Cuban rafters stole boat to flee the island, Miami resident claims
A Miami resident claimed nine Cuban rafters stole his brother's boat to
flee the island. A woman identified as a relative of one of the nine
rafters told Univision 23 that the theft charge was false.
The nine Cuban rafters who recently arrived in Key West on a small
fishing boat have been allowed to stay in the United States, despite a
claim from a Miami resident that the vessel they used to flee Cuba was
"We don't have any report of a stolen boat," said Frank Miller,
spokesman for the Border Patrol in Miami. He also said that the nine had
been freed after being briefly detained for immigration processing.
This possibly marked the end of any legal case against the Cuban migrants.
Under the current wet foot/dry foot policy, Cubans without visas who
reach U.S. soil are allowed to stay in the country with a document known
as a parole, which allows them to apply for residency under the Cuban
Adjustment Act a year and day after arrival.
The controversy over the arrival of the nine rafters at Key West began
Wednesday when the television station Univision 23 broadcast an
interview with Alejandro Serrano, a Cuban who lives in Miami, in which
he claimed that the fishing boat the migrants arrived on had been stolen
from his brother on the island, Humberto Serrano Dominguez.
But Univisión 23 also said that the Cuban police had arrested Serrano
Dominguez on suspicion of having sold the boat to the nine migrants to
illegally escape the island.
The nine migrants could not be reached for comment, but a woman, Yaité
Chamizo, identified as a relative of one of the nine rafters, told
Univision 23 that the theft charge was false.
Chamizo also told Univisión 23 that there had been "negotiations"
between the rafters and the man arrested in Cuba that facilitated their
departure from Cuba. She did not elaborate.
Source: Cuban rafters stole boat to flee the island, Miami resident
claims | In Cuba Today -