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The Border Patrol on Thursday detained 26 Cubans arriving aboard a boat in Key Biscayne, an island linked to Miami by bridges and with one of the highest standards of living in South Florida.
The detainees are 24 men and two women who face repatriation to Cuba, Border Patrol official Walter N. Slosar said on Twitter.
The officer posted photographs of the empty, blue-painted boat named “Manatí” at Bill Baggs State Park, a natural reserve in Key Biscayne.
No details were given about the rafters in this landing, one more in a long list of Cuban arrivals to the U.S. by sea, totaling more than 6,000 detainees since October 2021.
The figure is a yearly record, as are the 179,000 Cubans arriving by land through Mexico.
Arrivals of rafts from Cuba occur almost daily, according to Coast Guard and Border Patrol reports.
From July 2021, when the largest protests against the regime broke out since 1959 –when Cuba’s communist revolution triumphed– the arrival of Cubans, which declined during the pandemic, has been increasing.
On Monday, 35 Cuban rafters were detained after they made landfall aboard two small boats on Marquesas Key, an uninhabited island west of Key West in South Florida.
Two groups of Cuban migrants had been stranded there and were rescued by U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection agents.
Last week a raft was shipwrecked near Key West and more than 15 people are still missing. Nine survived and five were found dead.