WSVN News 7 in Miami reports tonight that Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship sent a lifeboat to pick up five Cuban refugees who were floating in a raft after escaping Cuba.
A cruise passenger sent Channel 7 a video of the "rescue" operation. A cruise passenger was quoted saying "I was kinda hoping that if they were brave enough to make it out to see from Cuba that they'd have a chance to stay here but who knows?"
I have a love / hate feeling about these situations.
Yes, its great that the cruise lines "rescued" Cubans on the high seas in rafts. No one wants to see another situation where a Princess cruise ship callously sailed by three Panamanian young men in a disabled little fishing boat 100 miles out to sea, causing two men to die.
But on the other hand, there is no question that the Cubans will be sent back to Cuba, where they will meet whatever fate Castro's regime decides to impose.
I have written a dozen articles like this. It seems like Royal Caribbean cruise ships for some odd reason are usually involved. Take a look here, here, here, here and here. The Allure and its sister ship, Oasis, have had multiple "rescues."
But there is no "rescue." It is in essence an interception. Current U.S. immigration policy is that if Cubans make it ashore they get to stay here. Good for them I say. But if they are caught on the high seas, they go back to Cuba. Period.
These brave Cubans will not die at sea, but they may now die in a Cuban jail for seeking freedom.