The United States embassy in Havana announced in a statement an increase in border patrols by land, air and sea to stop the great wave of rafters migrating from Cuba to Florida.
The Joint Homeland Security Task Force, made up of the agencies charged with handling illegal immigration, is responsible for leading the new efforts.
“The main objectives of this interagency group are to prevent the loss of life at sea, and to interrupt illegal maritime migration using the forces of the Department of Homeland Security,” reads the official statement from the diplomatic legion.
The United States Coast Guard maintains a continuous presence day and night to intercept illegal vessels.
The agency also warned about the danger to life involved in sailing at sea in makeshift boats.
“Illegal maritime travel in the Caribbean is always dangerous and very often deadly,” warned Rear Admiral Brendan C. McPherson.
However, several netizens shared their desperation in the face of the crisis Cuba is facing on various fronts and their willingness to risk their lives in order to flee the island.
“No one wants to live here, we all want to live in the US even if it costs us our lives. The Cuban people can no longer stand abuse and repression, we have to go by whatever means”, reads the tweet of a Cuban netizen in response to the announcement.
On the other hand, another netizen expressed her agreement with increasing border surveillance, but took the opportunity to criticize the long time it takes to legally emigrate from Cuba.
“I totally agree but a better way is legal migration and we have been waiting for processes for more than 8 years,” reads Yinixia Marquez’s tweet.
So far this fiscal year, more than 140,000 Cubans entered the North American country without documents.
This number becomes the largest exodus of Cubans to the United States in more than six decades, breaking the record set by the Mariel exodus in 1980 when nearly 125,000 Cubans arrived in just seven months.
This story was originally published on September 8, 2022 7:00 a.m.