More than 20 Cuban rafters made landfall in Key West this weekend alone

MIAMI, United States. – This weekend, 22 Cuban rafters made landfall in the Florida Keys, indicated on Twitter Patrol Chief Thomas G. Martin, which covers the Miami area. While 18 migrants arrived on a makeshift raft at dawn on Sunday, another four arrived ashore in a homemade boat, the source said.

The largest group made landfall on Smathers Beach, across from Key West International Airport. According to the AP news agency, all received a breakfast provided by the wife of a police officer.

Maritime migration from Cuba has skyrocketed in 2021, despite the fact that the majority of Cubans who touch US soil are returned to the island. According to the Coast Guard, its crews detained 838 people during the fiscal year that just ended (October 2020-October 2021). In 2020, only 49 Cuban rafters landed on the US shores.

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On Thursday of last week, 13 Cuban migrants arrived at Big Pine Key, in the Lower Keys, in a homemade wooden boat, reported the Border Patrol.

Shortly before, on September 26, the Coast Guard also rescued 16 Cubans they “made landfall on a homemade raft in the Florida Keys.”

“Border patrol agents along with members of the US Customs and Border Protection Office and local partners responded to a maritime smuggling event near Key West and took the migrants into federal custody,” he said on that occasion. Patrol Chief Thomas G. Martin.

Just a day earlier, the Border Patrol had already detained 10 Cuban rafters, who also made landfall in the Florida Keys. In that case, the migrants “were taken into federal custody,” indicated the same patrol chief.

The numbers of island rafters rescued in the Straits of Florida in the last five fiscal years have behaved as follows:

5,396 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2016

1 468 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2017

259 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2018

313 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2019

49 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2020

Once irregular migrants are intercepted, the United States Coast Guard offers them food, water, shelter, and basic medical care.

The US authorities have asked potential migrants not to jump into the sea with the intention of reaching the shores of the northern country. “Navigating the Straits of Florida is difficult and unpredictable in rustic boats,” Lt. Commander. Mario Gil, liaison officer of the Coast Guard with the United States Embassy in Havana. “Sailing in unsafe boats is dangerous and can result in loss of life.”

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