Coast Guard Returns 23 Cuban Rafters

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 by Aaron Delgado

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) repatriated 23 Cuban rafters on Tuesday after intercepting them in two separate operations that thwarted their attempt to reach the Florida Keys. "The crew of the cutter @USCG Paul Clark repatriated 23 migrants to Cuba on Tuesday following two interdictions in the Florida Keys over the weekend," the Coast Guard announced via social media.

Cuban authorities from the Ministry of the Interior (MININT) stated that among the repatriated individuals were three people on parole who will be brought before the courts for the "revocation of the benefit." "Operation to return 23 irregular migrants by the U.S. Coast Guard to Cuba. The 20 men and 3 women had participated in two illegal departures from Cárdenas and Mariel. This marks 39 returns with 545 people from various countries in 2024," the MININT reported on X.

A report from the Cuban Television News (NTV) specified that the USCG vessel disembarked the rafters at the Port of Orozco, Bahía Onda, in the province of Artemisa. "Three of the returned individuals were on parole for serving criminal sentences at the time of leaving the country and will be brought before the relevant courts for the revocation of the benefit. Two others were transferred to the investigative body for being suspected of committing criminal acts," the Cuban news report stated.

So far this year, 545 people have been returned to Cuba by the U.S. Coast Guard and other countries in the Caribbean region. Just a week ago, the cutter Isaac Mayo of the USCG repatriated 13 Cuban rafters who were intercepted 32 miles southwest of Las Tumbas on Tuesday, according to official information, after a "good Samaritan" located them southwest of Las Tumbas.

At the end of April, a total of 19 Cuban rafters (17 men and two women) were repatriated by a USCG vessel that transported them to the Port of Orozco. The group was intercepted after leaving the island in a sail and motor-powered vessel and spending nine days at sea due to bad weather.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cuban Rafters and U.S. Coast Guard Operations

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding the interception and repatriation of Cuban rafters by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Why does the U.S. Coast Guard intercept Cuban rafters?

The U.S. Coast Guard intercepts Cuban rafters to enforce immigration laws and ensure maritime safety. These operations aim to prevent dangerous sea crossings and illegal entry into the United States.

What happens to Cuban rafters after they are intercepted?

After interception, Cuban rafters are typically repatriated back to Cuba. They may also face legal consequences upon their return, such as court appearances and potential revocation of parole for those previously convicted of crimes.

How many Cuban rafters have been repatriated in 2024?

As of now, a total of 545 Cuban rafters have been repatriated by the U.S. Coast Guard and other countries in the Caribbean region in 2024.

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