The behavior of the U.S. authorities is becoming increasingly sly and shadowy with regard to the murderous Cuban Adjustment Act. They refuse to offer any news whatsoever concerning Cuban citizens who lose their lives, suffer accidents, are kidnapped or disappear without a trace as a consequence of this monstrous abomination. Not a single word has yet been said about the little girl who was taken unconscious to a Florida hospital after suffering several days of hunger and thirst on a small island of the Bahamas, together with another 36 Cuban citizens who were abandoned there by immigrant smugglers. Nor has there been any news about the pregnant woman taken to shore in a delicate state of health; although both of these cases were reported weeks ago.

As a rule, all of these criminal adventures involve a considerable number of children. They are always taken illegally, sometimes by just one of their parents, with absolutely no proof of consent from the other, nor the slightest possibility of a judge in the corrupt Miami justice system accepting any kind of claim made by the parent remaining in Cuba. There is a diabolical policy at work, involving the total concealment of information and figures, reiterated disregard and violation of Cuban laws, and flagrant breach of the immigration agreements signed between the two countries. With ever growing frequency and brazenness, speedboats head out from the United States with total impunity towards a previously designated point on our extensive coastline and pick up human cargo at a cost of thousands of dollars a head.

While a few months ago some information did arrive through the wire services, the rigid controls recently imposed by the U.S. authorities have reduced all relevant news to a minimum. It is only by chance that the wire services bring occasional news, in the case of scandalous or tragic events that are difficult to conceal. They are ever more fearful of the whip of Cuba’s denunciations and the righteous anger of our people.

A strange incident recently took place, which we have been piecing together bit by bit through scattered reports issued by the wire services.

On Thursday, August 10, an AP dispatch from Miami reported:

"Today authorities recovered the decomposing corpse of a Hispanic male in the Atlantic, and said that another corpse was dragged off by a shark in an area commonly used by Cubans trying to raft to the United States.

"Several fishermen informed the Coast Guard that they had seen the corpses some 30 kilometers from the Florida keys, said Vicki Neblock of the Coast Guard Service.

"One of them was attacked by a shark that dragged him to the depths, said Becky Herrin, a Monroe County Police Department spokesperson.

"The witness saw how a shark got hold of one of the corpses and pulled it beneath the surface, said Herrin.

"There were no immediate assumptions as to how the corpses got into the water. We found no trace of a boat in the area, said Herrin."

On Friday, August 11, a dispatch from the EFE news agency, also issued from Miami, reported:

"The United States Coast Guard Service has called off the search for two bodies presumably sighted off the coasts of Key West, after recovering the remains of what could be two Cuban rafters.

[ ...]

"The recovered corpses, both decomposed and bitten by sharks, were taken to the Miami-Dade County Coroners Office, where the respective autopsies were scheduled.

"One of the mutilated corpses was that of a Hispanic male wearing a brand of running shoes made in China and sold in Cuba, the Coast Guard told the local press."

Four days then passed with no news whatsoever, neither public nor through official channels, until the EFE news agency reported on Tuesday, August 15:

"The human remains found floating off Key West (Florida) are those of two Cuban brothers who were attempting to reach the U.S. coast clandestinely, police confirmed today.

"The corpses, discovered last week in an advanced state of decomposition and with shark bite marks, are those of Juan Carlos, 23, and Alexander Rodríguez Bueno, 20, according to a spokesman from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office."

That same day, an AP dispatch stated:

"It was confirmed that two corpses found last week in the Florida keys were two Cuban brothers who were trying to reach the United States by boat.

"The shark-bitten corpse of Juan Carlos Rodríguez Bueno, 23, was identified by relatives from the Miami area, the police said.

"The Coast Guard Service was unable to recover the other corpse because it was submerged by a shark. However, it is believed to be Alex Rodríguez Bueno, 20."

At the same time, the ANSA agency reported the following:

"The two ‘rafters’ whose corpses were torn apart by sharks and whose remains appeared last week on the Florida coasts were two young Cuban brothers attempting to illegally enter the United States.

"This announcement was made by the sheriff of Monroe County, after Carlos Rodríguez recognized the body of his son, Juan Carlos Rodríguez Bueno, 23, through a photograph.

"The father managed to identify his son’s remains thanks to part of his teeth and an earring in his left ear.

"The other body could not be rescued because sharks dragged it out to sea before the Coast Guard agents could pick it up."

Also on August 15, the Nuevo Herald published, among other details, that a brother of the two deceased, Omar Rodríguez, a resident of Hialeah, Florida, declared, "‘This is very painful, because 22 years ago I lost my brother Carlos (17) the same way... I have no brothers left in Cuba.’

[ ...]

"The family tragedy deeply moved the Cuban community in Miami, which immediately offered the Rodríguez family its cooperation.

"The body of Juan Carlos Rodríguez will be laid out today beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Graceland funeral home. The burial will take place on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., in the Radio Mambí Cuban mausoleum.

"Armando Gutiérrez [ the Miami relatives’ spokesman in the Elián case] , president of Creative Ideas, attorney Manny Díaz [ one of the lawyers representing the kidnapper Lázaro González] , Radio Mambí, and the ‘Humanism Without Borders’ Foundation have offered contributions for the funeral services."

As can be seen, the Miami Cuban-American mob, defenders at any cost of the murderous Cuban Adjustment Act, immediately took over the mutilated corpse of one of the many victims of the criminal Act, so as to gleefully wallow in the swamp of politicking and demonstrate how pious their sentiments are.

There have been reports out of Miami about two survivors hospitalized in Florida who mention the death of 10 Cubans in an immigrant smuggling operation. The theory currently circulating is that the speedboat they were on collided with a boat belonging to the U.S. authorities or got into a similar accident with another boat.

Investigations carried out in Cuba have revealed that the two young men lived in the city of Colón, in the province of Matanzas. They have no known criminal records. Their father was on a temporary visit to Miami, where he has a son who arrived in the United States 20 years ago, and another named Eduardo, who emigrated there illegally from Villa Clara in 1998; both were taken in under the Cuban Adjustment Act. The first took part in organizing the smuggling operation that led to the two brothers’ tragic deaths.

What really happened is still a mystery. It is impossible that the two young men were traveling alone. In smuggling operations like these, the boats are always overcrowded; they normally involve more than 10 people, and sometimes more than 15 or 20. The U.S. authorities know exactly what happened, but they have not said a single word to either the Cuban authorities or the press.

Why don’t they explain how and for what reasons these two young men were torn apart and devoured by sharks near the coasts of the United States?

Are there or are there not survivors?

Were they the only ones traveling?

If not, how many people actually died?

Why don’t they tell the whole truth?

Why do they refuse to provide any information whatsoever to our country and to their own public?

This is yet another shady and sinister story about the consequences of the murderous Cuban Adjustment Act and the criminal and increasingly unsustainable U.S. policy against Cuba.


(Editorial published in Granma on August 18, 2000.)