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realclearworld

PSA: Seeking California Balseros

balseros

Twenty years ago this coming November, they left from Puerto Padre, Oriente, expecting a 15-20 hour journey to the Bahamas or the Florida Keys. Instead, their 16 ft. boat began taking on water, and threatened by high waves, they struggled to survive at the mercy of the sea. Happily, their prayers were answered, and they were spotted and rescued by a Royal Viking Sun cruise ship. The stranded travelers were brought on board, and allowed to remain as the ship continued its journey through the Panama Canal, and on to Los Angeles. Upon arrival, they were arrested by immigration officials for illegal entry, and remained in prison for weeks until CANF, Pete Aguilera, and Fernando Marquet helped them obtain the necessary documents to secure their release. They left for Miami on December 30, 1993, the only Balseros who came to California.

Fernando will be visiting Miami during the first week of March, and would very much like to have a reunion with them. He is asking for help in locating these individuals:

Iran Valladares
Ariel Fernandez
Margarita Bautista
Ruben Escobar
Yeranis Guerra
Miguel Gonzalez
Michael Velasquez

If you can help please contact Fernando.
Email: fernandomarquet@gmail.com
Cell: 310-918-4283

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