Maybe it’s the mundane but recognizable details about the cellphone and the two kids; maybe it’s the realization that this happened so recently….but for some reason, I find this story a little haunting.

Six Cuban migrants reach Puerto Rico

San Juan, Mar 8 (EFE).- Six undocumented Cuban migrants arrived Wednesday on Mona Island, an uninhabited islet that lies between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and is part of the territory of this U.S. commonwealth, authorities here said.

Sgt. Jose Luis Rivera Morales said the travelers reached Mona at around 3:30 a.m. and that the migrants – three men, a woman and two children – were in good health.

The preliminary police report said the Cubans were dropped off on the island by the owners of a boat operating from the Dominican Republic.

Traffickers frequently bring Cuban migrants to Mona, taking advantage of Washington’s “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which mandates that Cubans who reach U.S. soil may remain and apply for permanent residence while those intercepted at sea are generally returned to their homeland. A dozen Cubans reached Mona Island on Tuesday, and a party of 23 arrived there Feb. 24.

It is now common for the Cubans who come to Mona to contact family members already in Puerto Rico – presumably by cellphone – so the latter can alert authorities to retrieve the migrants. EFE ie/dr


As day ends on this side of the U.S., I think back to my day. Got on the freeway, got in to work, turned on my computer, read blogs, did some editing, did some writing, did some phoning, chatted with colleagues, got another cup of coffee, pulled out a stock chart, chatted some more on the phone….

and this high human drama of six innocent people risking their lives on a leaky boat, risking everything they had – their lives and homes back home, their uncertain future in an unknown land, and their very existence itself on the high seas in shark-infested waters — was what was happening somewhere else, at the same time, occupying the same time on earth as I was.

And all because they badly wanted to flee to freedom — by any means they could. It stands out to me. While I was pouring another cup of coffee and checking my email …. six people were climbing out of a beat-up rowboat and touching dry land, dead of night and then hot sun above them, praying they would be allowed to stay. All at the same time.

2 thoughts on “Eeeerie”

  1. Wow Mora, great touching post. With little variation, my morning was pretty much the same as yours. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had these same thoughts and feelings. The enduring spirit and bravery of the Cuban people is a profound undertold story. Every day, I’m humbled and inspired by their greatness.

  2. What the article doesn’t describe is the conditions in the Dominican boats. Hundreds of Dominicans die every year trying to reach Puerto Rico illegally, due to the awful conditions of the motor boats they use.
    Additionally, the Cubans travelling by Dominican boats are easy prey for unscrupulous boat owners trafficking in human cargo.

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