Standoff between Cubans and law enforcement ends

The three-day-long standoff between Customs and Border Control and the group of Cubans and one Dominican who refused to disembark a Panamanian cargo ship has ended.

All 12 adults and the 1-year-old baby are now in a government quarantine facility, a CBC statement issued Thursday night said, adding that the situation with the Cuban nationals on board the MV Bulk Freedom had been resolved.

Earlier on Thursday evening, the baby girl, who fell ill with a fever, was removed from the ship after her parents, a Cuban father and Dominican mother, refused to let her off the vessel to get medical attention. They asked that a doctor be brought aboard the ship instead.

After the child was removed by CBC officers, her parents were later brought to shore from the vessel.

They were all transported from the Port Authority dock via ambulance.

The remaining nine Cubans were escorted off the ship, some of them with their hands in the air, shortly before 11pm Thursday. CBC officers were also seen carrying the luggage and bags from the Coast Guard vessel Cayman Guardian when the group was brought ashore.

On Wednesday, one of the Cubans voluntarily disembarked and was taken into quarantine.

Original story: A Cayman Islands Coast Guard vessel has brought an infant and, shortly thereafter, her parents to shore this evening, following a standoff that began earlier this week when a group being electronically monitored was brought on board the MV Bulk Freedom after their vessel was found in distress.

The family of three departed the George Town Harbour in an ambulance.

Around an hour later, shortly before 10:30pm, the remaining nine members of the group were all brought to shore by the Coast Guard aboard the Cayman Guardian.

Earlier today, the baby’s mother reported the child was unwell with a fever.

Customs and Border Control officials reported at the weekend a group it was monitoring was “unaccounted for”. The standoff began once it was discovered that the group was on the ship 50 nautical miles west of Grand Cayman.

The group, made up predominantly of Cubans, have been saying they do not want to return to Grand Cayman.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now