Mexico picks up 23 Cuban migrants at sea

2015-05-18 11:03
(Francesco Malavolta, AP)

(Francesco Malavolta, AP)

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Mexico City – Mexico's navy picked up 23 Cuban migrants on Sunday after they became adrift at sea while trying to reach its shores, and authorities said the boat-people would be repatriated back to the Communist island nation.

The migrants were plucked from homemade rafts in two separate incidents off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula, the navy said.

One group of 10, who arrived on a raft made of wood and hallow barrels, said they had been at sea for 16 days after departing from Cuba's Isle of Youth.

They were deemed "in good health" following a medical assessment, authorities said.

Another group of 13 men who were taken in were reported dehydrated.

Mexico's migration service will send all 23 home, the navy said.

Most Cuban migrants who land in Mexico are trying to reach the United States.

The number of migrants has increased since Washington and Havana made a historic announcement in December that they would seek to restore ties after half a century of enmity.

The US "wet foot, dry foot" policy gives residency to any Cuban who reaches US territory, but those who are picked up at sea are repatriated.

Since October, the Coast Guard has picked up 2 460 Cubans trying to reach the United States.

In fiscal year 2014, which ended in September, the figure was 3 677, up from 2 129 the year before and 1 870 in 2012.

Read more on:    cuba  |  mexico  |  maritime

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