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Australia Resettles Cuban Refugees Who Sought Asylum at American Shoal Lighthouse


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The American Shoal Lighthouse, about 15 miles ...
Photo by: Jim Wolfrum

Seventeen Cuban refugees who took refuge at Florida’s American Shoal Lighthouse when their self-made raft broke down last year have finally been resettled to the nation of Australia.

They had hoped that a United States federal judge would rule in their favor because they, and many others, believed that they had landed on American soil and that they would be allowed to immigrate to the United States as political refugees. However, the federal judge felt that technically they did reach American soil. Because it was felt that they might be treated harshly if they were returned to the Cuban government, they were instead shipped to the U.S. Navy Base at Guantanamo until another country could be found that would be willing to take them.

After a year of negotiations, Australia agreed to accept them. Although they were all delighted to settle in a country where they could live in freedom, they were disappointed that they were not allowed into the United States, especially because many of them have relatives living in Florida.

This story appeared in the Nov/Dec 2017 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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