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MITCHELL says Bahamians are 'fed up' with protests about Cuban detainees

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell tonight said Bahamians were 'shocked and fed up' with protests in Miami about three undocumented Cubans being detained in the Bahamas.

He said it was 'reprehensible that The Bahamas is being attacked in this way, apparently with official sanction. It is simply outrageous.'

Mr Mitchell said the protesters were in the United States and if they wanted the detainees in the United States they should use their influence to have them returned to the United States.

He added: "Should the United States authorities approve, the detainees can be released to the authorities as early as tomorrow."

In an interview with the Miami Herald newspaper, made public by the government tonight, Mr Mitchell gave the following responses to four questions asked by the Herald's David Noriega:

'Q: Were some of the detainees detained for smuggling?

A: There were in fact some detainees detained for smuggling, some of them were paroled out with their families to UNHCR accommodations just last year in Nassau. They were found on board a boat trying to smuggle their way into the United States in May of this year.

In one particular case, the arrest took place by the United States Coast Guard. The three detainees who have brought the court action are believed to be former US permanent residents. The United States government has been asked to take them back. However, there is no decision as yet.

Q: What is their status?

A: Presently, three detainees are awaiting adjudication by the courts. The case has been adjourned at their request until the United States decides whether they can return or are in fact eligible for relocation to the United States. Meanwhile, they are being held in prison.

Q: How many are there?

A: These are the only three detainees the protestors are concerned about. They are trying to make it appear that they have a general interest in migrant welfare. I am of the opinion that the protesters do not have any interest beyond these three detainees.

Q: Is it true that the State Department has gotten involved and is now interviewing the detainees?

A: I am advised that U.S. Customs and Border protection have interviewed them and will advise us shortly as to whether or not they will be permitted to enter the United States. I am now advised by the U.S. that the decision will not be made known until August 5, on Monday coming.

I wish to add that Bahamians are shocked and fed up with these protests.

Bahamian nationals spend one billion dollars in Florida’s economy annually.

Many merchants in Florida owe their profits to Bahamian customers.

It is reprehensible that The Bahamas is being attacked in this way, apparently with official sanction.

It is simply outrageous.

The protesters are in the United States therefore if they want these detainees in the United States they should use their influence to have them returned to the United States.

Should the United States authorities approve, the detainees can be released to the authorities as early as tomorrow.'

Comments

kkphilli4 9 years ago

Are these so called Cubans really Cubans?? Watch the report CNN aired tonight showing other Spanish speaking illegal immigrants already living in Miami illegally trying to pass as Cuban. They are assisted with obtaining a fake Cuban birth certificate then allowed to stay in America because Cubans are really the only foreign nationals in the U.S. that are given the right to stay immediately and can apply for a green card within a year whereas everyone else typically has to wait 5 years if not married to a U.S. citizen.

The CNN report stated that many other non Cuban Hispanics are assisted by someone in Miami that gives them a fake Cuban birth certificate while still in Miami. The fake Cuban is then put on a raft with their fake birth certificate in tow so that when they are picked up by immigration officials, they will be allowed to stay because they are so called Cubans, even though many are from Venezuela, Colombian, Dominican etc. purporting to be Cubans.

We too, need to be careful we are not being duped. Check out the airing of the report on CNN.com and type it their search: Hispanic Nationals Pretending to be Cuban.

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John 9 years ago

OK so when it comes to Bahamians or h]Haitians caught up like this in the US, say if a Bahamian comits a crime, they are deported back to the Bahamas. ANd Haitians who enter the US illegally through the Bahamas are sent back here if they are deported. So the Bahamas government must set an ultimatium: If these persons are determined to be Cubans and if the United States does not agree to accept them by August 10, they will be returned to Cuba. Or if any third party can arraneg (air) transportation to any other country, the Bahamas will assist in that effort. Right now the situation is bad for the Bahamas and its Tourist economy and if it comes down to it give these guys a row boat and a paddle and tow them out to international waters They already say the Bahamas hospitality is about human abuse. Maybe they are criminals in Cuba and fear going back.

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John 9 years ago

I think whenever the Bahamas Tourist ecomony starts to show some signs of strengthening something like this surfaces. Remember we are a competitor to Florida in the tourism market and most business people in South florida are of Cuban decent...who stand to benefit from destroying the Bahamas tourist trade.

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banker 9 years ago

Cubans, Haitians, Dominicans ... man .. they really have it for us pure, heavenly Bahamians.

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nationbuilder 9 years ago

just as long as mitchell remembers this isn't some personal battle between him and the united states. this is his 2002 term as minister repeated all over again, and once again with cuban detainees

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USAhelp 9 years ago

Grow up deal with the issues if you want to be upset about something it should be the crime and numbers houses.

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