Cuba urges to prevent tragic incidents as a result of irregular migration

Cubaminrex, 11 March 2021. On March 2, 2021, there was an exit from the country along the north coast of Villa Clara province, organized from the United States, using a rapid speedboat for human trafficking. The participants, all Cubans, including women and children, were taken by the traffickers to an inhospited and uninhabited cay from the salt bank in the Bahamas. From this fact, it was communicated in real time by the Border Guard Troops of Cuba to the Coast Guard Service of the United States.

On March 2, 2021, there was an exit from the country along the north coast of Villa Clara province, organized from the United States, using a rapid speedboat for human trafficking. The participants, all Cubans, including women and children, were taken by the traffickers to an inhospited and uninhabited cay from the salt bank in the Bahamas. From this fact, it was communicated in real time by the Border Guard Troops of Cuba to the Coast Guard Service of the United States.

Subsequently, in that same Key, they were picked up by a second boat, also from the United States and with a license plate of the State of Florida, with intentions to introduce them into U.S. territory. On March 4, 3 nautical miles from Cayo Sal, Bahamas, it whipped the boat and people stayed on the water for more than 14 hours. The castaways were rescued by a Royal Bahamas Defence Force ship (12 people alive and one body). According to preliminary data from the Bahamian authorities, several missing persons are estimated, including women and two children.

Border Troop units upon learning of this serious incident designated a vessel, supported by a Revolutionary Air Force aircraft, to conduct the search and the Florida folio boat was detected, which had led to Cuban territorial waters.

With the improvement of hydro-meteorological conditions, the Cuban authorities will continue the naval and air search efforts with surface units and aircraft on the north coast of the provinces of Matanzas and Villa Clara, with the support of private institutions and vessels.

Cuban authorities have succeeded in establishing that an individual returned to Cuba by the U.S. Coast Guard on March 6 as a supposed migrant is one of the lunchboxes involved in this human trafficking operation and is subject to legal proceedings in Cuba. Research continues to achieve the complete clarification of this unfortunate event.

As our people know, among the factors that constitute incentives for irregular migration, are the suspension of the processing and granting of immigrant and non-immigrant visas at the United States Consulate in Havana and the transfer of these procedures to third countries; as well as the validity of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966.

The United States' commitment to ensure legal migration from Cuba to Cuba of at least 20,000 Cubans per year is also breached.

The Cuban Government will continue to work to prevent irregular, insecure and disorderly migration to prevent risky human life-threatening exits and combat the acts of violence associated with this phenomenon and related crimes, such as human trafficking and illegal trafficking in migrants.

Cuba urges all measures to prevent the tragic consequences of irregular emigration, reaffirms its commitment to the Joint Declaration signed between Cuba and the United States on 12 January 2017 on migration, and reaffirms that it rigorously fulfils its obligations under that agreement.

Havana, March 11, 2021

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