Cubans arrested after near riot at detention centre

| 23/05/2014

(CNS): Police, immigration officials, customs staff, prison officers and even fire crews were all called to the Fairbanks Immigration Detention Centre on Thursday after a near riot broke out at the facility. Four Cuban migrants were arrested and three remain in police custody after yet another major disturbance among the detainees who are awaiting deportation back to Cuba. The men were said to be threatening injury to staff and to burn down the facility as tensions among the migrants mounted as a result of deportation problems. Premier Alden McLaughlin said local officials are due to meet with Cuban officials next month to review of the MoU as he said the repatriation timelines need to be addressed.

“I recognise that the situation was extremely volatile and praise for the staff who were able to manage the incident and diffuse it without any injury,” the premier said. “It is my understanding that tensions have been rising for some time now…This is largely due to the wait times for the Cubans to be repatriated back to Cuba and the uncertainty of when this will occur.”

McLaughlin said that he has scheduled a meeting to discuss the management of the centre next week but the issues appears to be down to repatriation times, which are taking two to three months rather than the three weeks agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding.

The premier warned that the arrival of any more migrant Cubans could make matters even worse. “Long term, the work really has to be with Cuba to work toward repatriation time lines that are in keeping with the three weeks in the MoU. We want to work with Cuba to fix this situation going forward.”

Thursday’s incident was reported to the 911 centre at around 10:30am when the migrants were said to be making threats to harm immigration officers and to burn down the detention facility, which was why the fire service was also dispatched. One migrant climbed on to the roof armed with rocks and another was said to have jumped the fence. As fears grew that the disturbance could get worse, enforcement officers from the prison, immigration and customs all attended to assist in quelling the potential riot.

The man on the roof eventually came down of his own accord but three men were taken to the George Town Police Station, where they remain while enquiries continue, an RCIPS spokesperson stated. Despite the troubles, no one was injured and the refugee that escaped by jumping the fence was reportedly re-captured by a prison officer after a foot chase.

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  1. Boy says:

    the world changes in the past Caymanians could migrate and live happily in Cuba

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, Caymanians went to Cuba and worked there but I am sure they did not go in there stirring up trouble.  If these Cubans would use their energy and fight what they are running from it would be better for them.  The yleave Cuba, drift in to Cayman, then because they have to wait to be repatriated they start trouble. Don't come here, if you do you all will be returned and yes, your Government takes its time in getting you back because they really do not want you  to return.  Instead of  turning to the south point your sails to the north.  We do not have money to take of our own people and you ungrateful bunch come here and our Government has to spend so much money in feeding, housing, and catching you when you run off.  Save us the problems, save yourselves the problems and stay home, or as I said turn to the north.  Life is getting better in Cuba, stay there and make your lives better instead of risking life and limb on the high seas. Caymanians have help you over the years, we have been yours shelter in the storm, but when you start to disrespect ing us you should just  tell all your friends when you go back that they  are not welcome here any longer.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bet they wouldn't do that crap in Cuba!  And they expect to get away with it in Cayman? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly you haven't been to Cuba. Admittedly there's not much to steal.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is high time some of the criminals, that is the trouble making Cubans, are brought up on charges; disorderly conduct or whatever they may be. Kudos to the Immigration Officer who had the kahunas to do such. Perhaps word will get around.

  4. Anonymous says:

    But they don't want to go home!   And that is why I too would protest!  

    • WillYaListen! says:

      There are some nights I don't want to go home either. No use protesting about that.

      We're not an expenses paid holiday camp. Ask anyboy on a Work Permit. Move on Ernesto and friends – go and burn Castro's home down.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Basically they do not want to be here, and we hace Cayman airways that can take them home, why aren't they in the next flight? because Cuban goverment does not want to recieve them as per agreed? and, you still enforcing their wishes here in your country even when they do not do their part?


    that is what you get dealing with the Cuban Goverment in loose terms, you are basically working for them on your dime. draft a better one, stop enforcing their laws here and make them finnancially responsible for every single day they overstay here, you will see how they will react.

    if by now we havent realised they are not to be trusted…..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Um yeah – go threaten your own people in Cuba & see where that gets you….