Cuban families with missing loved ones have questions for Bahamian government

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – South Florida families with relatives in Cuba protested at the Bahamian Consulate in Miami on Wednesday.

They claim loved ones who have been intercepted at sea are being mistreated in Bahamian jails.

A letter posted online exactly one week ago has given a little bit of hope to the families who continue to look for their missing loved ones.

They’re now demanding answers from the Bahamian government.

Those Cuban families refuse to give up a dogged search for information about their missing loved ones.

“I am looking for help in the Bahamas consulate,” said Cuban relative Yahima Morejon. “This search that we are doing is not about one family member. It’s about all the people that are missing right now.”

Morejon says her relative Montalvo Garcia left Cuba in a homemade raft on Sept. 23.

In a letter purportedly filtered out of the Bahamas and first published by Miami-based journalist Mario Penton, dozens of Cubans intercepted by the Bahamian authorities announce a hunger strike, alleging mistreatment.

Local 10 News cannot independently verify its authenticity.

“We have Cubans here that their family members think they are dead,” said Morejon.

Local 10 News’ calls to the Bahamian Consulate have also gone unanswered.

“We have in this list a 5-year-old kid, and seeing that nobody ever, they don’t even care to say, let me look at the list and see what we can find out,” said Morejon.

Graciela Del Rio is also looking for answers. Her 17-year-old son Michelangelo Ramirez left Cuba on Nov. 16.

She said she feels helpless because she doesn’t have any information about her son and that he doesn’t know how to find her.

Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar told Local 10 News on Wednesday, “My office is aware of the concerns regarding immigrants being detained in The Bahamas. We are working to get answer.”

Local 10 News also reached out Rep. Mario Diaz Balart on Wednesday but did not hear back.

The families have compiled a list of about 100 missing people. A handful of women also approached the Bahamian Embassy in Havana on Wednesday with that list. They also did not receive any information.

About the Author:

Cody Weddle joined Local 10 News as a full-time reporter in South Florida in August of 2022. Before that, Cody worked regularly with Local 10 since January of 2017 as a foreign correspondent in Venezuela and Colombia.