More Cuban migrants heading to US shores – coastguard
More Cuban migrants heading to US shores: coastguard
MIAMI — The number of people trying to defect to the United States by
sea from Cuba continues to rise, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday,
despite a detente between the long-time rivals.
The coastguard estimates that 4,084 Cubans “attempted to illegally
migrate via the sea” already in fiscal year 2015, which has three weeks
remaining. This continues increases seen in each of the past several years.
Cuban migrants, unlike those from any other nation, are allowed to stay
in the United States if they reach land, but they are repatriated if
picked up at sea.
The coastguard said 116 Cubans caught at sea were repatriated to the
island nation this week.
Fear that this special treatment will end has triggered an increase in
attempted crossings since Washington and Havana announced in December
plans to restore diplomatic ties, which they did on July 20.
In fiscal year 2014, 3,940 Cubans attempted to reach the U.S. by sea,
often on crude rafts or overcrowded boats, up from 2,129 in the same
period in 2013 and 1,082 in 2010, according to coastguard figures.
The numbers represent “the total amount of at-sea interdictions,
landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and
Atlantic,” the coastguard said.
Cuba is about 90 miles (150 kilometers) across shark-infested waters
from the southernmost part of Florida.
“The coastguard strongly discourages attempts to illegally enter the
country by taking to the sea,” said Captain Mark Gordon, the regional
coastguard chief of response enforcement. “These trips are incredibly
Source: More Cuban migrants heading to US shores: coastguard -The Tico