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  • 12 / 29 / 2006

At least two Cubans continue missing Thursday, after the motorboat in which they were trying to illegally leave the country sank this week, part of a new people s smuggling operation towards the US.

Granma daily denounced the incident is the direct consequence of the 1996 Cuban Adjustment Act, which grants privileges to any Cuban citizen who reaches US territory.

The two missing people were part of a group of another nine Cubans who set sail from southern Havana.

The Cuban coastguard detected the boat when it hit a small rocky island, throwing ten passengers into the water. A rescue team came as soon as possible with a helicopter and vessel.

According to testimonies by two survivors, they made the decision to leave the country illegally due to the obstacles posed by the US Interest Section in Havana to those who try to emigrate legally.

One of them revealed he paid 2,500 dollars for a spot on the boat, following orientations through a phone call from the US. They intended to reach Mexican territory to continue to the US and appeal to the Cuban Adjustment Law.

The coastguard agents, said Jorge Luis Valdes, 29, "risked their lives to save us, and launched as many things as they could to keep us floating."

Cuba has constantly denounced the incongruity of the migratory agreements signed with the US in 1994 and of the 1966 legislation.

Legal emigration is allegedly recognized on one hand, while attempts to destabilize the Revolution by encouraging emigration are made on the other.

Source: Prensa Latina

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