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In December alone, 2.5% of Cubans arrested trying to enter the United States, a record


In an attempt to flee repeated shortages and the economic crisis, 270,000 Cubans were arrested trying to enter the United States illegally.

They leave their country dreaming of better living conditions.

Thousands of Cubans are tired of "surviving instead of living" and are now trying by all means to reach the United States, in what looks like the largest wave of migration in history from the Caribbean island.

“You are losing hope.

You try to project yourself into the future but in this country, you don't see it, ”explains David Gonzalez, from Miami, his final destination.

This 34-year-old hairdresser could no longer bear the repeated shortages in a country that is going through its worst economic crisis since the 1990s, nor its power, which it has never been able to accept, with no prospect for the future.

Many desperate young people in Cuba, like him, are fleeing in droves.

Since December 1, 2021, US authorities estimate that they have made more than 270,000 arrests of Cubans trying to enter the United States illegally, i.e. nearly 2.5% of the island's population.

A figure much higher than the previous big waves: that of Mariel in 1980, which had seen 125,000 people attempt the crossing, and the crisis of the "Balseros" (or boat people) of 1994, with around 34,000 people, underlines Jorge Duany, Director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University.

A long, perilous and expensive journey

Rather than the 150 km crossing by boat, hairdresser David Gonzalez began his odyssey with a flight to Nicaragua, an ally of Cuban power to which visas are not required and which has become the first leg of the trip to the United States for the majority of Cubans taking the road to exile.

In total, the trip cost him 7,000 dollars: 3,500 for the flight and then as much to pay the smugglers who brought him to the United States.

A significant sum when the average Cuban monthly salary is 3,768 pesos, or about 157 dollars.

The hairdresser financed part of it by selling what he owned and the rest came from a friend who had already settled in Miami.

He arrived at the end of a 30-day trip through Central America by bus or in the back of a truck.

Read alsoUnited States: the expulsion of migrants without any recourse remains facilitated, rules the Supreme Court

Those who cannot afford to go through Nicaragua attempt the crossing between Cuba and Florida, aboard precarious boats.

On Christmas Day, the US Coast Guard intercepted about fifteen small ships near the Keys archipelago, in the far south of Florida, where dozens of people dock every week.

Boats intercepted at sea are sent back to Cuba, unless it can be proven that the life of the occupants is in danger.

Since October 1, 3,724 Cubans have been intercepted on board boats in this way, about half of all those intercepted between October 2021 and October 2022. Not to mention the boats that disappear at sea. In April, a boat with 14 people on board overturned, only five of its occupants managing to reach the Cuban coast by swimming.

Source: leparis

All news articles on 2022-12-28

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