(CMR) Some 120 Cubans who arrived in Florida recently, some while the state was being hit by Hurricane Ian, were repatriated to Cuba Friday, two days after the storm devasted several cities.
The Cubans were caught trying to enter the US on several different days and times from the 23 September. On Wednesday, 28 September, Border Patrol said that 20 people were missing off the coast of Florida after a Cuban migrant boat sank due to Hurricane Ian last week. Four Cuban migrants from the boat swam to shore in the Florida Keys and three others were rescued from the ocean.
“Taking to the sea any time carries significant risk, taking to the sea during a hurricane is flat out reckless,” said Capt. Robert Kinsey, Coast Guard District Seven.
“We just had at least one unseaworthy vessel sink, and we are looking for 17 souls. We can only pray our crews find them so their families and loved ones can rest. Our air and surface crews are patrolling and are on the lookout to prevent illegal and unsafe ventures,” he added.
Since October 2021, Coast Guard crews interdicted 6,182 Cubans compared to 838 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2021, 49 in 2020, 313 in 2019 and 259 in 2018. There has also been an increase in Cuban migrants arriving in the Cayman Islands this year; however, several have left trying to get to the US.
Cuba was also devastated by Hurricane Ian before the storm moved to the Sunshine state where it destroyed homes, businesses and infrastructure while claiming many lives.