Mario Penton, Miami, 30 October 2017 — Two young Cubans are missing after the shipwreck on Saturday of a rickety boat on which they attempted to leave the country along with four other people. According to the relatives who spoke with14ymedio, the group on the boat had left from the area of Cayo Caguama, south of Camagüey.
Two young men, Yasniel Naranjo and Julio César de Gotor Osorio, both 24 years old, have yet to be found, while four others were saved by the Cuban Border Patrol.
“We are desperate, I do not even want to talk, I just want my husband to appear alive,” Yuneisy González de Armas says through her tears from Santa Cruz del Sur, a small fishing village south of Camagüey.
The couple has a one-year-old girl and Gonzalez says her husband never told her that he planned to leave the country.
The Border Patrol Troops continue the search by sea, but according to a family member who asked not to be identified “when other family members asked him to use helicopters, an officer replied that this could only be done by the Revolutionary Armed Forces and that it was outside his scope of control.”
Until last January, the United States’ wet foot/dry foot policy allowed Cubans who reached US soil to apply for permanent residence in the country. However, rafters that were intercepted at sea by the US or Cuban Coast Guards were returned to the island.
Under the current migratory agreements between the US and Cuba all Cuban migrants who arrive in the United States without a visa are deported to the island. However, if they arrive at a border post and can demonstrate a credible fear of persecution, they could be admitted and allowed to present their case for political asylum.