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Letter: Cubans imprisoned like common criminals in BVI

letter to the editor

Dear Editor,

The relatives of the 17 Cuban immigrants who are in the Majesty’s Prison at Balsam Ghut since September 8th, we ask the competent authorities to verify the procedure to follow by the Department of Immigration since so far no official has approached the group of immigrants to meet their right to seek political asylum.

It is unfair and illegal to imprison human beings who have committed no crime.

On this island, there is no detention center for immigrants and therefore they leave them forgotten in a common prison indefinitely in subhuman conditions, without communication, without clothes to change.

The meal consists of two loaves of bread in the morning and two in the afternoon.

The families call daily and no one answer the phone, calls does not go through, they do not any information to the families.

We headed to the local press as neither the office of Immigration and Prison want to attend the calls we do every day, to know when they think they will release this group of immigrants.

We demand the immediate release and allowed them to await the response of free asylum.

The family members are willing to cover all expenses of our family on this island.

Cuban immigrants are not criminals; they do not deserve to be in a common prison.

Many of them are good professionals, including some teachers, doctors, artists…

Their destiny was not this island; they accidentally came because they were abandoned at sea.

This group only seeks freedom and a life that we cannot have in our country, Cuba.

Enough of violating human rights!

They cannot put in jail, people who have not committed any crime.

Please help us to release our sons and husbands now. Thanks.

Yours Truly,

Relatives of the 17 Cubans imprisoned in Tortola

This article was posted in its entirety as received by bvinews.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of bvinews.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

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19 Comments

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  1. Reply says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

    The relative of this letter makes a valid point. The 17 Cuban immigrants in custody got here thru accidental curcumstances. The BVI was not their apparent destination.

    As the relative correctly pointed out, there are no detention centers in the BVI, and these people should not be treated like common criminals.

    There should be a system in place already to process these kind of cases expediently, and either repatriate them to their home country or allow them to proceed to a third who may be receptive to their entry.

    These people, I’ll call them the Cuban 17 highlights the need for a detention center in the BVI, and an efficient system to handle such individuals as human traficking thru BVI waters has become commonplace.

    It also highlight the need for a clarification of our asylum policy.

    IMO, if these 17 individuals have broken no other law other than entering the BVI unintentionally but illegally, they should be processed, released, and deported as a formality a ASAP, to end this matter once and for call.

    From a human right perspective, their continued incarceration is immoral, and from a financial one, it is costing taxpayers money each day they are being incarcerated.

    I say, let these people go.

    • Ms wize says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

      Hmmm. The Bvi was not their destination. Where was? When since entering a country i illegally is not a crime? I thought it was. If they are all professionals they are able to get jobs anywhere do why sneak in? There are consequences for the wrongs we do. Stop calling wrong right.

    • Ain says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      Don’t you think a detention center will cost tax payers even more. Try show in Uba that way and see what would happen to your blakc ass. Dam donkey if they can stay in their country and demand what the B.V.I. Should do why dont they provide the money to build the detention hull.

  2. Be Quiet Cuban family says:

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  3. Dominikiee says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Let them go st jonh

  4. Apple says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    @ Reply! there is no need to elaborate any further as you said it all.

    No one is speaking about wet foot or dry foot, we all know they are not in the USA. The BVI should not detain these individuals for so long and that’s the point.

  5. Political Observer says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    Prison, jail, gaol…..etc are typically for people who have been convicted of a crime(s)? These people in pursuit of a better life in the USVI got stranded within BVI waters. We may not like the way they are pursuing a better life but it is no reason to treat them as harden criminals. They should be held in a detention center, not at Balo, and processed quickly, i.e., provided assistance to continue on their journey, repratiated or process for asylum. Let’s not act high and mighty. Do we remember our people going into the USVI thru the “Window”?

    Moreover, if the allegations are true about the food being provided, it is shameful and inhumane. Two slices of bread! Really. The BVI has the means and can be more compassionate than this, can we not?
    If true, not even dogs should be treated like this. They are human beings in pursuit of a better life. Is that a crime? Let’s not forget that Virgin Islanders emigrated to other lands, i.e. Santo Domingo, Cuba, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas/St. John/St. Croix, USA…….etc in search of a better life, did they not?

  6. bandit says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

    I am sorry but the Cubans has broken the law of the BVI.

    Do you know to enter into a country or a country’s territorial waters without proper documentation you have committed a crime.

    And then you are asking the BVI to aid them to continue on to the USVI would be breaking international law.

    Do you understand that if the BVI had let these people continue and they had gotten in further problem or lost their lives, it would have been bad for the BVI as far as international laws. SMH

  7. Elena says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    Must release these people certainly are not criminals, continued detention is inhumane for so long after everything that happened, they are victims and not criminals, release them and stop violating human rights

  8. Yoly says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Enough of violating human rights … they can not put in jail people who have not committed any crime

  9. Evelyn says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    !!! Liberty for the 17 Cuban immigrants !!!

  10. Mario Ernesto says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    !!! Liberty for the 17 Cuban immigrants !!!

  11. Mario Ernesto says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    We know perfectly well that it is a crime to enter waters of anywhere in the world without the required authorization but also know that do not enter for our own will have been victims of unscrupulous people who have cheated us our money our only crime is wanting the freedom we declare innocent of any x charge that you want us to channel in this sense to stop treating us as criminals. We are in all the right of request that is us try with dignity.

  12. Karima says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    not hide illegality more to prevent these people achieve their goal, illegal and criminals are those who are violating the right of freedom to these people, who do you give to anyone with his act. with so many criminals and corrupt on the island rulers, to be worrying about those poor people, free let them and olive dense of them, you are an island made of emigrants, hopefully Cuba gave the possibility of emigrating legally not pass things how are you, Cuba only know that these people took legal in their territory and are not interested in returning, they are not criminals they wanted on the island, nor will they pay for them, let them free and so we are all happy.

  13. Choice says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    These 17 immigrants made a choice to leave their country to go to the USVI. BVI should release them but on a one-way ticket back to Cuba. That’s the law. They should be deported. We do not want any business in aiding and abiding illegal immigrants. Our USVI/BVI friendship is great, and we want to keep it that way. I would be disappointed in the BVI if they were treated unfairly. But what you describe does not sound like the Hotel “Ballo” BVI get this situation fixed to send them back home, ASAP!

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