TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — For the second time in less than a month, Carnival Cruise’s Paradise ship has come to the rescue of a boat of Cuban Refugees.
Passenger Pat Messier says he heard an announcement from the captain and then the cruise ship circled a makeshift boat with six people on board.
“The captain came over the loudspeaker and said we were going to be slowing down, that they had a boat out there to make sure they weren’t in any distress,” said Messier.
He says the cruise ship came to a stop and then a boat made out of styrofoam and plywood drifted to the side of their ship.
“I think it’s pretty sad that you hate your country that bad that you will risk your life in an ocean that you don’t know what’s going to happen an hour from now because right after we picked them up, about an hour later we went into a big storm,” said Messier.
Later, the six people were taken on board the Paradise and then transferred to a small boat with Mexican officials on board as they came close to the port in Cancun.
Rafael Pizano with Casa Cuba in Tampa says he believes conditions in Cuba are so bad right now that he expects to see more people risk their lives to leave.
“We’re seeing Cuba’s version of East Berlin during the fall let’s say. People are desperate. They don’t know how to make ends meet because the regime is just trying to tighten up the noose on people, but food shortages that they do intentionally. I don’t know how big the wave is going to be but it’s coming” said Pizano.