ON VIDEO: Cuba Denounces Encouragement from the U.S. to Human Trafficking

ON VIDEO: Cuba Denounces Encouragement from the U.S. to Human Trafficking
Fecha de publicación: 
14 November 2022
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A Cuban television investigation exposed today new information about a human trafficking operation, in which 26 people were left adrift and one of them needed medical assistance.

The Ministry of the Interior reported that on October 30th the passengers, left to their fate by traffickers, were aboard a disabled speedboat with United States registration.

The journalistic work revealed the identity of the boat owner who was prosecuted on the island twice for theft.

Rafael López, from the central province of Villa Clara, worked as a tractor operator and carried out fishing activities, which allowed him to know well the area where he lived.

In 2001 he illegally emigrated to the United States and settled in Miami, Florida, where he dedicated himself to human trafficking by sea.

According to the report, for each illegal crossing, López received money ranging 60,000-100,000 dollars, as well as in his operations he trafficked women, children, people with criminal records and fugitives from justice, including family, and friends.

López stated that he loaded more than 25 passengers on speedboats designed for 14 or 15 people according to the instructions he received from the owners of the boat, who decided the date and time of the incursions, in addition to the forms of payment.

The investigation showed that "this boatman is the face of boat owners who operate as mafias and obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in each operation."

Regarding the events of October 30th, López explained that he was going to receive a remuneration of 100 thousand dollars for the crossing, however, when the boat's engines failed, he abandoned the passengers, four minors among them.

Cuban authorities recently warned about the dangers involved in illegal departures from the island, in operations that are only for profit and have no real interest in human life.

The Government of the island has reiterated in multiple scenarios its commitment to an orderly and safe migration, and its willingness to dialogue so that a process that constitutes a human right can be carried out without obstacles or manipulations.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff


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