The United States Coast Guard has claimed that it has returned 119 Cuban migrants to their home-nation in dozens of operations carried out over three days, as an increasing number of Cubans were attempting to enter into the U.S. by waters.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday, the Coast Guard said, “the migrants were swept up in the south Florida straits from the Bahamas to the Florida Keys after their boats were found adrift offshore.”
The statement further added, “in each case, the Coast Guard helped in securing the U.S. border and preventing these dangerous sea excursions from ending in tragedy.”
According to the reports of the Cuban media, the repatriation on Tuesday was the largest in the four years.
As per the footage released by the ports on Cuba’s northern shore, masked health personnel wearing white clothes have received the migrants who had been transferred via the boat by U.S. authorities.
The development came at a time when Cuba’s economy was pummelling by U.S. sanctions and the COVID-19 outbreak, which has slowed vital international tourism to the Caribbean island.
During the previous decades, many Cubans have lost their lives to the dangerous crossing between the Cuba and United States, typically worsened by strong oceanic currents, relentless sun and wind and shoddy vessels.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard figures show that, “around 586 Cuban migrants have attempted to cross U.S. border during the first three months of 2022, a significant increase from the 838 Cubans returned in 2021.”
As per the U.S. immigration statistics, the number of Cubans reaching the US-Mexico border has reached its highest level between October 2020 and May 2021, as many Cubans were attempting to enter the U.S. via overland routes.
Meanwhile, the Cuban government blames the U.S. for an increase in migration, saying the country’s policies, such as the Cold War-era embargo, encourage Cubans to risk their lives by fleeing the island.