US Coast Guard Intercepts Five Boats With Cubans in 48 Hours

The US Coast Guard repatriated 120 Cubans aboard the ship Reliance. (Twitter/@USCGSoutheast)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 7 October 2022 — Between Wednesday and Thursday of this week, the United States Coast Guard “prevented illegal migration,” without specifying the number of crew members, of five boats with Cubans heading to Marquesas Key. The rafts were detected from the air, in actions “to prevent illegal and unsafe ventures,” according to the authorities on social networks.

In fiscal year 2022, concluded on October 1, there was a record number of 6,182 Cubans detained while trying to reach the United States by sea. This Thursday, the Coast Guard confirmed that despite the hurricane season, rafts are coming from the Island  almost every day. In seven days of this month, “66 rafters have been arrested,” Lieutenant Connor Ives confirmed.

The five recent interdictions occur two days after the US authorities repatriated 55 Cubans on board the ship William Trump.

The US entity alerted people to the danger of the crossing on rustic rafts. One of these vessels with 27 natives of the Island was shipwrecked on September 28 in its attempt to reach Florida. Nine survived from the shipwreck near Cayo Hueso; 11 were not found, and the bodies of seven dead were recovered. Two of these, the Florida Sheriff’s office announced in a statement, were found near Boca Chica.

In an attempt to prevent the arrival of the balseros [rafters], the Coast Guard announced on Friday that staff from two companies joined the routes “to prevent, deter and intercept attempts at illegal migration by sea.”

Neither Hurricane Ian nor the reinforcement of surveillance has prevented the arrival of rafts or speedboats. The head of the Border Patrol has reported on his social networks that so far 86 Cubans managed to reach land in October.

Among the many boats, on Wednesday a raft arrived at Tortugas Secas National Park with planks on empty plastic tanks and rubber chambers adapted as floats. That day, Slosar reported the arrival of 15 Cubans, who were placed in custody.

This Thursday, 36 Cubans managed to land. A group of 26 people arrived on board a boat to Cayo Vizcaíno, an island linked to Miami by bridges and with one of the highest living standards in South Florida. Another 10 migrants were arrested in Key Colony Beach.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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