Friday, January 11, 2008

Of Detours and Desperation

From The Dallas Observer, an article online about a relatively new wrinkle in the exodus from Cuba- the flight of refugees to Mexico and eventually Texas. Despite its global approach, the article succeeds in conveying the culture shock of Texans at the advent of these Hispanics with the funny accents. It also conveys the difficulties faced by these newcomers, the travails they undergo to make it to the States.

I leave you to read the article for yourselves. There is just too much to do an adequate job of commentary. I will point out what for me was the most striking part of the six-pages, the description of the sheer desperation of those who flee Cuba in general. If anything is indicative of the “wrongness” of the wet foot/dry foot policy and the essential difference between Cubans and those who come for purely economic reasons, it is this:

"We've had cases where...they've poured gasoline on themselves and threatened to light themselves on fire," says Chief Dana Warr, an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard in Miami. "People will stab themselves or cut their wrists to be evacuated by helicopter to a U.S. hospital, and as soon as they touch down, they're 'dry foot.' It's almost like the wild, wild west out there, except on the water."

Cross-posted at Babalublog

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