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68 Migrants Intercepted at Sea Returned to Cuba

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The U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday returned to Cuba a group of 68 irregular migrants intercepted at sea, in addition to 136 others delivered this week, bringing to 1,339 the number of islanders returned from that country so far this year.

A note from the Ministry of the Interior detailed that the new group of people returned this Sunday through the port of Orozco, in the western province of Artemisa, is made up of 48 men, 18 women and two minors who had participated in five illegal departures from the country and were intercepted by the USGC at sea.

It states that one of these migrants will be investigated by the authorities “for allegedly committing serious criminal acts.”

Since the beginning of 2023, 11 such return operations have been carried out by U.S. authorities, in addition to three others from the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands, and a total of 1,484 illegal migrants have been returned, according to official Cuban data.

Cuban authorities state that they remain committed “to regular, safe and orderly migration” and insist on “the danger and life-threatening conditions posed by illegal departures from the country by sea” and the “irresponsibility” of involving minors.

The Government announced a change in its migration policy committing to take in 30,000 migrants per month from Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba and Nicaragua.

At the same time, it will immediately expel migrants from those countries who attempt to cross into Mexico in an irregular manner.

Mexico has agreed to admit up to 30,000 migrants per month who are being expelled from U.S. territory.

The Government has seen record numbers of migrants at its southern border in recent times trying to cross irregularly, mostly motivated by a new and unprecedented migratory exodus from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.