Reports today’s Miami Herald:

Nearly three hours after throwing themselves from their rickety boat to stave off the Coast Guard, three Cuban migrants slogged through thigh-high water and into the mangroves off Key Largo [Florida] on Tuesday. The men had been pepper-sprayed after reportedly brandishing oars and weapons — including a machete — at approaching Coast Guard officers about two miles offshore. A fourth migrant, too tired to stay afloat, allowed himself to be taken aboard a Coast Guard vessel after jumping overboard. With rescue boats following and officers watching, his companions kept swimming, hoping to make it two miles to freedom. Barefoot and wearing nothing but brief trunks, the trio gingerly picked their way across a bed of coral to the mangrove swamp ringing the affluent enclave of The Ocean Reef Club shortly before 6:30 p.m. As the ocean gave way to shallow puddles, one of the men lifted his arms to the sky, pumping his fists with joy. Under the wet foot/dry foot policy, Cuban migrants who reach shore are generally allowed to stay, while those interdicted at sea are typically sent back. [“Cubans taste freedom upon reaching shore”, Miami Herald]

I saw the arrival televised on TV–it was magnificent as you could see the joy on the man’s face as he raised his arms up in triumph.

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