Cubans Flocking To The Bahamas
Posted on 25 September 2013. by Ianthia Smith
The fact that a number of Cuban detainees have alleged widespread abuse
by Bahamian guards at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre and a human
rights group in Miami, Florida has launched a vicious protest against
The Bahamas has not stopped Cuban immigrants from boating to Bahamian
In fact, National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage said it could be
that those Cubans looking to flee their homeland are using this
controversy as their prime opportunity to get into The Bahamas or a
"I think that that is a strategy," he said. "When it was reported that
Panama had agreed to take some of the asylum seekers and we did not
respond, it was because while this was in the newspapers there had been
no approach by the Government of Panama to The Bahamas.
"One of the reasons we were careful about that is we didn't want it to
appear that The Bahamas is an open country to get anyone to a third
country. So, I don't think that's farfetched."
Since the Cuban detainees made their allegations, there have been a
steady flow of Cuban migrants still coming to The Bahamas, many of whom
have been caught by Royal Bahamas Defence Force officers.
Dr. Nottage added that currently, there are 17 Cubans in the Carmichael
Road Detention Centre, 14 of whom the Cuban government has agreed to
take sometime this week; 13 were apprehended in Grand Bahama yesterday
morning; a number of them are being housed in safe houses and two are in
custody at Her Majesty's Prisons as a result of disturbances at the
"We are constantly being bombarded by illegal immigrants who expect to
be treated in particular kind of way," he said. "What we do is we give
them all the courtesies that we can, consistent with their activities,
but for some of them it is illegal activities."
Dr. Nottage said some Cubans living in safe houses in The Bahamas were
found smuggling other Cubans into the United States.
"So we do the best we can do. We treat them decently and all we are
seeking to do is to develop with the United States and Cuba the kind of
policies that would enable us to be hospitable," he said.
He added that the governments are working out an agreement that would
see to it that Cuban detainees will not have to stay in The Bahamas as
long as they sometimes.
He said some Cubans are housed there for up to nine months.
Source: "Cubans Flocking To The Bahamas | The Bahamas Journal - Jones
Communications Network" -