HAVANA, Jan 10. A 54-year-old Cuban who recently arrived in Florida by sea risks being jailed if he is deported to Cuba,well, he used a state truck to transport the boat and put it into the sea for a stretch before he and the rest of the rafters left for the United States.
The action incurs “a serious crime for which he could be sentenced to several years in prison,” according to statements to America Tevé by his son, Juan Carlos Benítez, who lives in the city of Orlando.
“My dad can’t come back. My dad was the one who moved the boat out to sea, and after that, he got on the boat and went out. Under no circumstances can my dad turn, he should do everything possible not to turn because the DTI, the police, are waiting for him, ”he added.
Juan Carlos Benítez did not specify if his father was the habitual driver of the state vehicle in Cuba, a truck from the Swedish manufacturer Scania.
It is not the first time in the current migratory crisis in Cuba that trucks have been involved.
At the beginning of August, a truck was stranded at sea after an attempt to leave Cuba illegally for the United States through Playa Baracoa, in the province of Artemisa.
A few days later, also in August, a state truck appeared stranded on Playa del Chivo, at the exit of the Havana Tunnel.
In recent days, a Russian Kamaz truck also appeared stranded on the shore in Guanabo, in the Playas del Este municipality of Havana.
However, this is not the only way in which Cuban trucks are linked to the growing migration, since at the beginning of December some twenty Cuban rafters successfully arrived on the Florida coast aboard a homemade boat powered by a truck engine. Russian Kamaz, according to images shared on social networks by one of the migrants after his arrival in the Keys.
Figures from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) indicate that since October 1, some 4,200 migrants have been detained at sea, that is, 43 per day on average.
At the beginning of 2023, dozens of rustic boats arrived in the Florida Keys, which is why authorities from the Dry Tortugas National Park announced that that space would remain closed for several days to attend to migrants.
The guard later reported the transfer by bus to Dania Beach, in Key West, of 337 Cuban rafters who were stranded in Dry Tortugas and Cayo Marquesas.
However, many Cubans on both shores remain uncertain about the fate of their relatives, some of them because they have not been able to communicate with their relatives after arriving in Florida and others because they do not even have proof of their successful arrival on the shores from USA.
Other migrants, most of them Cubans, are expected to continue leaving the border patrol office in the coming hours and days.
Since the beginning of the fiscal year 2023, on October 1, the arrival of migrants on the coast of Florida has increased by 400%, according to the Border Patrol (USBP). Most of these migrants come from Cuba.