The Coast Guard took 94 Cuban migrants back to their homeland Saturday amid continued flight from the island and an increased number of interdictions off Florida, the agency said Sunday.
The Coast Guard said the migrants were apprehended in one of four interdictions of unstable vessels headed to the U.S.
“Taking to the sea on overloaded, rustic vessels is dangerous and unsafe,” Lt. Connor Ives, a Coast Guard Atlantic district law enforcement officer, said in the agency’s statement.
The cutter Paul Clark was used to return the migrants to Cuba, the agency said.
Boats loaded with migrants were discovered last Monday 12 miles south of Elbow Cay, Bahamas; Tuesday, 25 miles northeast of Cay Sal, Bahamas, and again 30 miles south of Islamorada, Florida; and Wednesday, 10 miles south of Crocker Reef, Florida, the Coast Guard said.
The migrants are part of a steady stream of Cubans seeking refugee status in the U.S. in hard economic times in their homeland.
WOLA, the Washington Office on Latin America, said the U.S. embargo aggravates Cuba’s woeful, inflation-wracked economy, which it said has produced a humanitarian crisis.