A few hours before the end of this month of October, 1,132 Cubans have seen their attempt to disembark in Florida frustrated. The United States Coast Guard has warned that rafters located on the high seas will be intercepted and their crew members “returned to their country of origin.”
This Sunday, the Coast Guard detailed in a statement that as part of the surveillance tours that are carried out by air and by the coast guard Paul Clark, nine interdictions were registered between last Tuesday and Thursday. The 106 rafters who traveled on these boats were repatriated to the Island on the ship Richard Etheridgewho also returned a dog to Cuba.
Authorities are expediting deportation proceedings. Just on Friday, the head of the Border Patrol, Walter Slosar, reported four intercepted rafts with 40 Cubans and a dog in Key West and two days later they were back on the island. “These trips are dangerous, especially on boats that may not be seaworthy,” the officer warned On twitter.
In the list of expulsions there is another group with 19 Cuban nationals who were returned on Saturday on the ship Margaret Norvell. Lieutenant Tanner Stiehl urged, as usual, the migrants to refrain from “risking their lives in rough and unsafe boats on unpredictable seas.”
As a warning, and in order to stop the enormous illegal flow of rafters, Officer Stiehl reminded them that surveillance has been intensified in the Straits of Florida, the Windward and Mona Passages. Despite this fence, dozens of people continue to land.
On Friday, the Border Patrol took into custody 55 Cubans who were assisted after being stranded on uninhabited islands off the Florida Keys. Two days before another 32 Cubans disembarked on an island located 70 miles from Key West.
That same Friday, Lieutenant Slosar announced the arrest of 11 Cubans in Marathon, just before they boarded a truck loaded with construction materials.
The authorities of the Cuban Border Guard Troops and the United States Coast Guard Service have held meetings to reduce the exodus of raftersthe most recent occurred in Havana last September.
The meeting discussed ways to increase cooperation between the two services to deal with the smuggling of migrants, illegal departures, illicit drug trafficking and maritime search and rescue operations.
Collaborate with our work:
The team of 14ymedio is committed to doing serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time becoming a member of our newspaper. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.