Cuban Arsen Hernandez asked authorities not to give up the search for his two sons, 6 and 4 years old, who left for Florida escaping Communism, along with a group of refugees aboard a boat that disappeared in the Bahamas.
About 20 people left Cuba on March 1st, including the two children and their mother, Lisbethy Alfonso Aborresco, 28, but the group was left by the pilot on a key in the Atlantic while he was fixing the boat, the father told the Hispanic network Univision.
The alleged driver of the boat, Kiko García, was arrested in the Bahamian archipelago on suspicion of human trafficking and deported to Miami.
Subsequently, two people, including Aborresco’s current husband, went in a boat to look for the group, but the boat exploded with them on board.
Bahamian authorities confirmed the discovery of the wrecked boat near Cay Sal (Salt Cay), halfway between Cuba and the Florida Keys, and went in search of survivors. They found a group of them, including one dead, but not the mother and the two children.
“I never thought I would go through something like this. I can’t do anything but pray and have faith. I try to be as calm as I can, and not lose hope that I can hug them again,” Arsen Hernández told the Hispanic network.
Bahamian authorities and the U.S. Coast Guard are still searching for the mother, the two sons and two other Cubans, who are still missing.
Arsen Hernández and his family are seeking to contact the refugees who were rescued by Bahamian authorities to ask them what exactly happened, and when was the last time they saw the mother and her children.
According to U.S. authorities, attempts by Cuban immigrants to reach U.S. shores have intensified in recent months.
So far this fiscal year, that is since October 1, 2020, Coast Guard crews have intercepted at least 87 Cubans attempting to reach Florida’s shores. During fiscal year 2019, from October 1, 2018, to September 30, 2019, a total of 314 Cubans were intercepted and returned to Cuba.