MIAMI – A cruise ship recently rescued 12 men at sea and these incidents keep increasing.
Since October of last year, U.S. Coast Guard crews have come across 3,683 Cubans at sea. During the previous fiscal year, there were 838.
The surge of migrants surpassed the historic Mariel boatlift of 1980.
By land, the numbers are much higher. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, since October of last year more than 157,000 Cubans have been processed at the US-Mexico border.
“It’s a significant number of young people,” said Willy Allen, an immigration attorney, who added that about 70% of his Cuban clients are younger than 40 years old. “Almost all of them professional, a significant number of doctors, significant number of teachers, significant number of lawyers.”
Allen believes Cubans are fleeing because of a lack of hope since Cuba is in a deep economic crisis. Abdel Legra, a Cuban activist, said the biggest problem is the lack of freedom.
The pandemic and U.S. sanctions have worsened what was already an inefficient centralized socialist economy. Daily blackouts that last hours are now common throughout the island.