Search in Florida for missing Cuban migrants after shipwreck

The so-called Cuban rafters continue to arrive en masse on the Florida coast (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

The United States Coast Guard announced that they are searching for nine cuban migrants who left the island in a precarious boat bound for the Florida peninsula. According to information confirmed by the government agency, the boat capsized off the east coast of Florida, off the city of Lake Worth Beach, in Palm Beach County on Sunday morning.

The information, which was revealed through the social network Twitter, indicates that a group that was sailing in the area rescued a man who was floating on the high seas around 3:30 p.m. yesterday. The survivor assured that he was one of ten people who had left Cuba for Florida. According to what he said, they had left the island eight days before, on December 10.

Unfortunately, this search is just one more in the midst of the worst exodus of Cubans in history. During the last few months, precarious boats have arrived in Florida almost daily with migrants seeking to escape the harsh conditions that exist on the island where the communist dictatorship reigns. What is unusual is that they have gone as far north as West Palm Beach. The largest number of vessels usually arrive in the Florida Keys.

Archive photo of a group of Cuban immigrants arriving on the Florida coast in a boat (EFE)
Archive photo of a group of Cuban immigrants arriving on the Florida coast in a boat (EFE)

During fiscal year 2022, the Coast Guard intercepted 6,182 Cuban migrants at sea. From October to last Saturday, 2,982 more were recorded. Not even at the time of the Mariel crisis, during the 1980s, did migrants arrive in Florida so frequently from Cuba.

But the Cubans are not only arriving by sea. Thousands of Cubans are crossing Central America and Mexico to reach the southern border of the United States and cross it without documents on foot. Also in fiscal year 2022 (which ended on September 30), the immigration authorities counted a record number of 220,000 Cubans at the southern border of the United States. Upon arriving in the country without documents, their stay is not guaranteed, especially now that the Biden administration has agreed on deportations with the Cuban regime, but once on US soil they have the possibility of requesting political asylum.

In the case of those who are intercepted at sea, the vast majority are immediately deported.

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