US warns of increased illegal migration of Cuban rafts

US warns of increased illegal migration of Cuban rafts
US warns of increased illegal migration of Cuban rafts
O Washington government recalls that “launching into the sea on these unsuitable ships is illegal and extremely dangerous”, as Commander-in-Chief Lt. Mario Gil, a liaison with the Coast Guard of Washington’s diplomatic representation in Havana, warned on Twitter.

The message includes a request to use legal, safe and orderly ways to emigrate to the United States and to avoid illegalities in that attempt.

Currently, it is impossible to carry out migratory procedures at the headquarters of the US delegation in Havana, due to the reduction of personnel in response to the “acoustic attacks” alleged by Washington in 2017.
As a result, Cubans who need to process any visa or other consular service, have to do so in third countries.

The short video posted on the social network’s embassy account shows images of the precarious boats made by Cubans intending to touch American soil, at the risk of drowning or being deported if they are intercepted.

The United States Coast Guard says that since October 1, 2020, its crews have intercepted 87 Cubans (49 in the same period a year earlier).

One of the last episodes of this type occurred last March, when the Bahamian authorities rescued a group of six Cubans who were trying to reach the coast of Florida.

Cuba argues that the United States encourages illegal migration by suspending the processing and granting of immigrant and non-immigrant visas at its consulate in Havana and the transfer of these procedures to third countries.

The Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 is also one of the factors that encourage illegal departures, according to the Cuban government. The latter allows its nationals to apply for permanent residence in the United States one year and one day after their stay in that country.

Added to this is the failure to comply with the North American commitment to guarantee legal migration from Cuba to that country of a minimum of 20,000 Cubans per year, as denounced by the authorities of the Caribbean nation.

Since the triumph of the revolution in Cuba in 1959, the Florida coast has been the final destination for many Cubans fleeing their country.

In 2017, then President Barack Obama agreed to normalize relations with Cuba, along with former President Raul Castro, and eliminated the “wet foot / dry feet” policy, which began to be applied in 1995 and allowed practitioners of ‘rafting’ that managed to put their feet on American soil to stay and even obtain permanent residence.

Read Also: Journalist seeks asylum in Costa Rica after being prevented from returning to Cuba

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