Wet-foot/dry-foot strikes again… with a twist

While hundreds of U.S. law enforcement agents intercepted imaginary Cuban migrants during a massive training exercise in south Florida, two boatloads of actual Cubans sneaked ashore on Miami Beach on Thursday.

I have mixed feelings about this story. On the one hand I am ecstatic that 40 of our compatriotas have escaped their prison on the island; on the other, it doesn’t give me a warm and fuzzy that we missed them coming in — during a military drill!

Your thoughts?

18 thoughts on “Wet-foot/dry-foot strikes again… with a twist”

  1. It wasn’t exactly a military drill and I’m sure these folks that arrived didn’t come on makeshift boats or rafts, probably go-fast boats used by human traffickers. They are going to get through just like drugs get through.

  2. It wasn’t exactly a military drill and I’m sure these folks that arrived didn’t come on makeshift boats or rafts, probably go-fast boats used by human traffickers. They are going to get through just like drugs get through.

  3. You may be right, Henry, but the irony is quite painful.

    What is even more painful is how hard officials are working to stop a possible influx of people fleeing a tyranny. Call me naive, but isn’t that what this country is suppose to be about?

  4. Cubans refugees are the most valuable immigrants. The left hates them and they understand the dangers of communism. If refugees from communist nations and apostates from Islam were given better immigration treatment the West would have far fewer problems. It should be illegal to send anyone from an Islamic nation who renounces Islam or from a communist or other totalitarian system back to their nation of origin.

    And while I do not begrudge America from trying to secure its borders, I imagine that few terrorist organizations would ever risk trying to smuggle anyone in. Using legal entry works well or, in a pinch, local recruits are a better bet and it’s less risky. If anyone of any value gets caught coming through they would put the whole mission at risk not just by them talking but by clues that might be brought to light by their travel arrangements or possessions.

  5. Henry:

    “[The Cuban refugees] are going to get through just like drugs get through”?

    Save a line like this for Mambi Waaaatch.

  6. I rather share your dual reactions, George.

    I am also reminded of that Cuban pilot who defected to the US back in 1968 or 1969, who arrived at Homestead Air Force Base just when the base personnel were conducting some kind of inspection exercise, with bigwigs in full dress uniform, IIRC.

    It was great that these cuarenta refugiados came over…but it’s ironic how they did it, under the very noses of those supposed to be enforcing the law.

    Ah well. Welcome to freedom!


  7. As a Cuban I am glad they made it in. As for the drill and getting past it I doesn’t seem that those participating were even in boats according to the article. It looks like they were doing a base of operations drill and not a surviellance. Besides the Cubans may have been dropped off on a pleasure craft and in Miami Beach of all places they surely would not have expected that if they were out there on boats. It is funny though if there is a mass defection they just need to make sure they time it 2 boats at a time. Resembles something more like the movie the Great Escape.

  8. Before Clinton, the Coast Guard’s mission was to save Cubans. Now it is to intercept them and return them to Cuba by any means fair or foul. “Interception” can take many forms, including capsizing the Cubans, watching impassively as they drown, beating them back into the ocean, or even repatriating them after they have already made land by the curious expedient of determining that a bridge to nowhere is a bridge to hell. Let’s see if even one Republican candidate denounces the travesty of justice that the calamitous George Bush has enforced longer than Clinton did. I used to laugh when human rights organizations would condemn the U.S. for violating human rights. I no longer laugh. It’s done here and it’s done to our fellow Cubans.

  9. Manuel,

    I have to take exception to:

    watching impassively as they drown…

    I dont recall a single incident where the Coast Guard caused or stood by and did nothing while a would be refugee drowned.

    I agree with the rest wholeheartedly, but that mentioned above simply doesnt ring true.

  10. Well, I figure if the authorities involved in the drill were all concentrated in one specific area, it’s understandable that they missed the arrivals while away doing exercises.



  11. Val:

    It has actually happened. First, the Coast Guard capsized the refugees’ boat; some of them ended up under the capsized boat. They were screaming frantically for help, but the Coast Guard did nothing because, according to them, it would have endangered their lives to go under the boat to rescue them. I will look for links. This story was actually reported on the news but did not awaken much indignation in our community. I guess it’s just the way things are now.

    The worst incidents, Val, have not been witnessed by bystanders or videotaped. They happen every day in the open seas where there are no witnesses, only God above.

  12. Val:

    This is not the story I was referencing but one exactly like it from 1999. The Coast Guard rammed the refugees’ boat and then refused to rescue a 12-year old girl because they claimed they didn’t have the right equipment to save her. They did nothing while the child’s mother begged them to help her.


  13. Val:

    Here is the story to which I alluded, as reported in The New York Times and reproduced on Babalú blog on December 15, 2005:

    “The Coast Guard crew had transferred only about half of the migrants to its cutter when the speedboat capsized, trapping two grandmothers and a 9-year-old girl underneath. The girl’s mother dived under the boat to rescue the girl, but nobody saved the two women – even though Mr. Leyva and others on his boat said they begged the Coast Guard crew to do so.

    Mr. Diaz, the Coast Guard spokesman, said rescue diving was not part of the Coast Guard’s standard procedures.

    “People ask us, ‘Go underneath the hull,'” he said. “Well, we don’t carry divers. If our personnel jumped in the water, then no one is going to be manning the ship. We have just enough persons to run a vessel. We don’t have extra bodies to do things some of these relatives want us to do.”

    The Cuban mother dived under the boat to save her daughter, but the cowardly Coast Guardsmen, whose job it is, refused to save the two trapped grandmothers because they “can’t do some of the things these relatives want us to do.” A dehydrated panic-stricken untrained woman can; but these burly well-fed and -trained sons of bitches won’t.


  14. Manuel,
    You bring up some great points, and I wholeheartedly agree that our brothers seeking freedom should not be treated like this, to put it mildy. This is outrageous and I also agree Bush has failed us on this particular aspect that Clinton put in effect.
    I sense however, that you are forgeting the ROOT cause of this, the tyranny, and not seeing the whole picture.
    I am equally sure that the US has also saved thousands of lives of our brothers in the past, and provided us an opportunity to live in freedom. We cannot “cherry pick” these one or two incidents as representative of the the United States – reprehensible as they are.

  15. Max:

    It’s not a question of “cherry-picking.” The nobility and greatness lies in the past; it is the present, however, which is neither noble nor great, but sordid and even criminal, which should command our attention now. If I had been asked in 1994 which U.S. agency had historically contributed the most to Cuban freedom, I should without hesitation have said the Coast Guard. After the gutting by presidential fiat of the Cuban Adjustment Act (1966) and consequent predations by the U.S. Coast Guard on defenseless Cubans whose only “crime” is to have availed themselves of the law to claim what the law promised them, I no longer feel either gratitude or respect for the Coast Guard. They are merely men following orders, with all which that implies. The equipment that they need desperately to check is their moral compass. The same lesson would have served in good stead other groups of obedient men in uniform. As for Clinton and Bush, I feel nothing but contempt, but even that pales in comparison to my contempt for our Cuban-American congressmen who fulminate against vacuities but refuse to confront the president or any presidential candidate on this issue. They save their “political capital” — if they have any — for endorsing presidential candidates without extracting from them any promises or asking any questions, just as with Bush.

  16. P.S.: And let us not forget that many of the Coast Guardsmen patrolling for Cuban refugees in order to impede their quest for freedom are the sons and grandsons of Cuban exiles. It’s an old and venerable American tradition for the sons of first-generation immigrants to prove that they are real Americann by persecuting new arrivals. Look at Tom Tancredo. It’s the “American way.”

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