Category Archives: Immigration

Will Carnival be next? Cubans found hiding in ship carrying filming equipment of Fast and Furious 8

fast

La Prensa

Florida authorities found three Cubans hiding in a cargo ship arriving from Cuba and which was carrying filming equipment used in the shooting of the movie “Fast and Furious 8”.

Spokespersons for Port Everglades in Broward County, South Florida, confirmed to EFE that the Cubans were found inside a cargo ship arriving at the maritime terminal, one of the world’s busiest ports which recorded more than 3.7 million passengers in 2015.

The Cubans, whose identities have not been revealed, were then handed over to the local office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The eighth installment of the “Fast and Furious” series, starring Vin Diesel, was shot in Havana a few weeks ago and there are plans to shoot more scenes in New York City.

Cubans who touch land on U.S. territory are favored by the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 and its policy of ‘dry feet/wet feet’ which means they can stay in the country, while those who are intercepted before reaching the coast are deported to the island.

Last fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2014 to Sep. 30, 2015, more than 43,000 Cubans came to the U.S., representing a rise of more than 77 percent compared to the previous period, according to the CBP.

The restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries in July 2015, with the opening of embassies, has raised fears that immigrant benefits to Cubans will be curbed, while immigration experts say the renewed ties have led to a fresh exodus from the Caribbean island to the United States.

Wounded rafters say shooters in Cuba tried to steal boat

Yaser Cabrera Romero, one of the rafters who arrived from Cuba on Saturday
Yaser Cabrera Romero, one of the rafters who arrived from Cuba on Saturday

The Miami Herald

Shortly before sailing from Cuba, 26 Cubans who were about to board a raft were set upon by a group of criminals who opened fire with a gun and wounded seven, including a pregnant woman, all in a failed attempt to steal their makeshift boat, two of the wounded migrants said upon arriving in Miami Sunday afternoon.

“We really don’t know who shot us, but we think it was criminals who wanted to steal the raft,” said Yaser Cabrera Romero, one of the migrants interviewed after arriving at the Doral office of Church World Service, an agency that helps refugees and immigrants resettle in the United States. “We were just arriving in a vehicle that took us to the raft, and while we were still on shore, four people showed up and yelled: ‘Stay where you are. The boat is ours!’ ”

Rather than surrendering, the 26 migrants confronted the criminals, one of whom then pulled out a gun — but the alleged thugs ultimately fled after wounding seven rafters. Though wounded, the rafters decided to continue with their plan. They say they boarded the raft in the area of ​​Matanzas, east of Havana, and sailed at 3 a.m. Saturday. They traveled for nine hours to the outskirts of Key West, where they were intercepted by the Coast Guard from United States.

“We sailed for nine hours, injured and bleeding,” Cabrera Romero said.

The dramatic story told by Cabrera Romero and another rafter, Jorge Luis Escalona, ​​who were transported to Miami from Key West after being released by the hospital, marked the first time that participants in the incident provided a detailed explanation of the initial mystery that surrounded the case.

Six of the rafters whose injuries were considered serious were taken to a hospital near Key West. The wounded seventh rafter was transferred with the other remaining 19 migrants to a Coast Guard cutter likely to be returned to Cuba, unless one or more claim fear of persecution if returned, in which case they would be taken to the naval base at Guantánamo to be processed for resettlement in a third country.

The case sparked widespread interest because seven of the migrants were wounded by gunfire, an unusual occurrence, and because U.S. authorities did not explain the circumstances surrounding the incident. The case raised suspicions about how the seven rafters came to be shot. Among the theories was that the migrants may have wounded themselves to force the Coast Guard to bring them ashore.

When the Coast Guard finds sick rafters, they are brought ashore to receive medical care. This allows the migrants transported ashore to stay in the U.S and apply for permanent residence after more than a year under the Cuban Adjustment Act. Generally, Cuban migrants who are intercepted at sea are returned to Cuba under the wet-foot/dry-foot policy.

But Cabrera Romero and Escalona, ​​the other rafter interviewed in Doral, said the incident was an attempted robbery.

“We confronted them and one drew a gun,” Escalona said. “It was very dark, and we think they were criminals who wanted to steal our raft.”

Escalona, ​​a nephew of his who was not interviewed and Cabrera Romero showed their wounds to journalists.

Escalona had a wound on his side, his nephew on the shoulder and Cabrera Romero in the abdomen. The three said the pregnant woman had been shot in the back and that the injured rafter who was not brought ashore had a bullet in the foot. It is not known where the remaining two rafters were injured. The woman and another rafter were still hospitalized, Cabrera Romero and Escalona said.

Cabrera Romero said doctors told him that his wound was not life-threatening but that the bullet was still inside his body.

“They gave me morphine, but I have still have the bullet inside and it hurts a lot,” Cabrera Romero said. “I’ve had that bullet in me for more than 24 hours.”

The Coast Guard issued a statement on Sunday morning: “The U.S. Coast Guard interdicted 26 Cuban migrants aboard a make-shift raft south of Key West, Florida, Saturday afternoon. Seven of the 26 migrants had gunshot wounds sustained prior to the interdiction. The most critical, six, were medevaced to a local area hospital. The remaining 20 migrants will likely be returned to their country of origin. The U.S. Coast Guard works hard to ensure the safety of migrants on our cutters after an interdiction and strongly discourages attempts to illegally enter the country by taking to the sea. These trips are extremely dangerous and could lead to loss of life.”

According to KeysInfoNet, the six wounded rafters brought ashore were taken to the Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island. Coast Guard spokesmen said the Border Patrol was in charge of the six Cubans who were taken to the hospital.

Frank Miller, a Border Patrol spokesman, said four were released to the agency that generally handles their paperwork. He had no information on the other two.

Miller declined to provide more details because the case is part of an “ongoing investigation.”

Normally, Cuban rafters who reach shore and have not been wounded by gunfire are retained by the Border Patrol for a few hours, or at most a day, for background checks and to process their parole documents to remain in the country.

The Coast Guard reported last week that nine Cubans had died at sea during a voyage to South Florida, according to Cuban migrants who were rescued by a cruise ship near Marco Island, off the west coast of Florida. The 18 survivors, who were taken to Cozumel, Mexico, said they had tossed the bodies into the sea, according to the Coast Guard.

Also, in separate incidents last week, 58 Cuban migrants intercepted at sea on several vessels were repatriated.

According to Coast Guard figures, so far this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2,562 Cubans have been intercepted, sighted or have landed in Florida.

In fiscal year 2015, about 4,476 Cuban migrants were intercepted, spotted or arrived by sea, the largest number in more than seven years.

According to the Coast Guard, uncertainty about a possible change in U.S. immigration policy with Cuba has led to a larger number of Cuban immigrants since President Barack Obama in December 2014 ordered the restoration of relations with the island.

26 rafters intercepted by Coast Guard, seven of them had been shot

balserosheridos

The Miami Herald

It’s a mystery on the sea.

When a U.S. Coast Guard crew encountered a makeshift raft just south of Key West on Saturday, they found 26 Cuban migrants aboard — and seven had been shot.

Six had critical wounds and were taken to a hospital on Stock Island. A seventh wounded migrant was transferred with the remaining 19 to a Coast Guard cutter to await likely repatriation to Cuba, unless one or more claim fear of persecution if returned. If that happens, they would then be taken to the Guantánamo naval base to be processed for possible resettlement in a third country.

But who shot them?

Were they injured as they left Cuba? Did they wound themselves in order to get to a U.S. hospital on land? Did they fight among themselves or with a smuggler? Was it an accident?

Authorities aren’t saying much.

When the Coast Guard finds Cuban rafters injured or sick, they bring them ashore to receive medical care. That usually allows them to stay in the United States and apply for permanent residence after more than a year in the country under the Cuban Adjustment Act. Generally, Cuban rafters intercepted at sea are returned to Cuba under the wet foot/dry foot policy.

The Coast Guard issued a statement on Sunday morning recounting the number of migrants found and how many had gunshot wounds.

According to KeysInfoNet, the six were taken to the Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island. Coast Guard spokesmen said the Border Patrol was in charge of the six Cubans who were taken to the hospital.

Frank Miller, a Border Patrol spokesman, said four were released to the agency that generally handles their paperwork. He had no information on whether the other two remained in Border Patrol custody.

Miller declined to provide more details because the case is part of a “ongoing investigation.”

Normally, Cuban rafters who reach shore and have not been wounded by gunfire are retained by the Border Patrol for a few hours or at most a day for background checks and to process their parole documents to remain in the country.

The Coast Guard reported last week that nine Cubans had died at sea during a voyage to South Florida, according to Cuban migrants who were rescued by a cruise ship near Marco Island, off the west coast of Florida. The 18 survivors, who were taken to Cozumel, Mexico, said they had tossed the bodies into the sea, according to the Coast Guard.

Also, in separate incidents last week, 58 Cuban migrants intercepted at sea on several vessels were repatriated.

According to Coast Guard figures, so far this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2,562 Cubans have been intercepted, sighted or have landed in Florida, 269 of them during February.

In fiscal year 2015, about 4,476 Cuban migrants were intercepted, spotted or arrived by sea, the largest number in more than seven years.

According to the Coast Guard, uncertainty about a possible change in U.S. immigration policy Cuba has led to a larger number of Cuban immigrants since President Barack Obama ordered the restoration of relations with Cuba it began the process of normalization in December 2014.

Two days before Obama goes to his Cuba vacation, nine rafters die trying to escape

Visa protest sign of new boldness in Cuba

ecuadorprotest

BBC News

As Europe’s winter approaches and many hundreds of thousands of immigrants across the continent face an uncertain future, in Havana rare street protests have been held in recent days over a separate, very different kind of immigrant crisis that’s taking place in Latin America.

It is a journey which begins in Cuba, but takes in Ecuador in the Andes and Central American nations such as Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

It involves political allegiances between long-standing allies and new relationships between former Cold War foes.

And, of course, it involves the immigration policies of the migrants’ ultimate destination, the US.

Late on Thursday, Ecuador’s foreign ministry announced that from 1 December Cubans would require a visa to enter the country.

For many Cubans, the news was a blow.

In fact, Ecuador was reimposing a measure it had lifted on its socialist ally in April 2014.

For 18 months, Cubans had enjoyed the freedom to travel to the South American nation without restriction.

Ecuador quickly became a popular destination for Cubans as it presented them with two important opportunities.

First, the rare chance to travel abroad to a comparatively affordable holiday destination – one where they could load up on much-needed goods and electrical items, often with the intention of reselling them on the black market back in Cuba.

Second, for thousands of Cuban immigrants it became the first step on a 5,500 km trip north to the US.

Ecuador’s decision came as around 3,000 Cubans sit stranded in Costa Rica amid a stand-off with Nicaragua.

Costa Rica is urging its Central American neighbours to grant safe passage to the Cubans, to allow a kind of “humanitarian corridor'” so they can reach the US.

But Nicaragua, led by Raul Castro’s old ally, President Daniel Ortega, is refusing to let them in and is taking what appears to be a harder line on Cubans passing through their territory on the route north.

Cuba has said the immigrants can return home but it is clear that they have no intention of abandoning their trip.

Instead, they are left in limbo on Costa Rica’s northern border.

Ecuador announced its plan to require a visa for Cubans following an emergency meeting in El Salvador – seemingly echoing Nicaragua’s tougher stance.

The Ecuadorean Foreign Ministry said they still welcomed Cubans to the country, but were committed to “efforts by the Latin American community to prevent migration without authorisation”.

Meanwhile, those Cubans who had already bought plane tickets for Ecuador were caught by surprise by the news and without visas face losing their flights and their money.

But significantly, their reaction was one not often seen in Cuba.

Anger on the streets

Rather than meekly accept the decision of the authorities, they took to the streets outside the Ecuadorean embassy to demand their visas be issued immediately.

Protests that aren’t government organised are very rare in Cuba and in this instance, police cordoned off several streets around the embassy building.

Ecuadorean diplomats used loudspeakers to address the crowd, who had started to chant for visas, insisting that they would have to apply for them online.

Given how little internet access there is in Cuba, and how difficult and expensive it is for people to get online, that was never going to placate the crowd.

At the same time, there were also queues forming outside the offices of the Copa and Avianca airline companies, as frustrated customers demanded refunds on their tickets.

Some were desperate, having spent up to $800 (£531) on their tickets, a huge sum for most Cubans.

Others were visibly angry – both at the Ecuadorean Government for taking the measure, thereby cutting off one of their few routes out of Cuba, and at the Cuban Government of Raul Castro, at whose behest they believe Quito is acting.

By Saturday, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, said that those Cubans who had bought tickets before the announcement would be issued visas for travel.

But even that wasn’t enough to send home some in the crowd, who resolutely stayed put until their individual cases were resolved.

US embargo

The US broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1959 after Fidel Castro and his brother Raul led a revolution toppling US-backed President Fulgencio Batista. The Castros established a revolutionary socialist state with close ties to the Soviet Union.

The following year, the US imposed a trade embargo covering nearly all exports to Cuba. This was expanded by President Kennedy into a full economic embargo that included stringent travel restrictions.

The embargo is estimated to have cost the Cuban economy more than $1.1tn and the US economy $1.2bn a year.

In September, the US announced eased restrictions on business and travel with Cuba, the latest move by President Barack Obama to improve relations with the country.

US businesses will now be allowed to open up locations in Cuba.

For its part, the Cuban government has consistently blamed the situation on the US and its immigration policies that favour Cubans.

Specifically the Cuban Adjustment Act and the famed “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which give Cubans who reach US soil automatic legal residency and the right to apply for citizenship.

This, the Castro Government says, is the carrot in Washington’s policy towards Cuba (the trade embargo on the island being the stick).

In fact, the number of Cubans making the vast trip from the Andes up to the US-Mexico border has risen significantly since the detente between the US and Cuba was announced on 17 December last year.

Many Cubans fear the days of their special privileges in the US are numbered and those who want to get to the US to claim residency now see it as a race against time.

With Ecuador closing one loophole and Nicaragua posting troops to its border with Costa Rica in the continuing impasse over the stranded immigrants, it certainly seems that Cuba’s allies intend to make that journey even harder.

Hundreds Gather in Cuba in Frustration at Ecuador Visa Rule

ecaudors

ABC News

Hundreds of angry Cubans gathered in front of Ecuador’s embassy in Havana on Friday in an unusual public display of discontent. They said they were frustrated by Ecuador’s new rule that Cubans need a visa to visit — a move that complicates both legitimate travel and efforts to reach the United States.

The lack of a visa requirement for Cubans made Ecuador a favored destination for those seeking a vacation or job abroad, as well as those who leave the island and make the 3,400-mile (5,500-kilometer) overland route to the United States, where they can receive automatic legal residency.

Many people lined up early in hope of getting a visa, which will be required for travel as of Tuesday. But diplomats told the crowd by loudspeaker that they would have to apply for a visa via a government website. Most Cubans have almost no internet access.

A sort of impromptu protest broke out, with many in the crowd chanting “Visa! Visa!”

Police blocked off the area around the embassy in Havana’s Miramar district and by late morning, the crowd began to dwindle to at most about 200.

Ecuador announced the visa requirement on Thursday as part of an effort to stem a flow of migrants using Ecuador as a transit country to reach other nations without permission.

“We do not close the door to Cuba,” but Ecuador is committed to efforts by the Latin American community to prevent migration without authorization, Deputy Foreign Minister Xavier Lasso said in making the announcement.

Latin American officials held a weekend meeting in El Salvador to discuss the plight of 3,000 U.S.-bound Cuban migrants who are stranded at the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, which has balked at allowing them to cross its territory.

Many Cubans fear that the normalization of relations with the U.S. will bring an end to Cold War-era special immigration privileges that give U.S. residency to any Cuban who sets foot on U.S. soil.

Royal Caribbean cruise ship stops to rescue eight Cuban refugees adrift in the Caribbean as shocked passengers look on

Daily Mail

The refugees were floating on a row boat attached to barrels
    They were spotted just before the sun rose on Sunday morning  
    They were taken aboard the Independence of the Seas ship until the US Coast Guard arrived to pick them up
    One passenger said at first people thought the refugees were pirates

rafters1123
Eight refugees fleeing from Cuba were rescued by a Royal Caribbean cruise ship after they were spotted out at sea just before the sun came up on Sunday morning.

The refugees were floating on a row boat that appeared to be attached to barrels, with backpacks and paddles inside.

They were taken aboard the cruise ship aptly-titled Independence of the Seas until the US Coast Guard arrived and picked them up.

Passenger Mark Sims said that at first others believed the refugees were pirates trying to get on the ship.

There were more than 4,000 passengers and 1,500 crew members on board at the time.

This isn’t the first time a Royal Caribbean ship picked up Cuban refugees.

Has Cuba Manufactured a Refugee Crisis?

It seems that the Castro brothers are taking advantage of Obama the same as they did when another weak president, Jimmy Carter, was in the White House.  The Castros manufactured a marine exodus called Mariel during Carter’s presidency and now they are organizing a ground Mariel for their new ‘friend’ in the White House. American politicians never learn!:

obamaraul1

From The Daily Signal

A humanitarian crisis is developing in Central America along the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Earlier this week, the Nicaraguan military began refusing to allow the passage of around 2,000 Cuban refugees fleeing the Castro dictatorship.

Nicaragua’s socialist Sandinista government (and close ally of the Castro regime) has even resorted to using teargas and other deterrents.

But has the Cuban government manufactured this refugee crisis in order to strong-arm the U.S.?

Evidence of Havana’s manipulation can clearly be seen in the magnitude of refugee flows. Cuba is a totalitarian police state, where people are not even allowed to move from one house to another without the government’s approval. So is it reasonable to believe that 2,000 Cubans got to Costa Rica without Castro’s approval?

This point is reinforced by the circumstances surrounding their departure. Vast majorities are leaving via government-owned and operated planes en route to Ecuador. State permission is also needed to fly in most cases.

This is also not the first time the Cuban government has used refugees to coerce an American government to do its will, the most notable instances being the Mariel boatlifts of 1980 and the 1994 Cuban raft exodus. Prior to each, a common thread of events is clearly seen. In both cases, the regime sought to strong-arm the U.S.

The events occurring now in Nicaragua are not at all different.

The blame for this humanitarian catastrophe can then largely be attributed to President Obama’s new policy of support for the dictatorship in Havana.

Essentially, the Castro regime has been put in the driver’s seat of U.S. policy toward the island since Obama announced his new Cuba policy. The Obama administration has unilaterally granted a series of concessions at breakneck speed—without gaining anything in return from Castro.

In less than 11 months, the president has weakened our position with Cuba by giving into Havana’s demands to be prematurely removed from of the State Sponsor of Terrorism list and to lobby Congress to undeservedly lift the trade embargo.

Throughout this normalization process, the administration has stretched and arguably violated U.S. law in order to fulfill the Castro regime’s demands for normalization. Cuba’s bucket list has largely been fulfilled except for two items: removal of trade embargo and financial reparations for supposed damages caused by the U.S.

The trade embargo, codified under the Cuban Liberty and Democracy Act of 1996, can be repealed only through an act of Congress. Numerous bipartisan measures from the 114th Congress clearly indicate a rejection of the president’s dangerous new policy and a certainty that the Cuban government has not met the basic conditions for its repeal.

To the chagrin of the Castro regime, concessions via executive action have plateaued. The administration’s recent vote in support of the embargo at the U.N. general assembly has also undoubtedly upset Havana. Having grown accustomed to getting all for nothing, Cuba is now resorting to an old tactic of pressuring the U.S. by unleashing Cuban refugees.

In response to Nicaragua’s brutality, the State Department has only insubstantial statements asking for “all countries to respect the human rights of migrants and to ensure humane treatment of individuals seeking asylum or other forms of protection in accordance with international law and their own national laws.”

Obama’s capitulation to the Castro regime has called into question the administration’s commitment to the oppressed Cuban people. Hollow press releases from the State Department are inconsequential.

Considering the protected status and many benefits Nicaraguans and their government are given by the U.S., the administration can ensure a positive outcome for the Cuban refugees.

Nicaragua turns back Cuban migrants to Costa Rica

nicaragua

BBC

Nicaragua has turned back hundreds of Cuban migrants which it accuses of “storming” its border crossing from neighboring Costa Rica on Sunday.

The Cubans are traveling north, trying to reach the United States by land.

They fear that with ties between Cuba and the US improving, the US could stop granting Cubans who reach the US by land the right to stay.

Nicaragua accused Costa Rica of “hurling thousands of Cubans at Nicaragua’s southern border posts”.
‘Humanitarian crisis’

The Cubans said they had flown to Ecuador from where they had made their way north through Colombia and Panama to Costa Rica.
They reported being stranded in Costa Rica after the trafficking ring which they had paid to get them to the US was broken up by the authorities.

On Saturday, Costa Rica issued seven-day transit visas to more than 1,700 Cubans detained after crossing illegally into Costa Rica from Panama.

Nicaragua’s left-wing government, which has close ties to Cuba, said that move had “unleashed a humanitarian crisis with serious consequences for our region”.

The Cubans told Nicaraguan media they had waited for hours to be granted Nicaraguan transit permits before getting impatient and entering the Penas Blancas border post by force.

They continued on foot on the Panamerican Highway north, where they were met by Nicaraguan security forces who took them back to Costa Rica.

Some migrants said Nicaraguan security forces had fired tear gas and rubber bullets.

Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez criticised Nicaragua’s response.

“When other countries take the irresponsible decision to close their borders, people will use any means to reach their destination,” he said.
Long journey

One Cuban migrant told Nicaraguan newspaper El Nuevo Diario that “most of us have been travelling for more than two months”.

“We’re fleeing unemployment [in Cuba] and among this group, which started gathering in the past days in Costa Rica, are children and pregnant women,” the 50-year-old migrant said.

Another migrant told Reuters news agency that “we don’t want to stay in any of these countries, our aim is to reach the United States, that’s our objective”.

The number of Cubans leaving the Communist-run island has risen since last December when Cuba and the US announced a thaw in their relations.

Historically, Cubans reaching US soil have been given preferential treatment over migrants from other countries.

Under the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, they can be granted asylum much more easily than applicants from other countries.

But with relations between the former Cold War foes improving, many Cubans fear this policy, which dates back to the Cold War, could be abolished.

According to US Customs and Border Protection figures, more than 25,000 Cubans entered the US through its southern border between October 2014 and September 2015.

New exodus of Cubans headed to the U.S. is underway across the Americas

cubanexodus

The Miami Herald

Hundreds of Cubans are crossing the river that separates Guatemala and Mexico on their journey to the U.S.-Mexico border

Most travel in groups and pay thousands to smuggling networks

Border entries are at its highest since 2005

They line up on the edge of the water, their silhouettes barely visible in the wee hours before the sun rises. Groups of 10 to 12 climb aboard rafts mounted with plywood and pay less than $2 to be ferried to the other side. Within the span of 20 minutes, at least 60 have crossed aboard six rafts.

All of them are Cuban migrants en route to the United States. The illegal crossing scene at the Río Suchiate — the body of water that separates Guatemala from Mexico — is happening every day under the cover of darkness.

A new exodus of Cubans is underway at this river in Ciudad Hidalgo in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Over the past month, hundreds have come across from the border town of Tecún Umán, Guatemala, and those making the journey say many more are on the way.

“We’re leaving in droves,” said one Cuban as he rushed to get away from the river and onto a van that would drive his group to the nearest immigration center in Tapachula, about 18 miles away. “Everybody is leaving Cuba.”

“Another hundred are waiting to cross,” shouted another young man as he dismounted the raft from Guatemala and caught up with the group of new arrivals in Mexico.

The migrants are from across the island, predominantly between 20 and 40 years old. Many travel with children. Most are headed to South Florida.

The migrants are Cubans who have either spent some time in third countries such as Ecuador or who travel directly from the island to a third country as tourists and immediately proceed on their journey across South and Central America to make their way to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The migration route is not new for Cubans. But the numbers passing through over the past month have grown to the point that human rights activists in Mexico have labeled it a “migration crisis” that is adding to the already high number of Central American migrants also using Mexican land as a pathway toward America.

“A lot are coming through here,” said Sister Maria del Carmen, who helps run a Catholic migrant shelter in Tapachula. Since it opened its doors in early September, more than 500 Cubans have been served at the shelter.

“But the figure is much higher,” del Carmen said. “The immigration center is full of Cubans.”
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