Cuban Reaches US by Windsurfing

February 21, 2014 | Print Print |

One success, another alive, another missing

A Cuban family looking north from Jibacoa.

A Cuban family looking north from Jibacoa.

HAVANA TIMES — A Cuban braved the shark infested Florida Strait and successfully windsurfed nine hours from Jibacoa, a fishing village east of Havana, to Florida. He landed at a luxury resort in Key West where he was assisted by guests and waiters.

BBC Mundo reports that Henry Vergara Negrín, 24, actually started out on Tuesday morning with two companions (he gave only their first names, Amando and Dwarta) but lost trace of them four hours into their journey.

The good news is that Dwarta was found by the US Coast Guard Thursday morning, although in a disoriented state floating south of the Florida Keys.

The bad news is that there is no news of the fate of Amando, the third windsurfer.

Negrin is the first Cuban windsurfer to “escape” the island in such a fashion in two decades. BBC Mundo notes there were a couple of cases back at the time of the 1994 rafters crisis.

According to the Cuban Adjustment Act and its Wet Foot, Dry Foot clause, Cuban citizens that reach the United States territory on their own have the right to stay in the country.  They are given assistance that no other immigrant group receives as well as a fast track to permanent residency.

 


What's your opinion?

  • Moses Patterson

    Incredible. There is currently an international qualifying windsurfing tournament going on in Cancun, Mexico. The Cuban national team of three surfers and their coach are competing along with at least six other countries. It would seem that their best windsurfing athletes are now in Miami.

  • John Goodrich

    Another Cuban life lost to U.S. foreign policy .
    If life is that bad in Cuba why does not the U.S. just open its doors to all Cubans who wish to emigrate without that massive fee and 18 month wait that legal emigration entails ?
    The Cuban Adjustment Act is part of the official USG policy of making life miserable through the embargo , shutting down legal emigration and allowing anyone who embarrasses the Cuban Revolution by floating/sailing/hi-jacking their way to Florida and risking their lives to automatically be granted admission to the USA.
    This kid was killed by the government of the United States aided by propagandists like Moses who favor continuation of the war on the Cuban people.

    • Griffin

      It was the Castro regime which shut down legal immigration in the early 1960’s. The Cuban coastguard still patrols the waters of the island today to prevent Cubans from leaving the country with the permission of the Cuban government.

      Far from shutting down legal emigration, the US Interest Section in Havana grants 20,000 visas per year to Cubans wanting to move to the US legally. It is the Cuban government who charges Cuban citizens high fees for the documents granting permission to emigrate. Once a Cuban applies to emigrate, they face harassment, surveillance and sometimes lose their job while waiting for the Cuban government to process the paperwork.

      The number of legal immigration visas was set by negotiations between the US & Cuban governments following the Mariel Boatlift during which some 125,000 Cubans left for Florida. Castro took advantage of the mass exodus to send thousands criminals and mentally ill patients out on boats to the US.

      I notice hardly anybody moves TO Cuba, by the way. Not even militant leftists such as yourself actually want to live there.

      • Moses Patterson

        I share your observation about how the “John Goodrich” types bellow how awful the US is and how much they support the Castros yet they never manage to find the cojones to put their money where their mouth is and actually live in Castroland.

  • Griffin

    He owns franchises? You mean he’s become a capitalist exploiter in the Empire? How terrible!