The United States Coast Guard has returned 223 migrants to Haiti and Cuba on Tuesday, after US authorities stopped eight ships at sea between Friday and Sunday.
More than a hundred Haitians – a total of 124 – were returned to their country, after an “excessively overloaded” sailboat was detected 17 miles northwest of Cap du Môle, Haiti, according to the Seventh District of the Coast Guard through a statement on its website. The crews provided them with life jackets and later, in the Navy patrol boat, the migrants received food and basic medical attention.
On the other hand, seven boats with a total of 99 Cubans were detected, who were later repatriated to their country. The first alert came on Friday at 13:40 (local time). Later, at 4:30 p.m., the Guard reported that she had rescued a new group of migrants whose boat had capsized.
Later, on Saturday, the presence of two new rustic boats was reported in the morning. In addition, during the day on Sunday, the authorities reported that there were three new ships with migrants from Cuba. The agents warn that the waters where the migrants were rescued are “dangerous, unpredictable and where the risk of losing one’s life is important”, for which controls in the area have increased.
According to US authorities, this is the largest exodus of Haitian refugees since 2004 and of Cubans since 2016, fleeing across the sea. Therefore, this issue will be addressed next week at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, chaired by the United States for the first time.
Since October 2021, the Coast Guard has detained a total of 1,952 Cubans and 5,390 Haitians, figures higher than those of the previous year, when 838 citizens of Cuba and 1,527 from Haiti were intercepted.