Cubans Share Harrowing Raft Journey: "I Thought We Wouldn't Make It"

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 by Sophia Martinez

The sadness, fear, and most of all, the anguish that Cubans feel when they decide to flee on a raft are only surpassed by the desire for a better life, far from the country where they were born, plagued by poverty, human rights violations, and a lack of freedom.

A TikTok user with the handle marisleydy_en_hialeah posted a video on Monday that, in just a few seconds, captures the distress of a group of people, including Cubans, attempting to reach the shores of the United States on a makeshift raft.

This video may be disturbing to some viewers. It includes graphic details about a perilous sea journey and extreme distress. Viewer discretion is advised.

In the footage, a chilling message reads: "Moments of great sadness, we thought we wouldn't make it to shore alive," summarizing the terror felt by Cubans who brave the sea, weighed down by uncertainty.

"A 30-minute trip turned into four hours at sea," specified the video’s author, showing the turbulent waves of the rough ocean.

These individuals experienced profound anguish for several hours. However, some Cuban rafters have been stranded for days, at the mercy of the sea, facing an uncertain future.

Last Tuesday, Mexican fishermen rescued three Cuban rafters who were adrift off the coast of Progreso, Yucatán, suffering from severe dehydration, according to local media reports.

The rescuers were traveling on a vessel named "Tigre III" when they spotted three foreign nationals drifting in a boat and alerted the Mexican Navy authorities, who responded to the scene.

Last Saturday, seven Cuban rafters who managed to land in Key Largo, Florida were detected and detained by agents from the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) in the Miami sector following their landing.

Samuel Briggs II, the chief agent of USBP in the Miami sector, reported the incident on the social media platform X, warning that "illegal maritime migration ventures during these sweltering temperatures are extremely dangerous and potentially deadly."

Frequently Asked Questions About Cuban Raft Journeys

In light of the recent harrowing experiences shared by Cuban rafters, here are some frequently asked questions and answers about these dangerous journeys.

Why do Cubans risk their lives to flee on rafts?

Many Cubans flee on rafts to escape poverty, human rights violations, and lack of freedom in search of a better life.

What are the dangers of these raft journeys?

The dangers include rough seas, extreme weather conditions, dehydration, and the risk of not being rescued in time.

How often do Cuban rafters get rescued?

Rescue operations vary, but there have been several instances where local fishermen or authorities have rescued stranded rafters.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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