Miami-Dade County

Coast Guard repatriates 32 Cuban migrants

Four migrant interdictions at sea this month led the Coast Guard to repatriate 32 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba.

The migrants, 31 men and one woman, were repatriated on Wednesday.

The first interdiction took place on June 6 when Coast Guard Sector Key West received information of a 15-foot migrant boat northeast of Key Largo. Eight Cubans were on board.

The following day, 10 Cuban migrants were discovered southeast of Key West by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who alerted the Coast Guard.

On June 8, Border Protection spotted another vessel south of Key West. Nine Cuban migrants were taken into custody.

Two days later, the fourth vessel containing five Cuban migrants was discovered.

Each migrant received food, water, shelter and basic medical attention, according to the Coast Guard .

Capt. Mark Fedor, district chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard’s 7th District, said the Coast Guard, Border Protection and Department of Homeland Security are maintaining a “robust” patrol presence in the Florida Straits.

“Our main concern is always for the safety of these migrants who are putting their lives at extreme risk in unseaworthy vessels and to protect our nation’s borders by deterring dangerous and illegal activity,” Fedor said. “Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, we will seek to quickly repatriate illegal migrants to their countries of origin.”

The Coast Guard estimates that 2,712 Cubans have attempted sea voyages to the United States since October. The numbers represent at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

Journalist Nora Gamez Torres on Google's visit to Cuba and what it means for internet access on the island. She also talks about the wealthy Miami developer who has offered to restore Old Havana to its former glory. Follow Nora on Twitter @ngame

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