Balseros cubanos

Coast Guard rescues 26 Cuban rafters stranded west of Key West

MIAMI, United States. – A group of 26 Cuban rafters was rescued by the United States Coast Guard and taken into Border Patrol custody this Friday afternoon, according to reported on Twitter Agent Walter N. Slosar.

The Cuban migrants crossed the Straits of Florida on a fishing boat and made landfall on the Marquesas Keys, several uninhabited islands west of Key West.

Every week, dozens of Cuban rafters They approach the coast of Florida, where they are generally intercepted by Coast Guard agents and then deported to the Island. However, many of them have perished at sea before reaching land.

Cayos Marquesas, the point where the Cuban rafters were rescued (Image: Coast Guard)

This very Friday, the Paul Clark coast guard ship repatriated 28 Cuban rafters rescued in two different operations near the Florida coast, according to reported on Twitter the Coast Guard.

Just a day ago, the same coast guard repatriated 99 Cubans, after several rescue operations off the coast of Florida, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

On Wednesday, agents from the US Border Patrol and the Florida Keys Sheriff’s Office apprehended 14 Cuban rafters who landed in Islamorada, according to Agent Slosar reported on Twitter.

Last Tuesday, the same Coast Guard cutter Paul Clark repatriated 60 Cuban rafters, after eight operations near the coast of Florida, the US agency itself said in a statement.

Last weekend alone, the Border Patrol intercepted 78 Cuban rafters in five different operations. The migrants crossed the Strait of Florida in rustic boats and made landfall in the southern keys of the peninsula, reported also Slozar.

Recently, the United States embassy in Havana warned Cuban rafters that it would strengthen surveillance in the Straits of Florida, with a view to dealing with the increase in irregular maritime migration.

“The Joint Homeland Security Task Force increased its operational posture to address a recent increase in irregular maritime migration. Agencies are increasing patrols and law enforcement by land, air and sea, day and night,” reads one of the Embassy publications.

The migration agreements between Cuba and the United States establish that people who are intercepted on the high seas will be returned to the island.

Cuba is experiencing a massive exodus that has surpassed the Mariel crisis and the rafters’ crisis of 1994. Since October 1, 2021, the beginning of the current fiscal year, only the crews of the US Coast Guard travel by sea. They have intercepted 5,689 Cubans, a figure that exceeds the number of migrants from the island intercepted each fiscal year from 2017 to 2021.

According to the agency, the statistics have behaved as follows: 5,396 Cubans intercepted in fiscal year 2016; 1,468 in 2017; 259 in 2018; 313 in 2019; 49 in 2020 and 838 in 2021.

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