Cuban rafters missing at sea for two weeks, families fear the worst

Rustic vessel that reached Cayman Islands

From our Bureau of Desperate Escape Attempts in Rustic Vessels

At least 27 Cubans are lost at sea, and another 20 might be missing too. Four days ago 6 rafters actually made it to Marathon Key after a harrowing 22-hour voyage. And two days ago, the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted another 84 near the Florida Keys. In addition, during the same time period, 14 Cuban rafters have arrived at the Cayman islands.

It’s getting harder to keep track, and the numbers speak for themselves. This adds up to 145 “balseros” within the last two weeks. And the sum total of rafters intercepted by the U.S. in the past six months is 1,446. No figures are available for Mexico, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and other Caribbean locations.

Long live the glorious Revolution! 63 years, 3 months, and 29 days of Utopian bliss!

Rustic vessel and five of the six Cubans who reached Marathon Key

Relatives of some 13 rafters who left for the Florida Keys on April 14 in a rustic boat through Santa Cruz del Norte, in the province of Mayabeque, ask the authorities for help to try to locate their relatives, whose whereabouts are unknown.

The group, all young men, reside in the San José de las Lajas municipality in the aforementioned province of western Cuba and left in a boat built with rustic materials to which they adapted an engine and a sail.

“We ask all the authorities of the Keys, of any country, that if they know anything, they inform the relatives,” the aunt of one of the disappeared pleaded in statements collected by Univisión 23.

“We are desperate, devastated, we don’t know anything, not a piece of news or anything, if they are on the ‘mother’ ship, if they are in the Bahamas, if they are on an island,” said the mother of some rafters on the edge of the plain.

In recent days, several reports of the disappearance of rafters made by relatives have come to light. Among them, another group of eleven young people who also left on April 14, but in this case from Ciego de Ávila.

Another 20 Cubans were missing at sea after leaving Villa Clara on April 18, although recent reports from relatives indicate that they could already be in Miami.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) repatriated this Wednesday, April 27, 84 Cuban rafters intercepted near the Florida Keys.

The latest statistics released indicate that since the beginning of fiscal year 2022 (FY22), on October 1, 2021, 1,446 Cubans have been intercepted, a figure that far exceeds the 838 of the entire previous period, and that practically equals the 1,468 captured in 2017, when the Dry Foot/Wet Foot Policy was still in force.

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