Cubans Take A Side-trip

By David Simmonds

 I have been reading the excellent book “Brothers…The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years“, by David Talbot, the founder of Salon. In it I am reminded of how our insane policy with Cuba has evolved, while actually changing little regardless of which political party is in power. I highly recommend the book to anyone who is interested in the way our world worked in the 1960’s, and how the events from that time connect to our country today.

One constant has been the desire of some Cubans to flee Fidel’s lair, primarily by piloting anything that will float, hoping to land 90 miles away in the Florida Keys. Once they hit land they are granted political asylum, but if they are intercepted by the Coast Guard at sea they are turned around.

Not surprisingly this situation has attracted a more organized group, identified in the press as “gangs”, who, for a sizable sum, are loading Cubans into “Miami Vice”style speed boats bound for the land of the free. Except now they are more frequently blasting 120 miles to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula for a little Cancun vacation before making their way overland to the U.S. border. Not surprisingly, this is not going over very well in Mexico, which already has enough pressing problems to solve. For more on the story go here