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Nine Cubans die at sea trying to reach America on eve of President Obama's visit

As Twitchy reported, one of the first agenda items announced as part of President Obama’s historic visit to Cuba was to take in a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game in Havana. (Please please please don’t let him throw out the first pitch …)

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The remainder of his agenda has been announced, and it includes a walking tour of Old Havana with the family (sorry if we missed the announcement, but this is the first we’d heard that he was taking the wife and kids along) and a meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro at the Revolutionary Palace.

The president is also scheduled to meet with human rights activists, although the Los Angeles Times reports today that Cuban authorities “are ordering dissidents invited to meet with the American leader to stay home instead.”

The walking tour sounds lovely, and we’d hate for news that nine Cubans drowned today trying to reach the United States to cast a shadow on the Obama family’s working vacation. In a press release, the Coast Guard noted “a steady increase in illegal maritime migration attempts from Cuba to the southeastern U.S. since the US announcement of normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba in December 2014.”

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Short answer: No.

https://twitter.com/HudsonTaylor17/status/711232192844853248

The Chicago Tribune today reveals that not all Cubans are thrilled with the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Leonid Castro, who recently fled Cuba and now works in Las Vegas, told the Tribune, “I know that in America if I work, I can win.” He hopes his wife, who stayed behind, can join him soon. “I want opportunity,” she told the Tribune. “There’s nothing here. Nothing.” But Obama’s going to fix that, right?

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Reporter Kate Linthicum writes:

[Leonid] Castro, 30, is one of many Cubans who fear that warming relations with the U.S. may spell an end to the special status that allows Cubans to live and work legally in America if they can manage to reach U.S. soil. Instead of staying to see how the new Cuba plays out, Castro elected to make a move while immigration laws are still in his favor.

The Cubans who died at sea are part of a surge of refugees, many of whom are passing through Mexico.

 

 

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