Captain insists Cuban migrants must get off his ship

| 08/04/2021 | 20 Comments
MV Bulk Freedom

(CNS): The captain of the MV Bulk Freedom has indicated that he is unwilling to take the Cuban migrants currently occupying a communications room aboard his vessel to any other port and has insisted that the group must disembark here in the Cayman Islands, according to the latest official update on the impasse. Customs and Border Control is still supplying the migrants with food, water and baby supplies. The infant with the group is said to be ill with a fever but offers of medical assistance have been refused, officials said in a short statement. They also said the continued claims by the migrants that they are being mistreated by them “are simply not true”.

CBC confirmed that they became aware last night that the baby was ill, however the child’s parents, Jouz Javier Freites and Erica Alvarez-Freites, have refused repeated offers by the authorities to take one of them and the child to the George Town Hospital for treatment.

Despite the challenging situation, the CBC said that the Cubans continue to be cared for in accordance with local policy, which is compliant with the 1951 Convention on the Treatment of Refugees.

But the situation is becoming more challenging, as the captain of the Bulk Freedom has told the authorities he will not take the migrants to any other port, despite their repeated requests to be taken to the US or Central America. The ship’s next port of call was the Panama Canal where it was schedule to have been by lunchtime today.

The captain was quoted as saying in the release that “the vessel’s structure and equipment cannot facilitate this number of persons onboard in terms of health and hygiene”. He has also said the ship’s safety equipment and manning does not allow more than 25 people on board and is therefore adamant that they must disembark in Cayman.

“CBC and the assisting agencies, RCIPS and CICG are actively working to resolve this issue as soon as possible,” the release said.

Freites managed to resume his social media contact during the course of the day, as Cayman officials returned to the vessel a number of times without resolution.


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Category: Border Control, Coast Guard, Local News, Police

Comments (20)

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  1. D. Truth says:

    Aboard ship, the Captain’s word is law”!

  2. caymanian says:

    I assume they are using the baby as a pawn for special attention etc. why would a mother start a journey across the sea in a row boat with a baby

    • Anonymous says:

      Opportunity. I for one am extremely grateful I’ve never been in a position to have to consider something like that.

      • Anonymous says:

        There isn’t even oppurtunity here for Caymanians. Don’t the waves wet them on the way out.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Deport the H… out of them now that they are back on Island

  4. Anonymous says:

    So the Cubans left our territorial waters and were brought back.

    Quarantine is mandated by our Government. Follow the rules are force them into quarantine.

    Time for the Governor to step in and make a big boy decision on behalf of a UK overseas territory. Why not bring them to the Motherland?

  5. Anonymous says:

    They all need to be shipped back to Cuba. This is ridiculous!

    • Anonymous says:

      They actually first need to be arrested and prosecuted for the multiple offenses they appear to have committed (including mutiny). They need to serve prison sentences and then returned to Cuba (the mother to the DR). We need to ensure a strong deterrent to anyone trying this crap again. It will have cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the shipowners and crew will have also suffered. All need to be thanked and protected from this ever happening again.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well, if they want to get off in Panama let them get off there. The authorities will simply hold them there until they go to court to solve their problem. I don’t know if they have legal aid there. They can go and find out. But holding the ship up is costing a lot of money.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Walk the plank!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Get off his boat!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Get some knackers CI Government. Who the hell are these Cubans coming into our country demanding to be taken to other jurisdictions?

    Unna need to thoroughly read all the related conventions and treaties pertaining to refugees, asylum seekers, migrants etc etc etc.

    The food, water, shelter and treatment these so-called refugees, asylum seekers, migrants get here and on the ship most likely way better than back home.

    I would encourage the Cubans to get better GPS, better compasses and more fuel if they do not want to be in the Cayman Islands. Am sure the authorities won’t mind if you pass us by.

    And if my memory serves me correct …isn’t Key West Florida about a hundred miles or so from Cuba? Go north Cubans, not south. And you are most welcome for all the free advice.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Time for CBC to put on the big boy pants and act like a functioning enforcement agency.

    Either that or call in the new Coast Guard or Regiment. Otherwise, what’s the point of having them.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Time to count to three (or tres) and lob in a tear gas canister?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Captains that take on passengers in peril in international waters, are then responsible as agents for the flag of vessel registration, in their case, Panama. Better make haste fellas. A teachable moment.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Captain is going above and beyond by allowing them to stay onboard this long. He appears to have done his job by bringing the Cubans to Grand Cayman.

    May I ask if the MV Bulk Freedom is a passenger ship/ferry/cruise ship?

    If the Cubans did not want to be in the Cayman Islands in the first place – then why the hell are you coming here? Why not Jamaica? Haiti? Dominican Republic? Seems to be a very stupid thing to do, coming to a country that you do not want to be in.

    Simple solution – Cayman authorities board ship, remove Cubans and send them back to Cuba.

  14. Anonymous says:

    …Rowboat?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Use tear gas and take them out. Taser them and drag them out. We should not have to deal with those terrible people. Let them continue their journey whenever they land here. Give them food, water and fuel and let them go on their merry way. The captain tried helping those ungrateful people, and they are causing so much problem for him.

  16. Anonymous says:

    WTF?? This is freakin ridiculous and has gone on for far too long….the Captain is not going to take them to Panama or the USA as they are requesting/demanding yet they refuse to leave the carrier? Take them off by force, inform the Cuban authorities and send them back. They could never EVER cut this bullshit in Cuba so why go elsewhere and make unrealistic demands? I know well none of us can go Cuba and do that!

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