US Coast Guard reports surge in Cuban migrants repatriated

MIAMI, United States, CMC – The United States (US) Coast Guard has reported a surge in Cuban migrants repatriated to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean country.

On Saturday, the US Coast Guard said the crews of its cutters Robert Yered and Pablo Valents repatriated 203 Cubans to Cuba following 14 interdictions off Florida’s coast.

“In 2016, the ‘Wet Foot, Dry Foot’ policy was repealed,” said Lieutenant Travis Poulos, US Coast Guard District Seven.

“Those rescued or stopped at sea will be brought back to their country of origin, or the country they departed,” he added.

In 2016, the US administration, under former President Barack Obama, terminated the “wet foot, dry foot policy”, which permitted migrants fleeing Cuba without a visa to automatically stay in the United States once they set foot on US shores.

At the time, the administration said the change was necessary to “normalize” relations with Havana, that began when diplomatic relations were restored in 2014.

On Friday, the US Coast Guard said the crew of the cutter Robert Yered’s crew repatriated 106 Cuban migrants and four dogs to Cuba following 12 interdictions off Florida’s coast.

Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, the US Coast Guard said the crew of the cutter Pablo Valent repatriated 107 Cubans following nine interdictions off Florida’s coast.

“The Coast Guard and our partners patrol the Florida Straits, Windward and Mona Passages to stop illegal migration into the United States from the sea,” said Lieutenant Commander Mark Cobb, US Coast Guard District Seven.

“Those rescued or stopped will be brought back to their country of origin, or the country they departed,” he added.

Since October 1, 2021, the US Coast Guard said its crews interdicted 4,440 Cuban migrants compared to 5,396 in Fiscal Year 2016, 1,468 n Fiscal Year 2017, 259 in Fiscal Year 2018, 313 in Fiscal Year 2019, 49 in Fiscal Year 2020 and 838 in Fiscal Year 2021.

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