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Guardia Costera repatría a 45 cubanos interceptados en el mar Caribe

Coast Guard Repatriates 45 Cubans Intercepted in Caribbean Sea

So far this fiscal year 2021, that is, since October 1, 2020, the Coast Guard has intercepted 838 Cubans at sea.

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The Coast Guard repatriated 45 Cuban immigrants on Monday as a result of three interceptions of precarious vessels in Caribbean waters, the institution said in a statement.

One of the Coast Guard interventions took place last Friday about 15 miles (24 km) from Havana. On the same day, another arrest was made 35 miles (56 km) off Cayo Sal, in the Bahamas.

And last Saturday the Coast Guard intercepted another precarious vessel about 40 miles (64 km) off Key West, at the southern tip of Florida.

Once aboard a Coast Guard vessel, the rescued rafters received basic medical care, food and water. None of the migrants had any injuries.

“There is a controlled, safe and legal means of migration to the United States. Not following this process and migrating by sea is not only illegal, but endangers the lives of all involved,” Lt. Connor Ives of the Seventh Coast Guard District said in a statement.

So far in the current fiscal year 2021, or since Oct. 1, 2020, the Coast Guard has interdicted 838 Cubans at sea, a significant escalation in arrests compared to the 49 intercepted in all of fiscal year 2020.

According to figures provided by authorities, 313 Cuban immigrants were intercepted in fiscal year 2019 and in 2018 the number reached 259, while 1,468 and 5,396 Cubans were intercepted at sea in 2017 and 2016, 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 withdrew their immigration benefits by canceling by executive order the “wet foot/dry foot” policy.

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 equal conditions as other immigrants.

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