Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Dozens of Cuban rafters reach Florida Keys within days

MIAMI — A Mohawk Coast Guard crew repatriated 273 migrants to the Cuban province of Matanzas this Sunday after several detentions off the coast of Florida.

The crew of the Coast Guard Richard Etheridge alerted watchmen in the Key West Sector of a group of migrants that were about 104 miles southwest of the Marquesas Keys at about 4 a.m. on 31 December.

That same day, 31 December, a Good Samaritan notified observers in the Key West sector of another group of migrants, located approximately 81 miles southwest of the Marquesas Keys.

Three other arrivals of migrants were reported on the last day of the year, adding some six barges of mostly Cuban rafters who arrived off the coast of the Florida Keys in less than 24 hours, arriving from south of Duck Key. Seven Mile Bridge, south of Islamorada and south of the Marquesas Keys.

A well-meaning person informed the Guardians about the sinking of a migrant boat at about 5 pm on January 1, about 35 miles north of Havana.

The Coast Guard said it “continues to intercept and rescue migrants from grossly overloaded and unseaworthy vessels,” said Lt. Commander John Beal, Coast Guard District Seven.

“These illegal voyages are always dangerous and often fatal. We are working closely with partner agencies to save lives and prevent illegal entry into the United States through our Southeast Maritime Border. will be sent back,” warned Coast Guard Lt.

Since October 1, 2022, Coast Guard personnel have intercepted 6,182 migrants arriving in fiscal year 2022, 838 Cubans in 2021 and 4,795 Cubans arriving in the US in 2020.

In other years, the number of immigrants trying to reach the US by sea was as follows:

  • 313 Cuban migrants in 2019
  • 259 Cuban migrants in 2018
  • 1,468 Cuban expatriates in fiscal year 2017
  • 5,396 Cuban expatriates in fiscal year 2016

Once aboard a Coast Guard patrol boat, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical care, but those found at sea are mostly returned to the island.

Nation World News Desk
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