More than 200 migrants sent back to Cuba, Coast Guard says

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A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations aircrew alerted Sector Key West watchstanders of this disabled vessel about 26 miles south of Stock Island, Florida, Aug. 17, 2022. The people were repatriated to Cuba on Aug. 20, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI – Crews returned more than 200 Cuban migrants to the island after intercepting more than a dozen vessels at sea over the past week, officials with the U.S. Coast Guard said Saturday.

Coast Guard Cutters Robert Yered and Pablo Valents’ crews repatriated the 203 Cubans after intercepting 14 vessels from Tuesday to Thursday, most of them off the Florida Keys, officials said.

In spite of numerous warnings against making the treacherous journey, which can turn deadly, the Coast Guard has stopped 4,440 Cubans and counting at sea since Oct. 1, 2021, amid what experts say is the biggest exodus from the island since 1959.

On Tuesday, Coast Guard crews sent 107 migrants back to Cuba. On Thursday, U.S. Border Patrol officials reported that they discovered six Cuban migrants locked in a van during a traffic stop in Opa-locka, in what they described as a smuggling incident.

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.