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8566: Haitians repatriated from Guantanamo (fwd)

From: JRAuguste1@aol.com

Haitian migrants repatriated after landing in Cuba

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, July 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard repatriated 23 
Haitians on Thursday after their Florida-bound boat went off course and 
landed instead at a U.S. Navy base in eastern Cuba. 

They were among 33 Haitians who boarded a 24-foot (7.3-metre) vessel on June 
24 in the southern seaside town of Les Cayes in a bid to reach Florida. Heavy 
winds forced them to land four days later at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo 
Bay, Cuba, some 500 miles (800 km) short of their goal. 

"It was too windy and that was the only course we could steer," one of the 
migrants said. "We were trying to get to Miami." 

U.S. immigration officials were still interviewing the other 10 Haitians, who 
sought political asylum in the United States 

Every year thousands of Haitians flee their impoverished country in rickety 
sea vessels in an attempt to find a better life in the United States. Haiti, 
where around 80 percent of the population lives in abject poverty, is the 
hemisphere's poorest country. Two-thirds of the population suffers from 

Marc Cawthorn, a Coast Guard liaison officer for the U.S. Embassy in 
Port-au-Prince, said the U.S. Coast Guard has repatriated 1,160 Haitians 
since Oct. 1, 2000. 

15:49 07-05-01

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