The Cuban Rafters Rescued by Fishermen Want To Stay in Mexico

The United States has deported 13 Cubans and 520 migrants from other countries in 2024

One of the Cuban rafters with Migration agents at the General Hospital of San Fernando / INM

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mexico City, 7 May 2024 — The Cuban rafters Mario Sergio Márquez Ventura, 30 years old, Rogelio Loaces Fuentes (50), Yuriesky Romero Hernández (33) and Diosan (26) asked the Migration authorities in Mexico to start procedures for their immigration regularization so they can stay in the country. The migrants, who were rescued last Saturday by fishermen from Laguna Madre, in Tamaulipas (Mexico), made the request on the same day the Cuban Embassy in Mexico offered them consular support. The consul general of Cuba told the local media, El Mañana, that it will be their decision if they want to return to the Island, stay in Mexico or continue on their way.

Migration lawyer José Luis Pérez says that article 69 of the Migration Law clearly states that they must be informed about the requirements to “regularize their stay.” In addition, these people “have the right to be legally assisted during the administrative procedure.”

Identification presented by Rogelio Loaces Fuentes to the Migration authorities / Facebook/Julio César

However, the lawyer did not rule out that under pressure they may be deported to Cuba. Mexico continues to deport Cubans, despite the fact that last October it announced that the process of “assisted calls” – as the expulsions are called – was paused until further notice. Last January, nine people from the Island were returned on a commercial flight. Last year, the departure of 774 migrants was completed. Staff at the General Hospital of San Fernando confirmed to 14ymedio that the rafters responded to treatment, and two were discharged to Migration on Monday. The other two remain under observation and could be discharged Tuesday, a day earlier than expected.

The Cubans remain in security at Migration headquarters in Matamoros, the Undersecretary of the Government of Tamaulipas, Tomás Gloria Requena, told the media on Monday.

The official said the story about the deaths of four other Cuban migrants is just a “rumor.” We don’t really know if they came together or in another boat; the National Institute of Migration will find out and let us know.”

These irregular migrants – 10 men and three women – had left Cuba illegally on April 23 from Cienfuegos province for Mexico

Also, a group of 13 Cuban rafters was returned to the Island on Tuesday by the United States Coast Guard Service (USCG), making a total of 520 irregular migrants from several countries in the region deported so far in 2024, official media reported.

These irregular migrants – 10 men and three women – had left Cuba illegally on April 23 from Cienfuegos province and were rescued on the high seas by a ship from Mexico that delivered them to the US Coast Guard, according to a note from Cuba’s Ministry of the Interior.

One of the returnees was on parole for compliance with criminal sanctions at the time of leaving the Island and “will be placed at the disposal of the corresponding courts for the revocation of that benefit,” he added.

This is the 14th operation to deport rafters carried out this year by the USCG through the port of Orozco, in the province of Artemisa.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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