U.S. Army engineers and anti-riot units tightened security Tuesday at refugee camps along the Panama Canal to prevent escapes and violence while transferring 7,500 Cuban boat people to the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
About 1,250 U.S. troops have been flown into Panama to provide extra help during the transfer of some 500 Cubans daily beginning today. That’s in addition to 2,000 American troops regularly based in Panama.
Gen. George Crocker, commander of a joint task force overseeing the transfer, said Monday “there are some individuals who want to cause problems, but we are ready for any contingency.”