their way to destination anywhere. The Cayman Islands is just too small to accept migrants.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Judging by the comments on here, Cayman is turning into a really nasty place to be for anyone, locals or expats…so much for God Loving people…love thy neighbour..Christian charity…all just sound bites, right?

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is our neighbor we are trying to love moron, I have an elderly neighbor I buy groceries for every 2 weeks because what he receives from the government barely pays his bills. Now these people come here and we have to shell out more money to help them that don’t want to help themselves? Screw that. #HelpCaymankind as in helping CAYMAN KIND and not freeloaders.

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      • Anonymous says:

        What does your elderly neighbours family contribute to his plight?

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      • Jotnar says:

        Shell out money to help them? You mean send money on keeping them locked up when all they want is to get back on a boat and keep going, but we agreed with the Cuban government to arrest them and send them back?

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      • Anonymous says:

        4.48 your civic duty only extend to Caymanians in distress…wow…

        • Anonymous says:

          If these guys were actually “in distress” I would be sympathetic but I’m sorry not wanting to work hard like everyone else to get ahead in life doesn’t stir my pity. I work hard to make ends meet, I could jump ship and go to England or the US but I don’t because I know with hard work my hardships in my HOME COUNTRY will fade and things will get better for me.

  7. Immigration Czar says:

    1. Send them all back home to Cuba by the weekend. Let Raul sort them out.
    2. Deny all refugee applications or those pending.
    3. Cayman cannot afford refugees and political prisoners
    4. Cayman does not need any more foreign trouble makers.
    5. Cayman should not import any more potential headaches.
    6. West Bay is full of Cubans living off the social services dole and relief payments

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Ok Cubans, you can all come here. We will go to Cuba. You cannot return. I guarantee you will turn wherever you go into the shithole you came from.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Lol! Hunger strike?! And who will ultimately suffer during the starvation process? Starve to death then! why should a country be held responsible for you when you refuse to eat by
    choice.

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  10. Bertie :B says:

    Take their phones !

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Cubans belong in Cuba. Where are the United Nations when you need them?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Okay trump.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Let them starve!

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        • Anonymous says:

          They do not need to starve. There is a lot of food in Cuba. They just need to go back home. If they have a problem with their government, they have the UN as arbitrators. Cayman Islands is a small place.

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      • Anonymous says:

        @10:52 So we should waste resources on a bunch of lazy freeloaders looking for a handout? I have family in Cuba, these people that boat out are lazy good for nothing bottom feeders to good to do a honest days work because it’s not up to the level they want. Let their assess willingly starve and when they are too weak to resist, put them on a boat, give them food and water and push them into the currents.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Instead of “Wet foot, Dry foot” it should be “Wet foot, Dry boat”. Was talking with a friend of mine earlier and she said she couldn’t imagine putting yourself in a boat and sailing out like that. I told her Caymanians and the rest of the Caribbean did it for centuries only then it was to make a better life at home not go for a better life. They want everything handed to them. This isn’t the 60’s or the 70’s where boat people were very well educated, these are lazy f**kers who just want to feed off another country because no-one in their own country is putting up with their shit. Ship them out. Fly them back to Cuba, put them back in their boat and tow them to international waters. Don’t continue to waste my money and everyone else’s money housing these ungrateful wretches. Cayman first for Caymanians, let’s fix out own issues then we can look at others.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your true colours are shining through…life is so great in Cuba right? If you are in the opposition you have zero chance currently of leading a normal life. Food shortages, crap infrastructure,no freedom of speech. If you tried writing what you just did there you would become part of the communist party apparatus, you know, the one that stifles all free speech.

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      • Anonymous says:

        @12:30.. So standing up for yourself and trying to better your position in life and those around you makes you a communist? If that’s true, EVERY country in the world is run by closet communists. I think the batch of stupid pills you are taking have too high a dosage.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Those seeking PR should just go on hunger strikes and avoid the fees. It should be easy given the cost of groceries in Cayman.

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  14. A says:

    Are they in fact being persecuted unfairly or are they economic migrants?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Economic migrants everyone of them – fit, male, probably with skills and looking for a backdoor way into the USA.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And more than a few of them have been through the IDC at least once before – they’re not being abused or persecuted when they’re repatriated so it’s clearly safe to fly them back to Cuba again. Just do it!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Just got an email from a friend who has been living in Cuba for 15 years, being married to a Cuban. “ Nobody wants to work in Cuba. Cubans who have relatives in other countries are living off their handouts, or their properties in Cuba, renting out their cars, houses etc.”

    Why asylum seekers are overwhelmingly single, young and male? Are they educated with marketable skills? Education is free in Cuba.

    There is much confusion in the media and in public debate generally about asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants. Many asylum seekers are in fact economic migrants who hope to secure entry into the country by claiming asylum.

    In the past, true political asylum seekers were highly educated intellectuals. They weren’t demanding special conditions, food or telephone service from a host country.

    Cuban detainee seems to be after better quality of life, which is being clearly demonstrated by their demands. They are fed and sheltered and medical care is available.

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    • Anonymous says:

      A lot of people don’t work because is not worth it. Yes you can be a Lawyer, Surgeon etc. but get paid what? $50 a month? and on the store everything cost the same as in here in Cayman?

      Is not that they don’t work because they are lazy, is just because there’s other ways of making a better income that actually working as what you study for.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I remember a few years ago all the good hookers in Havana had professional qualifications. I think Fidel Castro even joked that Cuba had the best educated prostitutes in the world.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It cracks me up when someone brings a $50/mo argument. There is such a thing as “cost of living”. If $50 wasn’t enough to live on, all Cubans would have been dead from starvation long time ago. Yet, they all seem to have Iphones these days.
        Please don’t compare other countries monthly wages (pensions) to American or Cayman cost of living.
        An engineer makes $200/mo in Ukraine and nobody is starving, as far as I know, because everyone in a family works.
        An average Russian retiree receives less than $200/mo and lives happily ever after.

        “A lot of people don’t work because is not worth it.” What kind of argument is that?

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        • Anonymous says:

          I lived in some of the places you mention. As another poster says, it doesn’t work like that. Government salaries are crap and no one works properly as a result, you make it up doing other things like growing fruit and veg, buying and selling stuff, whatever it takes to have a life. Similar to the CS here…

      • Anonymous says:

        Isn’t working for $50 and getting $50 and maybe affording food better than.. oh I don’t know.. not working and getting nothing? Good God Health City must have put stupid pills in with the M & M’s today.

  16. Anonymous says:

    We must do everything to ensure that these ungrateful people continue on their journey.. let us help with whatever we can in order for them to move on. We just cannot continue to accommodate these sick ungrateful people. Cuba is BIG and life there is like any where else – not all bad. Looks like most of the world thinks the U.S. And Cayman can solve these all their problems. Sorry we can’t!!!!!

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  17. Anonymous says:

    So they are on a hunger strike? If they aren’t drinking anything it will solve itself in about 35 days.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry I guess I don’t know as much about Cuba as I remember but why are they leaving Cuba? There’s no war.. Castro’s regime is dead.. unless they are political dissidents or criminals why are they fleeing? And if they are in detention, why do they have cell phones? This is like the migrants in Europe, they come to another country and demand the country bend over backwards to please them. If they don’t like it here we can supply them with a boat and send them on their way if they’d like. Sorry, don’t mean to sound heartless but Cayman has enough issues to add the plight of someone who saw another country as a golden egg that they want to possess. Have them go back and fix their own crap like we have to here. We’re not expecting anyone outside of Cayman to fix Cayman. If things are so bad in Cuba, maybe another revolution is needed. And to those who say it wouldn’t work because the Cuban government is too well armed? Umm take a page from Casto’s handbook.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t send them to the U.K. either. We have enough immigrants here sapping our NHS service, taking over our homes and receiving handouts on the back of the taxpayer!

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      • Anonymous says:

        More freeloaders mixed in with genuinely needy people. Give them guns and ship them back to fight for a better home.

  19. Cym Citizen says:

    Sorry

    The Asylum tests and Immigration investigations has determined that these Cubans are ECONOMIC migrants!

    So they are not oppressed or persecuted, and they should go back to Cuba, there is no evidence they will be oppressed or persecuted.

    These Cubans need to focus on making ends meet in their own country just like everybody else in their home countries. Look at Haiti or Jamaica for example. So many folk suffering in these places economically. Just because you are not doing well economically does not give you the right to remain here and add to our economic burden. Yes, we are charitable, but there are limits! Charity is not neglecting to love ourselves first and the employment of our own people!!!

    Please go home! Have faith in Dios! We are a small country and we helped you enough! Try again and go home to make ends meet!

    Peace ????✌????

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  20. Anonymous says:

    How much does it cost to house them for years? While our own seniors go hungry?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Very mean spirited

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, let’s let them ALL come in. That’s only fair and is what is expected of other countries.
        (sarcastic.. I feel for the plight of the Americans and all of their economic immigrants wanting to freeload off of the USA)

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      • Anonymous says:

        It shouldn’t take years to sort these poor folks into three categories. We should either (a) send them back on one of our nearly daily flights to Cuba, per MOU, (b) return them to a seaworthy boat, in defiance of the MOU, or (c) give them political asylum. Holding them longterm in a cell isn’t solving any humanitarian problem – only creating new ones. Deferring for days, weeks, months, and years to sort arriving folks into one of these three simple columns, is all on us.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Mean spirited yeah, to our own Caymanian Senior Citizens.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you 12:22.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ask Alden. He is responsible for the failure to deal with them or anything else quickly.

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