Twelve Cuban Rafters Arrive in Florida Keys, a First for 2018

The makeshift raft in which 12 Cubans recently sailed from Punta Alegre to the Florida Keys. (US Border Patrol)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 3 April 2018 —  Twelve Cuban rafters from Punta Alegre arrived at Florida’s Lower Matacumbe Key on Tuesday, becoming the first migrants to arrive in the Keys from the island so far this year, according to the digital media site FlKeysNews. 

The ten men and two women who traveled in a makeshift boat made land at around 1:00 am local time, according to Adam Hoffner, an agent of the US border patrol.

The spokesman for the Monroe County Police Department added that the twelve people on board were “in good health.”

The coastal town from which the rafters left about seven days ago, located in the north of the island, is the same place where last March another group of 16 rafters reported to 14ymedio that their raft had been purposely sunk by Cuban border guards as they attempted to navigate to the United States.

Cubans arriving in the United States by raft has not been completely ended, despite then president Barack Obama’s decision, in January of 2017, to put an end to the wet foot/dry foot policy, which allowed Cubans who reache US soil to stay in the country and become legal immigrants after one year.

Some 58 Cuban immigrants have tried to enter the US illegally by sea since October 1, which contrasts with the same period last year when 1,934 Cubans were detained by the US authorities while doing the same thing.


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