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Florida Coast Guards Search for Shipwrecked Cubans After Two Bodies Found

Growing Number of Cuban Refugees Fleeing Island by Sea

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The Coast Guard continues the search for ten Cuban immigrants who were shipwrecked in a boat off the coast of the Florida Keys after recovering two bodies of dead people and rescuing eight survivors.

The institution informed that the survivors indicated that the boat left last Sunday from the Port of Mariel, in Cuba, and capsized on Wednesday night.

The Guard Coast stressed that the search will continue during Thursday night, which is centered about 10 kilometers (16 miles) south of Cayo Hueso, an islet near Cuba.

The immigrants were detected around midday on Thursday calling for help by a routine marine patrol.

“Our responders are focused on searching for survivors,” said Master Chief Seth Haynes, supervisor of the Key West command center.

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“We will continue to search throughout the night for those reported missing,” he added.

He asked mariners in the area that if they see or hear anything on any vessel to report it to the Coast Guard.

The institution reported that the survivors remain aboard one of its ships, where they are receiving food, water and basic medical care.

Since October 1, 2020, the Coast Guard has intercepted 298 Cubans at sea compared to the 49 intercepted in the entire fiscal year 2020.

According to figures provided by authorities in fiscal year 2019 there were 313 immigrants intercepted and in 2018 the number reached 259, while in 2017 and 2016 1,468 and 5,396 Cuban immigrants were intercepted at sea, respectively.

The door of entry of Cubans without legal permits to the United States was open until January 12, 2017, when then President Barack Obama before leaving power withdrew that migratory benefit as a favor to the Castro regime.

Since then, Cubans who illegally enter the United States lack the temporary residence permit and, in case of requesting political asylum, they will have to apply for it under the same conditions as other immigrants.