Necessity is the mother of invention:


MIAMI — A vintage blue taxicab converted into a seagoing vessel and carrying several Cuban immigrants was intercepted Tuesday off Key West by the Coast Guard.

Footage from NBC 6 in Miami showed Coast Guard officers boarding the blue vehicle, which had been modified with a boat prow in front and appeared to have at least four immigrants aboard.

The Coast Guard declined to comment. “Under U.S. government policy, we cannot discuss migrant interdiction operations until disposition is complete,” said Petty Officer Sandra Bartlett. That process often takes days, she said.

Under U.S. immigration policy, Cubans who reach U.S. shores generally are allowed to stay while those caught at sea are usually returned.

In 2003, immigrants tried to cross the Florida Straits aboard a green 1951 Chevrolet pickup, which a man named Luis Grass had converted into a boat. They were intercepted and sent back to Cuba. The Coast Guard then sunk the craft.

In 2004 Grass made a second attempt to get to the United States illegally — this time aboard a Buick sedan powering another homemade barge.

Grass and his family had more success sticking to land: on March 12 they entered the U.S. though the Texas-Mexico border and were allowed to stay.

The most incredible thing about these car/truck/boat conversions is that they not only work perfectly, but that they’re done with such ingenuity. Materials are scarce, parts are scarce, and they cant go to some manufacturer and have custom parts built. they do it all by hand, by themselves, and covertly, becuase if they should happen to get caught, they go straight to the gulags.

13 thoughts on “Taxi!!!”

  1. Another excellent example of the Cuban people on the island putting into practice one of their government’s own slogans: “Hasta la victoria siempre! (to victory, always).”
    I wonder if the U.S. Coast Guard, once again, sank this floating monument to freedom…
    And more than likely these creative and highly enterprising Cubans will be shipped back to fidel’s paradise, where no doubt they will try again, and again and again, until they get to their own version of la “victoria.”

  2. We need to help them. Their best bet is Jesse James of Monster Garage, does anybody have his contact info handy to send this link to him? PLEASE HELP!

  3. Juan,
    Jesse James has a TV show dealing with car transformations and he could invite this people to his show and present them to the American people as the ingenous and hardworking creators that they are. That can be their chance of landing in the States, a TV appearance describing their (ad)venture and participating in Jesse’s show. Check the website,
    He is a great car customizer so these people are his peers.

  4. Co?o! I hope somebody on the island wound up with dad’s 1960 Corvair and can use it to get the hell outta there. Now THAT would be impressive – Ralphie Nader, eat your heart out!


    Carter Calls for Closure of Guantanamo Bay Prison
    Former President Says Reports of Abuse Are ‘Blow to Our Reputation’

    Getty Images
    Despite his criticism, former President Carter says Gitmo should not be compared to former Soviet labor camps.

    ATLANTA (June 8) – Former President Carter on Tuesday called for the United States to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison to demonstrate its commitment to human rights.

    ”The U.S. continues to suffer terrible embarrassment and a blow to our reputation … because of reports concerning abuses of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo,” Carter said after a two-day human rights conference at his Atlanta center.

    Such reports have surfaced despite President Bush’s ”bold reminder that America is determined to promote freedom and democracy around the world,” Carter said.

    About 540 detainees are being held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Some have been there more than three years without being charged with a crime. Most were captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002 and were sent to Guantanamo Bay in hope of extracting useful intelligence about the al-Qaida terrorist network.

    Carter said the United States needs to make sure no detainees are held incommunicado and that all are told the charges against them.

    Despite his criticism of Guantanamo Bay, Carter said Amnesty International should not have called the prison ”the gulag of our time” in a report last month. President Bush has termed the report by the human-rights group ”absurd.”

    Carter said the alleged abuses at Guantanamo Bay could never compare with the forced labor camps operated by the former Soviet Union.

    AP-NY-06-08-05 0820EDT

  6. Thanks Mojo, I think that it’s important that the message goes across everywhere. The audience needs to be shown the plight of these valiant men and women and how they resource to extremes to leave!

  7. I just sent an e-mai to Jesse. I really hope they go with it for their show. CB, I sent you a copy of the e-mail.

  8. Thanks Candy…. I think that if a bunch of us call for it, we will be able to grasp the public attention’s to the plight of the Cuban people, the Holocaust of the Caribbean.

  9. Put that puppy on ebay and give them the money…

    I have a friend in Cuba ready to lauch what he calls “Cuba’s Jetski” a modified 1930’s Ariel motocycle complete with propeller and stabalizers for balancing in the water,he has already secretly tested it and will be heading this way soon at a whooping speed of 20 mph!!!!!

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