Sunday, September 30, 2012
Risking it all at Sea
Cubans have crossed treacherous waters to make the journey to the U.S. since 1959 when Fidel Castro came into power. The limited number of visas does not fulfill the demand for those Cubans wanting to leave their country, so they have resorted to other means.
They have risked their lives on boats of different sizes or homemade vessels called CHUGS that are not always sea-worthy. Cubans are motivated by the “wet-foot, dry foot” policy that allows those who reach dry land in the U.S. to remain in the country. If they are intercepted at sea, the Cubans get deported. However, if they manage to reach American soil they are allowed to stay in the U.S. and are granted Green Cards.
The waters of Florida are constantly patrolled by the Border Patrol and by the U.S. Coast Guard, yet it is estimated that more than 16,000 Cubans make it to the U.S. successfully every year.
Photo by Benjamin Curry Bruce