December 18, 2005


Tensions Rise as More Flee Cuba for U.S. (ABBY GOODNOUGH, 12/18/05, NY Times)

The number of Cubans intercepted at sea while trying to reach the United States is at its highest level since tens of thousands took to the Florida Straits on makeshift rafts and in small boats in the 1994 exodus sanctioned by President Fidel Castro.

The sharp rise - and an increase in clashes between would-be immigrants and the Coast Guard - are inflaming tensions over a policy enacted in response to the 1994 migration that allows Cubans without visas to stay if they reach American soil but turns back those caught at sea.

The "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which does not apply to any other immigrant group, is being blamed by critics for at least 39 deaths this year in the Florida Straits and is testing the resolve of the Coast Guard, which the critics say has become too aggressive in enforcing the restrictions.

In offering a permanent escape to Cubans who make it here, they say, the policy encourages them to risk their lives.

If we're not going to change the regime we at least owe it to the Cuban people to accept anyone who wants to flee.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 18, 2005 9:03 AM

I was at the Palm Beach County Emergency Center during the 2000 Gore recount.

I see a Cuban flag and it evokes the same feelings as the American flag does. When these American patriots liberate Cuba we are going to see the carribean turn into an Asian tiger.

Posted by: David at December 18, 2005 9:25 AM

Get ready for the great Cuban land grab and tourism explosion as soon as Fidel becomes room temperature.

Posted by: erp at December 18, 2005 10:37 AM

The New York Times has the queerist knack of granting the title President to the most bizarre people.

Are they trying to upgrade their Havana bureau?

Posted by: John J. Coupal at December 18, 2005 10:52 AM

The "wet foot, dry foot" policy, which does not apply to any other immigrant group

I simply don't understand why this detestable policy continues to exist during a Republican administration. Here's something the trolls could legitimately hammer Bush for, if they weren't too busy hammering Bush for saving innocent Iraqis from the plastic shredders.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 19, 2005 1:21 AM

Mr. Murphy;

But then they'd have to admit that people wanted to flee the universal health care in Cuba.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at December 19, 2005 4:17 PM