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Getting ready for the Cubans

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:27 am
by Haydnseek
It's going to be a mess when Castro goes, probably within just a few days or weeks, I would imagine.

Castro's death could spark refugee crisis

Fri Jun 2, 2:28 PM ET

As Cuban President Fidel Castro nears his 80th birthday, US authorities are reportedly planning for the fallout in Florida from his eventual death fear a dangerous mass migration of Cubans.

Florida is home to the some 800,000 Cubans and Cuban-Americans, most of whom have been eagerly awaiting the end to Castro's communist rule for decades.

The University of Miami, with the American Red Cross, nonprofit groups and local, state and federal agencies, have completed a comprehensive plan for the days after Castro's death, The Miami Herald said.

"The greatest fear among the planning organizations is another mass migration along the lines of the Mariel boatlift in 1980 or the 1994 Balsero crisis. Much of the report is dedicated to planning for such an event, such as assigning a county official as the point person and assigning specific tasks to deal with migrants," it said.

The University of Miami's Cuba Transition Project drafted the report after two years of meetings among agencies including the US Agency for International Development, the Department of Homeland Security, the Red Cross, Miami-Dade's Office of Emergency Management and Miami-Dade Public Schools.

The government is prepared for the worst, Carlos Castillo, assistant Miami-Dade fire chief who chaired the subcommittee to coordinate local response, told the paper.

"The Coast Guard will take whatever action is necessary to protect the coast," he said. "As far as the airport and port of Miami, the county and federal governments will take whatever steps necessary to ensure the safety of the people in South Florida. If necessary, the federal government has the ability to close the airports and seaports."

During the 1980 Mariel boatlift, about 120,000 Cuban migrants arrived in Miami over a six-month period.

Cuban exiles triggered the mass migration by taking to the Florida Straits to bring over relatives and friends.

Cuba blames the US policy of granting immediate asylum to Cubans who reach US shores for encouraging many Cubans' risky illegal crossings of the shark-infested Florida Straits.

The United States sends home Cubans picked up at sea, but continues to grant asylum to any Cuban who touches US soil.

Castro, in power since 1959, is due to turn 80 in August.


Copyright © 2006 Agence France Presse.
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Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:55 am
by jbuck919
Quel sweet mess. Castro dead. Hurray, hurrah. (I know, I know, be careful what you wish for.)

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:37 am
by Ralph
Will the cigars flow to our shore?

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:30 am
by Werner
There seems to be an assumption in this thread that a man's eightieth birthday is also close to his expiration date.

That's not necessarily so!

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:42 am
by jbuck919
Werner wrote:There seems to be an assumption in this thread that a man's eightieth birthday is also close to his expiration date.

That's not necessarily so!
I was assuming from Haydnseek's post (look at the top) that there was information about ill health. If there was not, this SOB (I mean Castro, not Haydnseek) could outlive me. As I plan to visit my perfectly healthly though not quite what she was 86 year old mother this summer, I have no presumptions about the possibilities of old age and hope for something in that direction myself.

Pray as if you will die tomorrow, but live as if you will live forever.

--St. Augustine

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 1:02 pm
by Ralph
Castro has stumbled a couple of times in public lately but his appearance gives no sign of serious health problems.

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:15 pm
by Corlyss_D
Werner wrote:There seems to be an assumption in this thread that a man's eightieth birthday is also close to his expiration date.

That's not necessarily so!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Rumors of your death are greatly exaggerated, righ? :lol:

Post of the Day Award to you, Werner.

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:18 pm
by Corlyss_D
I can't tell from the story whether Florida authorities are worried about immigration or emigration or both. It sounds sort of like they are expecting a flood of immigration, but I understand that many Cuban refugees are looking forward to returning to Cuba after Fidel's death and the conclusion of the subsequent war of succession.