14ymedio, Havana, 13 June 2022 — The United States Coast Guard repatriated 95 Cubans to the island on Saturday aboard the ship Pablo Valent. According to a statement the rafters were arrested between last Tuesday and Wednesday after several interceptions in Playa Marathon, Cayos Marquesas and Cayo Víbora.
Since October 1, 2021, the date that marks the beginning of the current fiscal year, 2,319 Cubans have been intercepted in their attempt to reach the United States. “The possibility of being arrested while illegally migrating through the Caribbean is high,” warned Lt. Simon Juul-Hindsgaul.
On Tuesday, agents assigned to Key West were warned of a “rustic boat” near Marathon Beach. The Coast Guard did not release details on the number of rafters detained.
In recent months, the exodus of Cubans seeking to enter the United States using sea routes or following different routes through various Central American countries such as Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras, has increased alarmingly.
On Wednesday morning, an “overloaded raft” was located 22 miles south of Cayo Víbora, and members of the Cayo Hueso Coast Guard proceeded to intercept and detain it.
That same Wednesday there were two other interceptions of groups of rafters near Cayos Marquesas. The first occurred at five in the afternoon 30 miles from Key West and a second occurred at night, when a raft 20 miles away was located. Lieutenant Juul-Hindsgaul asked the rafters “not to go to sea and to choose a legal way to emigrate to another country.”
Petty Officer José Hernández warned last May that, in the face of the exodus of migrants, “air and surface patrols in the Straits of Florida, the Windward and Mona Passages” were increased.
This reinforcement in surveillance allowed the Coast Guard to stop three groups of rafters last Monday. The 21 Cubans were expelled last Thursday and taken to the island aboard the Pablo Valent ship. Days before, the repatriation of another 81 Cubans was registered.
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