History,  The Left

From the Vaults: Miami Herald, February 17, 1994

I am grateful to Paul Bogdanor for providing me with an article about Communist Cuba. I copy an extract below. If anyone else has kept any old newspaper or magazine articles that they think may be suitable for this series, please do send them in.

UN Report: About 6 Cubans Die Every Day Fleeing Island

Mimi Whitefield,

Miami Herald,
February 17, 1994

About 25 people try to flee Cuba every day and a quarter of those die in the attempt, according to a report on Cuba’s human rights situation presented Wednesday to the United Nations in Geneva….

[Carl-Johan] Groth [the report’s author] was appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Commission in 1992 as a special reporter on the human rights situation in Cuba. The appointment of such “rapporteurs” usually signals deep UN concern about a country….

Groth said he estimated that about 25 people try to escape the island in illegal ways each day, and quoted “some sources” as saying that out of every four people who try to flee, one makes it, two are turned back by authorities or adverse conditions, and one dies….

The State Department’s 1993 human rights report said: “Despite the dangers involved, a record 3,656 Cubans made it to the United States in rafts. It is not known how many perished en route.”

That report also said that more than 30 Cubans were known to have been killed in the past year while attempting to seek asylum at the Guantanamo Naval base – either shot by Cuban soldiers or killed by mines – while a record 831 Cubans made it safely to the base. In 1992, 152 Cubans sought asylum at the base.

Ricardo Bofill, a Miami-based human rights activist who forwarded many reports to Groth, said that every month he receives several reports of drownings or people who never reach their destination.

The most recent report of tragedy came earlier this month from the Cuban Committee for Human Rights in Villa Clara province. It reported that of 10 people who were shipwrecked off Isabela de Sagua on Cuba’s north coast, five were detained by Cuban authorities and five others were missing. Two bodies later were recovered.

“The cases continue. The list of dead or missing keeps growing,” Bofill said Wednesday.

If America is so evil, one wonders why  so many people from the non-free world have risked their lives trying to get there?