A cruise ship rescues eight Cubans on a raft made of barrels and inner tubes

A cruise ship rescues eight Cubans on a raft made of barrels and inner tubes

A group of eight Cubans was rescued last Wednesday night by the cruise ship Scarlet Ladywhen trying to cross the Straits of Florida on a small makeshift raft.

A couple aboard the cruise ship, coming from Cozumel and bound for the Bahamas, spotted a raft made of barrels of water and inner tubes, moved by a blue plastic canvas sail.

“My partner and I were among the first to see them say hello. If you look closely, the youngest woman, possibly in her 20s, is lying on the floor and a man next to her is holding a homemade IV bottle. She was injured and wearing a cast,” one person wrote on a post accompanied by video where Cubans are observed adrift.

Three hours after the rescue, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) took charge of the transfer of the migrants. The couple said they did not know what happened to them, but “fortunately they received food and treatment.”

The US Coast Guard records that between October 2021 and September 2022, 5,689 rafters were intercepted

The Border Patrol in the southern Florida sector also rescued 26 Cuban migrants stranded on Marquesas Keys, an uninhabited US island west of Key West, last Friday. reported officer Walter Slosar. In another operation that day, several people jumped into the water in an attempt not to be arrested, but were eventually rescued.

The US Coast Guard records that between October 2021 and September 2022, 5,689 rafters were intercepted, but this week alone more than 230 were repatriated in different operations.

For the Cuban virologist based in Brazil, Amílcar Pérez-Riverol, the enormous rise in rafters trying to leave the island is a “immigration catastrophe”. At this rate, 2022 will be the year with the most migrants detained by authorities since 2016, when 5,396 were intercepted.

Statistics suggest that the migratory exodus already exceeds the Mariel crisis (125,000) and the rafters (35,000) together. Pérez-Riverol believes that those who consider that this situation is not serious are “wrong” when seeing it as “thousands more remittances” for the Island.

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