Saturday, March 27, 2004

Cuba: Who was on board?

Customs agents swarmed a boat docked at Horton Park in Cape Coral on suspicions the vessel was being used to smuggle Cuban refugees into the United States. The boat had three engines, 15 gas cans, a stockpile of food and extra life vests – all things that stand out to investigators.
...
Acting on a tip, Cape Coral police, Florida Fish & Wildlife and U.S. immigration and customs enforcement stopped the 32-foot Powerplay speedboat – which aroused suspicion by having its identification numbers partially removed.

Boats of that type have powerful engines, designed to go more 80 miles per hour. Experts from Powerplay say there was more than enough fuel on the boat to get from Cuba to Southwest Florida.
...
The Cubans were not arrested because U.S. Customs says there was no probable cause in the case. Since a Cuban national has a right to be in the U.S., they were not deported.
Quite frankly, in this age of terrorism, nobody should have a right to be in this country except those who are born here and those who enter legally, and, not even all of the latter, as 9/11 has taught us.

A number of things to notice here. This was a 32-foot speedboat. It wasn't the 1965-Chrysler-turned-into-a-boat, which is what we've been seeing interdicted by coast guards. The type of boat is a red flag, in my opinion, because the ownership possibilities raise more questions than they answer. It is possible that the boat could've been owned by a drug runner, by someone wealthy and high up in the Cuban government with an interest in sneaking into the U.S., or by terrorists. Customs accepts the common denominator that a boat of this type was used to smuggle Cubans seeking to escape Castro's communist paradise. It is more likely that HSD has no idea who owns the boat much less who was transported on it. In view of the Cuba to Venezuela to Brazil (with its Muslim Triangle), HSD should be doubly concerned about who was transported on a fast boat like this. After all, it is not as if Castro would not have an interest in granting Cuban identities to Islamic terrorists.

Even Cubanos in Florida must be willing to value the security of the American homeland more highly than any "right" to be here of persons coming from Castro's communist paradise. Therefore, they should not take umbrage if GWB were to adapt the decades old Cuba policy to suit the new reality.

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