Judge signs off on visas in bridge repatriation case

March 18, 2006

Miami Herald- Jay Weaver

A Miami federal judge has agreed to a new deal between the U.S. government and the legal team for 14 repatriated Cubans so they can return to the United States in the wake of their disputed January landing on an old Florida Keys bridge.

U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno issued his decision late Thursday, but it remains up to Cuban leader Fidel Castro to decide whether to allow the migrants to leave the island.

The agreement -- citing 'the humanitarian value' of resolving the dispute promptly -- requires the federal government to issue U.S. visas to the Cubans. But one migrant who made the journey, Lazaro Jesus Martinez Jimenez, won't be granted a visa because he has a criminal history.



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