Tuesday, March 23, 2021
MIAMI, United States (CMC) — The United States Coast Guard says it repatriated 17 Cubans on Monday, a few days after they were caught trying to get into the country illegally.

The migrants were interdicted last Thursday about 54 miles south of Key West, Florida “and brought aboard due to safety of life at sea concerns”, the coast guard said.

“People who attempt to illegally enter the United States by taking to the sea put their lives, and the lives of their accompanying family members at grave risk,” said Lt Cmdr Mario Gil, Coast Guard liaison officer, US Embassy Havana.

“We strongly discourage these dangerous and deadly voyages in favour of safe and legal ways to enter the United States,” he added.

Since October 1, 2020, the US Coast Guard said crews have interdicted 107 Cubans compared to 5,396 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2016; 1,468 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2017; 259 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2018; 313 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2019; and 49 Cuban migrants in fiscal year 2020.

“Once aboard a coast guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention,” the US Coast Guard said. “Throughout the interdiction, Coast Guard crew members were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimise potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.

“There were no migrants in these cases reported to have any COVID-19 related symptoms,” it added.

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