JG - Fifteen Cubans rescued at sea
Fifteen Cubans rescued at sea
published: Wednesday September 21, 2005
Stephanie Elliot, Gleaner Writer
AFTER BEING adrift for five days without food or water and clinging on for survival, 15
Cubans were rescued at sea by crew members of a bauxite ship off the coast of Clarendon yesterday.
The migrants said they did not want to return to their homeland because of severe socio-economic conditions there.
The group, which was taken to Rocky Point for processing by immigration and health department officials, consists of 13 males and two females.
Eldoredes, a migrant, said she and her fellow countrymen were grateful to be in Jamaica until officials decide their fate.
"But we do not want to go home," she said emphatically.
The refugees were reportedly heading for the United States, a popular destination point for migrants seeking to escape the communist regime led by Fidel Castro who has been in power since 1959.
The group was later taken to Kingston. Efforts to get a comment from the Ministry of National Security were unsuccessful.
JUST WHEN THEY WERE LOSING HOPE
Eldoredes said that after five gruelling days at sea, they had begun to lose hope when on Sunday afternoon, they spotted the Centennial 2, a ship owned by Jamalco. She explained that "the ship's crew members came to our aid, and took us aboard where we were taken to Jamaica".
Clarendon Health Department official, Dr. Sonia Copeland, who headed the medical team that examined the Cuban refugees, said that the refugees have been given a clean bill of health. She also confirmed that the group's immunisation status was up to date.