HAVANA (Reuters) – The U.S. Coast Guard said late on Tuesday it had returned 119 Cuban migrants to their island home after picking them up at sea, marking a growing trend of migration by water from the poor, communist-run country to its wealthy northern neighbor.
The migrants, swept up in 12 operations that took place over just three days in the South Florida Straits from the Bahamas to the Florida Keys, were found in boats adrift offshore, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.
Cuban state media said Tuesday’s repatriation was the largest in four years. Footage from the docks on Cuba’s north shore showed masked health workers clad in white receiving the migrants, who had been delivered by boat by U.S. authorities.
A growing group of migrants is trying their luck at sea in recent months as Cuba’s economy is battered by mounting U.S. sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hobbled international tourism vital for foreign exchange on the Caribbean island.
The dangerous crossing, complicated by swift ocean currents, relentless sun, and wind and shoddy vessels, has claimed the lives of many Cubans over decades.
Coast Guard figures show 586 Cuban migrants have attempted to illegally migrate to the United States in the first three months of the fiscal year 2022 alone, a far faster clip than in 2021 when the Coast Guard repatriated 838 Cubans all year.
The number of Cubans arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border also hit its highest in a decade between October 2020 and May 2021, according to U.S. immigration statistics, as many Cubans turn to overland routes to attempt to enter the United States.
Cuba says it advocates legal, orderly, and safe migration, and has blamed the United States for the uptick in illegal migration, saying the country’s policies, including the Cold War-era embargo, encourage Cubans to risk their lives to leave the island.
U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said last year following unprecedented protests in Cuba that Cubans leaving the island “will not come to the United States.”
more recommended stories
Traditional cooks ask to respect and protect the original flavor of ancestral Mexican cuisine
The International Meeting “The Children of.
Maya Train continues with archaeological salvage work in Balancán, Tabasco
The exploration of two architectural complexes.
Hong Kong to kill thousands of hamsters after Covid found on 11 animals
Hong Kong has ordered thousands of.
17-year-old girl Monserrat Rodríguez reported missing in Mérida
Monserrat Rodríguez has been missing for.
Tourism decreases in Celestún and Sisal due to Cold Front No. 22
With intense gusts of wind and.
Governor Inaugurates the C5I Yucatan Control Center
The C5I Yucatan Control Center will.
Suicide number 7 is recorded in Campeche so far this year
Suicide in Campeche, a mental health.
Construction company seeks to devastate the Sian Ka’an Reserve in Tulum
The construction company Obra Prima seeks.
Sargassum lands on Cozumel beach along with cold front #22
Large amounts of sargassum landed out.
According to Irving Berlin, INAH must evaluate any change in “Casa de Montejo”
The Mérida City Council Culture Department.