The US Has Returned 1,019 Migrants to Cuba in 2021

The US Coast Guard returned 39 migrants to Cuba on Friday. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 27 December2021 — A total of 1,019 Cubans have been returned to the island this year by U.S. authorities, according to data provided by the State newspaper Granma on Sunday. The report also mentioned the return of other groups from Mexico, Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Russia, without specifying the number of people.

On December 24, the U.S. Coast Guard returned to Cuba 39 rafters intercepted in various operations. One of the groups used “a sport fishing boat taken from its owner” whose whereabouts are currently unknown. The 39 returned migrants arrived on the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evan in Orozco Bay, Artemisa.

The first of the interceptions occurred on Sunday, December 19, 10 nautical miles off Stock Island, according to a statement issued by the Coast Guard. A day later and at different times, authorities stopped three smaller boats near Key West.

Last weekend, another 25 Cuban rafters were detained after making landfall at three different locations in Key West, Officer Thomas G. Martin reported Monday on his Twitter account. The Border Patrol provided assistance to the migrants, who were reported in good health.

One of these arrivals was captured on video by Cuban artists María Karla Rivero Veloz and Jean Michel Fernández. “We just saw some rafters who have just arrived, right where the 90-mile buoy is from here to Cuba,” the actress said. The group, made up of six rafters, including a 10-year-old girl, said they left last Saturday at 2 p.m. from Playa Baracoa.

The Cubans were taken into custody and will be able to apply for asylum by demonstrating to an immigration officer that they are afraid to return to their country. If they convince the judge, they must then post a bond. In the best case scenario, they are released with a temporary stay permit in the U.S., known as Parole.

The mobilization of [Cuban] black berets for an illegal departure from Baracoa Beach, in the province of Artemisa, was reported on social networks on Saturday. Rene Almaguer uploaded to his Facebook profile a video in which applause can be heard after a boat managed to escape. “People jumping to get out of Cuba,” said the Havana native who lives in Tampa, Florida. “They got away, I’m glad,” was one of the reactions from users.

Nothing prevented the people leaving the island in small boats, commented Dallann Loraa on the images from the municipality of Bauta in the province of Artemisa, shared by Almaguer, in which people in civilian clothes can be seen carrying machetes.

Translated by: Hombre de Paz


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