At least five people have died after a motorboat carrying migrants collided with a Cuban Coast Guard boat. Cuban officials have said this. Eighteen people can be saved.
The accident happened on Bahia Honda beach in western Cuba, about two hours from the capital, Havana. Three women, a man and a minor girl were killed, the Cuban Interior Ministry said in a press release.
The Cuban ministry said the boat, which was carrying migrants to Florida, “crossed Cuban territorial waters as part of a people-smuggling operation.” The confrontation occurred when the Coast Guard tried to verify the identity of the aggressors.
The US Embassy in Havana offered its condolences on Twitter. “As we strengthen safe and legal migration routes, we continue to warn against dangerous and sometimes deadly attempts at illegal migration.”
Shortages of food, medicine and fuel, coupled with frequent power outages, have pushed the number of immigrants to Cuba to a 40-year high, the Associated Press reported. Most Cubans fly to Nicaragua and then land at the US border, mostly in Texas and Arizona. But a growing number are attempting the perilous crossing to America’s south coast by boat. Between October 2021 and August 2022, the US Coast Guard intercepted more than 4,600 Cubans traveling by boat, nearly six times more than in 2020.
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