Wednesday, February 28

Shipwreck in Cuba with five dead and 12 missing: “Everyone was looking for a better life”


Two sisters of a political prisoner were traveling on the boat

The three daughters of the Cuban Marta Vázquez Molina.MS
  • Migration Flight and death of seven Cuban rafters at the hands of the coast guard: “They rammed us and broke the boat”

The latest tragedy for those fleeing Cuba has brought mourning to the home of the Mesa Vázquez family. Of her three daughters, Yarelis (25 years old) remains in prison sentenced to seven years in prison for 9-11, the day the Cubans rebelled against the oldest dictatorship in America. Two of her sisters, Yamily (35) and Yailyn (27), were part of the raft that left the Cuban coast bound for the US: one of them is on the list of missing (16 in search and five dead) and the other another was rescued alive.

“I am desperate, I ask for help. My daughters left Monday night for the US and the ship sank. One was saved and the other still has not been found. If they had gone out to search at night they would have found the other, maybe Maybe she would be here with us. She is still lost. Those who are appearing are dead. I don’t care what happens to me or what they tell me, I want to report it. My daughter who appeared is all broken up,” the mother of El Mundo assured EL MUNDO the young women, Marta Vázquez Molina.

31 people left in the rustic boat, family sources confirmed to this newspaper. Made by one of them, it could not resist the strong waves that they encountered after leaving Sierritas beach, on the coast of Cárdenas, not far from Varadero. Yailyn has recounted with great difficulty that they all swam out, the two sisters together. They reached a reef, where both were injured. She was rescued hours later by a boat when she was already dehydrated, almost fainted. After going through the hospital with a neighbor, also a survivor, they were taken prisoner. He, who has live blood burns, is kept incommunicado.

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“They released my daughter because I was very upset when they told me that Yamily had died. I really don’t believe it, I have hopes that she will appear but they say that today they are going to suspend the search. If they had searched at night they would have saved many lives, at this hour they would be alive”, laments the mother, who in the meantime takes care of the two grandchildren, Yamily’s children. “They are here, broken, with me,” she added.

Government media assured that the search and rescue of border guards remains activebut relatives have asked for help through various means, including through Facebook.

Yailyn can’t speak, her face is burned and she can hardly open her mouth. His mother describes the tragedy that they are still experiencing. “All of them were looking for a better life because this country is very bad, there is no food or anything. They left looking to help their families, even my daughters left their three children to be able to send me money and have a better life. And to help her sister, imprisoned in the Matanzas women’s prison,” Marta Vázquez summarizes for this newspaper.

“The situation of family repression was such that the two sisters, who had not been criminally prosecuted, saw no other option than to leave the country as it was to avoid the repressive barbarism that all families of political prisoners experience,” he denounced in turn. Prisoners Defenders (PD), an organization that assists the family.

The flight to the US is massive, in the last week the US authorities reported the arrival of a thousand emigrants on their shores, despite the new administrative provisions directed at Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans.

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“The issue with these departures is that the people who make them continue to think that they will not be repatriated to Cuba. There are promises made that are false, the same thing keeps happening with those who keep dating and crossing the border through Mexico,” Cuban sociologist Leduan Ramírez, an expert in migration, told EL MUNDO.

The reality is that arriving in the US does not guarantee freedom for Cubans, since most are repatriated to the island for having traveled illegally. “Cubans and Haitians who go to sea and land on US territory will not be eligible for the parole process (emigration program) and will be subjected to deportation proceedings“Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of National Security, cut this week.

Since the repression of 11-J will cause the biggest migratory crisis experienced by the Cuban revolution, more than 300,000 citizens have left the country. In the island’s prisons, the number of political prisoners has exceeded the thousand barrier. And among them is Yarelis Mesa, who today lives a double family tragedy. The young woman came out two years ago to shout freedom, she was arrested in the cause of an assault on a store that was looted in the middle of the popular rebellion.

“She did not break the store, she only took things to eat. They appeared here with very long weapons, as if they were murderers. Two trucks in black berets came to stop her, with shields. And three police patrols. And they condemned me, “he recalls Marta in the midst of the tragedy who does not want to abandon her family.

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