The Osceola Sentinel Sunday November 27 1994
Cuban's death in sea escape mystifies family.
Proenza-Sanfiel seeks autopsy before the body is returned to Cuba.
The St. Cloud man said his refugee brother knew the risks at sea and would of not have escaped from a detention camp.
By Anthony Millican of The Sentinel staff
ST. CLOUD -- Jose Proenza-Sanfiel, an activist on POW/MIA issues, has spent several years trying help piece together the fate of U.S. combat veterans!
Now, the St. Cloud men is confronting a mystery that hits him especially close: the drowning of brother in an apparent escape attempt from the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.
 Lazaro Ramos Sanchez, 27, a man who had risked his life to flee Cuba, took another risk swimming churning seas on Nov. 13 to return to communist rule, U.S. authorities said.
 His body was found two days later Proenza-Sanfiel, a 40-year-old ex-Marine, is struggling to make sense of his brother's death. "IT he wanted to go beck to Cuba, he wouldn't try to make it like that," Proenza-Sanfiel said. "All his life he was raised by the sea; he knows how dangerous it can be." However, U.S. authorities, in a letter to U.S. Sen. Connie Mack (R-Florida), whose office has been assisting the family, said Ramos disregarded attempt to talk him into returning to shore.
Ramos had been part of a work detail when he left the group and headed into the waters off Kittery Beach, said Roger Lindo, officer in charge of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Guantanamo Bay. 'You may remember that Tropical Storm Gordon had sent thunderstorms and winds over Guantanamo Bay during the night, churning up the sea, which was still heavy that day," Lindo wrote. "However Mr.; Ramos ignored the calls to return end began swimming toward sovereign Cuba. He was lest see being swept against the rocks and was lost from sight."
The heavy sees kept rescuers from launching a boat to conduct a search, but a Coast Guard Air/Sea rescue helicopter was dispatched to search for Ramos, Lindo said. "However, that was in vain," Lindo said. "The search was called off when weather conditions dictated a return to base"
 Ramos is one of two Cuban refugees who drowned while attempting to flee the naval base. Currently. U.S. immigration policy forbids Cubans at the base to reach U.S. soil unless they apply for visas in Havana. Exceptions are the elderly, the sick and children who do not have relatives at the camps. A State Department spokesman in Washington said the Cuban government has instituted several bureaucratic hoops that make it difficult to take refugees back through safer channels.
 There am 22.644 Cubans and 5.990 Haitians being detained at Guantanamo. Cuban detainees in a special camp for those who have asked for repatriation have been frustrated by the lengthy process and many have taken their chances fleeing the base. Said Carl Mahnken. a military spokesman at the base.
Ramos family members also expressed concern about the return of his body to Cuba for burial. U.S. officials said it would be at least a few more days, in large part because of bureaucratic processing required by the Cuban government.
But Proenza-Sanfiel wants the body transferred to the United States so that an autopsy can be performed before it is returned to Cuba. Proenza-Sanfiel also worries about another brother being detained at a base far Cuban refugees in Panama
 "Both were rescued together," said Proenza-Sanfiel. "Then they were separated While the rest of the nation is being thankful I can't honestly be thankful because the whole family is in turmoil"
 Proenza-Sanfiel left Cuba in 1968. Last year, he, staged a hunger strike to protest against U.S. plans to lift sanctions against Vietnam.


Webmaster's Comments.

THERE IS A HECK OF A LOT MORE to this story however I will not dwell much into it since it would take another web site to explain it all. But know this much. My brother was last seen surrounded by US Military personnel in what is known as " The Green Weenie " a circle with the victim in the middle and this happened within 24 hours that he called and said he had a " sweet message " for me ( code for information ). There are many things that have been said about the US GOV hiding facts etc…you can follow all of that stuff trough the POW /MIA networks in the net and you can start here.… I just rather not get into it at length. Just enough to show you that " the system " has had the hot's for me for a while. I did have another brother in another military camp and was " very gently reminded " of that fact. Also ask yourself would a man that had just escaped communism in a makeshift raft would decide to swim back? The same day and almost hour that a hurricane was at the mouth of the Bay of Guantanamo.? And to think that a human body would of stand two days of raging storms ( enough to turn back a US Coast Guard Helicopter ) being beaten against pure Coral reefs? And the exotic marine life present there? Etc etc… Then be found on the same spot where " he jumped " days later ?? Look at the Geography and the currents there etc…….THINK ABOUT IT.

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I have been caring for the American Way of life for a while now.... you can see the other part of me on the other Web Site that I also maintain. That Web-Site deal's with the POW/MIA Issue Please visit it and get involved there are still men left behind and they need your help also. Visit " THE REAPER'S EDGE A POW's SCREAMED ECHO IN CYBERSPACE "

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