Two more migrant boats arrive on Cayman Brac

| 01/05/2022 | 21 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cuban vessel arrived Saturday night, 30 April (photo by CBC)

(CNS): Just days after the director of border control, Charles Clifford, said that government was rolling out a plan to deal with a potential mass arrival of Cuban migrants in local waters, another 18 people arrived in Cayman Brac Saturday in two vessels. The first boat arrived in Spot Bay at 1:15pm carrying one woman and eight men, officials said. Later that night, at 11pm, another make-shift boat, also with eight men and one woman, arrived on the south shore.

Officials said that all the migrants appeared to be in good health, though one man who arrived on the second boat was treated by the Health Services Authority’s Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) for a laceration to his foot. 

Officials said all of the migrants are being processed in accordance with CBC’s established protocols relating to COVID-19 and they will be transported to Grand Cayman as soon as possible. The arrival of the latest two boats brings the number of refugees in CBC care to 135.

Cuba is currently suffering from serious food and medicine shortages, which has fuelled a significant increase in migration from the island to the United States. According to news reports, Nearly 80,000 Cubans have been apprehended at the US border with Mexico since October 2021. Cuba’s government blames the United States’ trade embargo and tightened sanctions for the economic woes.


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Category: Local News

Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks a lot Joe Biden!

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    • Anonymous says:

      What is that supposed to mean ?

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      • Anonymous says:

        This is his fault…

        The US southern border is wide open right now due to Biden’s disastrous policies. These desperate people are trying to get to Central America so they can walk over the border.

        CNS: Fact-checking Greg Abbott’s claims that Biden has ‘open border’ policies
        1) The ‘open border’ fallacy is just right wing hysteria. Biden is simply trying to step back from the more cruel and inhumane policies of the previous administration. Remember how he forcibly separated children, even toddlers, from their parents and then forgot to keep track of where they were?
        2) Before Obama cancelled the wet-foot-dry-foot policy that had been in place for decades, all Cuban migrants had to do was literally step over the border and they were guaranteed asylum.
        3) The surge in Cubans leaving Cuba is due to deteriorating conditions in Cuba. The journey by sea to Central America is extremely hazardous, which is why most of them make it the first 90 miles to Cayman Brac and give up. If they survive the journey to Honduras, which is where most of them are heading, there is another very long, very dangerous journey by land through Guatemala and Mexico to the US border and then they must apply for asylum like everyone else. It’s not something anyone would do without significant push factor.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Intrusion under the guise of migration.

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  3. Orrie Merren says:

    The Cayman Islands has obligations under international law, which is provided for in the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees done at Geneva on 28 July 1951 (as amended by 1967 Protocol), that sets out relevant provisions that must be followed in relation to refugees that are asylum seekers, such as from Cuba: see HS and Six Others v Immigration Appeals Tribunal [2019] 1 CILR 545 per Mangatal J (C.I. Grand Court).

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    • Anonymous says:

      We absolutely do…once they make landfall. But we also have a Coast Guard, Joint Marine Unit, and two helicopters. Inspecting these vessels for safety to proceed, re-provisioning, and re-routing at sea might be more humane and better for them and cheaper and simpler for us, while also demonstrating that we have the functional Coast Guard we’ve been staffing and paying for. One might also ask how fully-loaded drug canoes are allowed to approach and enter the North Sound to capsize when the Coast Guard is right there with 100nm dual band radar…

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    • Anonymous says:

      The question is how many of them are true asylum seekers? Our international obligations are for ‘political asylum’ seekers only, and not for economic migrants which the vast majority are as evidenced by our agreement with the Cuban government for the costly repatriation back to Cuba at our expense.Past experiences has shown them to be a most ungrateful
      lot who make unreasonable demands and abuse our CaymanKind hospitality. We need to meet them at sea and provide necessary humanitarian assistance and supplies only for their onward journey . We have enough social service issues and needs of our own to address with limited resources. Charity begins at home.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Cuba is experiencing serious food shortages. Far worse than usual even for Cuba. This is just the start.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Eggs are $5/dozen in FL and apples $4+

      I hear Europeans being advised to skip daily laundry

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Cayman islands are too small to take care of all these Cubans, U K makes the rules so they should support them

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Customs and Border Control is going to have their hands full. Guess we’ll see a real stress test on the system in place and, if required, hopefully make necessary policy adjustments.

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    • JTB says:

      There aren’t really any policy options to speak of. So long as we are bound by the refugee convention we have to process them accordingly.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Cayman has no choice but to share its wealth with the less fortunate.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman has an open dirty deal to repatriate migrants so long as CAL wants to keep flying a route to Havana. If the Coast Guard explained that predicament before landfall, with a case of water and a few loaves of bread, most of them would make a hard right to Central America. Why can’t our Coast Guard use their radar intervene and redirect? It would be much cheaper!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Did you see the state of boats they travel in?
        I lost touch with my Cuban friend, but remember the stories how they were eating marinated socks and trees leaves after Soviet Union collapse.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Our full-time, well-equipped Coast Guard should be rendezvousing with these vessels, with all these human souls aboard, at 12nm, to enquire who wants to go home, and who wants to continue to roll the freedom dice. Come with us, and step aboard if you want to go home, for everyone else, here’s a compass heading, some water/gas/food, and Godspeed to you! We should have printed material in Spanish that explains our exchange policy with Cuba, before they dry foot in the Brac. It would save a lot of time, and maybe some human lives.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wonder if it is flying over Cuba or keeping the status quo of Caymanians having the rights to the one trip US Visas.

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