The U.S. Coast Guard announced that it has repatriated 27 Cuban migrants found at sea back to their communist-ruled homeland after it intercepted two groups off Florida’s coast.
The announcement on Wednesday comes amid unrest in Cuba sparked by mass protests across the nation that started on July 11 when thousands citizens took to the streets to call for an end to the communist regime, crying for freedom.
The Coast Guard intercepted one group of Cuban migrants on the afternoon of July 23 after a person reported the vessel to watchstanders of the Coast Guard Sector Key West, according to a release. The 21-foot vessel, which was seven miles south of Key West, was found to have 22 people aboard.
Crew members of the Coast Guard Cutter William Trump brought them onto the ship. The 22 migrants were later transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton.
A second group of Cuban migrants were intercepted on the afternoon of July 24. A makeshift raft was reported by Coast Guard Station Islamorada to Sector Key West watchstanders.
The raft was about 15 miles offshore of Islamorada and carried five people. Boat crew from the Coast Guard Station Islamorada picked up the five people and transferred them to the Charles Sexton.
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) July 27, 2021