‘I can’t buy food’: As Cuba’s economy worsens, desperate rafters risk their lives at sea
Feb. 25, 2021—Marisol Monteagudo’s son gave her a kiss goodbye as he headed out the door to spend a night out with friends in Cuba’s Isla de la Juventud.
What he didn’t tell her: That instead of grabbing a drink or watching a movie, they were planning to board a flimsy raft en route to Mexico.
That was three months ago. She hasn’t heard from him since.
“Only a mother can understand this pain,” Monteagudo, 62, said. “I know my son is alive. I just hope someone helps me find him.”
In recent months, U.S. Coast Guard officials have detected a new uptick in Cuban rafters, with the number intercepted at sea in the fiscal year that started in October already surpassing the total for the previous 12 months.
Though still vastly lower than previous surges, the recent increase has sparked concern that as economic and humanitarian conditions in Cuba worsen, more will risk their lives at sea. U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposal to transform the immigration system is also believed to be a driving factor.
“It’s a combination of the rising desperation of a good part of the Cuban population over deteriorating life conditions, as well as the illusion of getting to the United States under a president who is more tolerant of undocumented immigrants,” said Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University.
According to U.S. Coast Guard figures, more than 100 Cubans have been caught at sea in the last five months, compared to 49 in all of the 2020 fiscal year.
Those rescued in recent weeks include three Cubans stranded on an island in the Bahamas for 33 days, surviving off of coconuts, rats, conch and snails. On Tuesday, authorities announced they’d rescued six men and two pregnant women aboard a raft made of Styrofoam and metal rods and apparently powered by a car engine.
“I threw myself into the sea because it’s not possible to live like this anymore,” said Beatriz, 28, who the Coast Guard found on a raft near Key West in January. “There’s nothing in the stores and with what I earn, I can’t buy food for my daughters.”
The mother of two daughters said she boarded a raft with eight neighbors after receiving a WhatsApp message indicating the new U.S. president would allow Cubans to enter.
After being returned, Cuban authorities told her she’d be fined 10,000 pesos — the equivalent of $416 — if she tried to flee again, said Beatriz, who asked only to be identified by her first name for fear of reprisal. On a recent afternoon, she said state security officials showed up to ask the neighborhood “Revolutionary Defense Committee” about her behavior.
“It’s as bad here as it has ever been,” she said.
Cuba is in the throes of its worst economic crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nation’s GDP contracted 11% last year as the nation closed its borders to international travelers and tourism plummeted as a result of the pandemic. New economic reforms designed to boost the ailing economy have increased inflation. Many Cubans now wait in long lines to buy increasingly sparse supplies of basic goods like food.
Ramón Saúl Sánchez, a Cuban exile who for decades has helped the “balseros,” described the current situation as “an exodus in slow motion that each day is more visible.”
He said Coast Guard figures don’t convey the full magnitude of the situation, since those who arrive go undetected, living as undocumented residents.
In 2017, the Obama administration ended the so-called “wet foot, dry foot” policy granting residency to Cubans who reached U.S. soil. The vast majority of those caught at sea are now returned, except those who can prove a well-founded fear of persecution.
“Those who reach land hide like any other undocumented migrant,” Sánchez said. “What is happening should send an alarm signal about Cuba’s situation.”
Duany said that “for the moment” he doesn’t expect to see a rise like that seen in 1994, when 35,000 people fled after Fidel Castro announced that anyone who wanted to leave could go, or in the lead-up to the end of “wet foot, dry foot.”
“The regime in Havana probably wouldn’t allow the flight of thousands of people without U.S. visas,” he said. “And Washington wouldn’t accept their arrival.”
For Monteagudo, the long days since her 32-year-old son’s departure have been marked by worry and futile efforts to locate her son, Yerandy Paz. His girlfriend has written to U.S. and Cuban authorities asking for their help in finding him.
“A mother will always wait,” Monteagudo said. “Gold and dollars are are worth nothing if you don’t have family and life.”
Report points to microwave ‘attack’ as likely source of mystery illnesses that hit diplomats and spies
A government-commissioned report provides the most definitive explanation yet for “Havana syndrome,” which struck scores of American employees, first in Cuba and then in China, Russia and other countries.
WASHINGTON — The most probable cause of a series of mysterious afflictions that sickened American spies and diplomats abroad in the past several years was radiofrequency energy, a type of radiation that includes microwaves, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has concluded in a report.
The conclusion by a committee of 19 experts in medicine and other fields cited “directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy” as “the most plausible mechanism” to explain the illness, which came to be known as Havana syndrome, though they said that they could not rule out other possible causes and that secondary factors may have contributed to symptoms, according to a copy of the report obtained by The New York Times.
Remote Brain Control and Brain Damage
The National Academies of Science conclude that microwave weapons are real, and the likely culprit for the Cuban Diplomat attacks.
5 Dec 2020: The National Academies of Science conclude that microwave weapons are real, and the likely culprit for the Cuban Diplomat attacks. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/05/business/economy/havana-syndrome-microwave-attack.html?referringSource=articleShare
Russia, Russia, Russia! Since the CIA wants to convince everyone, that these microwave weapons “belong to Russia,” they can easily use their KH-11 spy telescopes in orbit, and give us a picture of these so-called “Russian satellite weapons.” Let’s see the pictures?
Spoiler alert: Schriever AFB controls the microwave weapons and the KH-11 spy telescopes, funded by the CIA. Schriever AFB tracks every satellite in orbit and they know exactly, who launched it. #DeFundCIA
4 Dec 2020: Not science fiction – Remote Neural Monitoring is real.
Mystery illness suffered by US diplomats in Cuba was most likely caused by directed microwave radiation, a US government report has found.
The report by the National Academies of Sciences does not attribute blame for the directed energy waves.
But it said research into the effects of pulsed radio frequency energy was carried out by the Soviet Union more than 50 years ago.
The illnesses first affected people at the US embassy in Havana in 2016-17.
Staff and some of their relatives complained of symptoms ranging from dizziness, loss of balance, hearing loss, anxiety and something they described as “cognitive fog”. It became known as “Havana syndrome”.
The US accused Cuba of carrying out “sonic attacks”, which it strongly denied, and the incident led to increased tension between the two nations.
A 2019 US academic study found “brain abnormalities” in the diplomats who had fallen ill, but Cuba dismissed the report.
Canada also cut its embassy staff in Cuba after at least 14 of its citizens reported similar symptoms.
The latest study was carried out by a team of medical and scientific experts who examined the symptoms of about 40 government employees.
Many have suffered longstanding and debilitating effects, the report said.
“The committee felt that many of the distinctive and acute signs, symptoms and observations reported by (government) employees are consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy,” the report reads.
“Studies published in the open literature more than a half-century ago and over the subsequent decades by Western and Soviet sources provide circumstantial support for this possible mechanism.”
It noted there had been “significant research in Russia/USSR into the effects of pulsed, rather than continuous wave [radio frequency] exposures”. It said that military personnel in “Eurasian communist countries” had been exposed to non-thermal radiation.
Cuba was not the only posting where US diplomats have reported the unusual symptoms.
In 2018, the US removed several officials from China after employees working in the southern city of Guangzhou reported “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure”. One US official was diagnosed with mild brain trauma.
Last week Bolivian President Evo Morales warned that US “humanitarian aid” shipments to Venezuela were a “Trojan horse to provoke war”. Clashes on both Brazilian and Colombian borders with Venezuela validated Morales’ claims as agent provocateursdonning Red Cross vests burned buses and Venezuelan army deserters plowed into crowds. The latter were paid $20,000 each to defect.
CUBA U.S. Treasury Sanctions Against Cuba . . .
Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 (Codified in Title 22, Sections 6021-6091 of the U.S. Code)
One Hundred Fourth Congress of the United States of America
Troika To Negotiate Settlement Of Certified Claims Against Cuba? Kushner, Greenblatt & Feinberg
Troika To Negotiate Settlement Of Certified Claims Against Cuba?
Kushner, Greenblatt & Feinberg
The Process: Briefings, Lunch, Travel
It’s Primarily About Real Estate; So Why Not Use Real Estate Executives?
Two Largest Claims Account For 24%; Thirty Account For 56% Of Total
ROTHSCHILD “DIRECT” TESTIMONY
January 26, 2019
Washington.. We Have A Problem
The short: The Trump Administration wants the Maduro Administration to leave. H.E. Nicolas Maduro, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela wants to stay. The governments of the Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China believe that the repayments of what could be approaching US$100 billion might be best served by President Maduro remaining in office. The Republic of Cuba wants the Chavez Administration (1999-2013) to return.