"" Writer's Wanderings: A Desperate Journey

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

A Desperate Journey

 In the past years we have occasionally encountered evidence of Cuban migrants who were able to make the long journey by water to the Florida Keys and the refuge of the United States. I can't be certain but I believe many are still under the impression that the "wet foot, dry foot" regulation is still in effect.

The "wet foot, dry foot" was a regulation that said as long as those migrating from Cuba could make it to dry land, they would be eligible to apply for legal residency. The law was abolished in 2017 but you still see Cubans setting out in boats that are less than sea worth to make hundreds of miles of journey across open ocean waters. 

A few years ago we crossed US 1 to the ocean side to see a boat that had been abandoned. We were told there were a half dozen men who had made the journey in it. They had a motor that they took with them when they were met on dry land but the boat was left behind trailing its loose duct tape in the water.

Over the New Year's weekend it was estimated a total of 500 Cubans landed on the shores of the Florida Keys. Many relatives in the states follow the landings and the immigration buses to see if their relatives have made it.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to a park on the east side of Key Largo, the ocean side. It's a place that we like to walk around when it's too windy on our side, the bay side. We were very surprised to find four boats abandoned that were obviously from Cuban refugees. One was by itself near a home. By the way, until just recently a homeowner was responsible for disposing of an abandoned boat on their property and cleaning up the fuel leakage. 

A little ways down our path we found three more boats that were clustered together and must have been recent arrivals since we could still smell the diesel fuel that was leaking from somewhere.

Those of us who have lived our lives in the freedom of the United States are truly blessed to not have to make such a desperate journey.

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