U.S. tells Cubans to ‘think twice’ before trying to sail here

Cuba-born Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also said Cubans shouldn't take to the seas and risk their lives amid the uprising over difficult conditions on the island.

MIAMI – New videos from Cuba show special troops moving in and using force, and authorities shooting into the distance, likely dispersing crowds.

On Cuban state-run TV, the Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel was somewhat apologetic to those who were accidentally hurt in the protests.

He also admitted shortcomings in the way his government has handled country-wide shortages.

It appears that the Cuban government is also feeling the pressure, announcing they will temporarily lift restrictions on food and medicine travelers can take into the island.

History shows that anytime Cuba faces a major crisis, migration to the United States becomes an escape valve.

That happened en masse in the early 1990s.

Here in the United States, Cuba-born Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned Cubans against taking to the seas and risking their lives.

He says it will not work and they will be sent back.

“If they have a well-founded fear of persecution or torture, they are resettled in a third country,” he said.

In South Florida, the new boss of the Coast Guard’s 7th District shared a similar message.

“Anybody that’s even thinking about taking to the sea, [think] twice about that,” Rear Admiral Brendan McPherson said.

There is also a reminder for South Floridians that entering Cuban waters is illegal.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.