Cuban Exiles Protest Migrant Abuse at Cruise Ships to Bahamas
MIAMI – Members of two Cuban exile organizations demonstrated Friday in the Port of Miami, in front of cruise ships that sail to the Bahamas, against the abuse undocumented migrants undergo when they arrive at that archipelago.
With this protest, “we denounce the abuse” that the Bahamian government inflicts on the undocumented, “mostly Cubans, but also Haitians, Brazilians and even Chinese, who arrive in their territory,” Democracy Movement leader Ramon Saul Sanchez told Efe.
The protest campaign will continue with the hunger strike that activist Jesus Alexis Gomez begins Friday at the Bayside Marketplace in downtown Miami.
It was Gomez who shot the pictures that went viral on the Internet, in which a Bahamian detention center official is seen “kicking the detainees,” Sanchez said.
Gomez managed to enter the detention center with his smartphone and made videos of the official mistreating some Cuban migrants.
Friday’s protest at the port was authorized by the U.S. Coast Guard, though the activists were not allowed any closer than 90 meters (295 feet) from the cruise ships.
Activists of the Cuban exile community displayed huge banners with slogans such as “Bahamas stop the cruelty against the undocumented.”
At the same time a blimp flew over the cruise ships pulling a banner with the word “Democracy.”
“We’re not taking action against either the cruise ships or the tourists, but we’re asking them as a matter of conscience to urge the Bahamian government to stop this kind of conduct,” the Cuban activist said. EFE