A total of 1,019 people have been returned to Cuba by US authorities this year for trying to enter its territory illegally.
As reported this Monday by the Granma newspaper, the official organ of the Communist Party of Cuba, this number has been reached after the 39 people intercepted last weekend.
These people made up four groups that tried to reach the US coasts from the western provinces of Matanzas, Artemisa, and Havana in “illegal departures from the country by sea,” the newspaper affirms.
Three of the groups used “gadgets without conditions for navigation”, while the fourth had “a boat for sport fishing stolen from its owner and unsuitable for this type of voyage.”
The return of these 39 people was possible due to the collaboration between the authorities of both countries and despite the differences, they have maintained for decades, which have worsened in recent years.
Cuba, which claims to defend “safe and orderly” migration, has repeatedly accused the United States of failing to comply with the bilateral agreement to provide 20,000 annual visas to Cubans, which in its opinion encourages irregular migration.
The serious economic crisis that Cuba is going through – exacerbated by the pandemic, the tightening of US sanctions, and mismanagement by the state – and the repression of dissent has increased the number of emigrants in the last year.
The US authorities have noted in recent months an increase in the number of rafters trying to reach its shores from Cuba, as well as the rebound in the Cuban presence on migratory routes through Central America.
Nicaragua has recently eliminated the need for a visa for Cubans who want to access its territory, which is believed to open an alternative migration route from Cuba to the United States, although figures in this regard have not been released at the moment.