Statement By Cong. Ros-Lehtinen On The Terrible Ordeal Of Cuban Freedom Seekers Being Repatriated By Bahamian Authorities

Aug 15, 2013 Issues: Foreign Affairs

Miami, Florida – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding the ongoing and appalling situation of Cubans detained in The Bahamas and being repatriated back to the Castro dictatorship.

Ros-Lehtinen’s statement:

"Members of my staff and have been coordinating with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) personnel who are on the ground in Nassau.  The UNHCR officials inform us that the Cubans who are being repatriated may not be the same one who have been offered asylum in Panama. The Bahamian government has finally acknowledged that the beatings that were caught on video occurred and we hope that the new security cameras, as well as the removal of these abusive guards, will have some positive impact on the lives of these freedom seeking Cubans. It is shameful that because the Bahamian government rejected their refugee status, the State Department policy states that the US cannot take them in after proper vetting. 

I will continue to monitor this sad situation and I will continue to press the Bahamian government that it must cease the deplorable detainment conditions under which Cubans are not fed adequately nor treated humanely; it must honor the generous asylum protections offered by third countries, such as Panama; and it must coordinate with US officials and the UNHCR so that the present conditions of a lack of information ceases.”