Havana, Apr 3 (EFE) .- The US Embassy in Cuba warned this Saturday about the “slight” increase in the illegal emigration of Cuban rafters who try to reach that territory through the Straits of Florida.

The US Government reminds them that “jumping into the sea in these unsuitable vessels is illegal and extremely dangerous,” Lieutenant Commander Mario Gil, the Coast Guard liaison for Washington’s diplomatic representation in Havana, warned on Twitter. .

The message includes the request to use legal, safe and orderly ways to emigrate to the northern country and thus avoid illegalities in that attempt.

It is currently impossible to carry out immigration procedures at the headquarters of the US legation in Havana due to the reduction of personnel in response to the “acoustic attacks” alleged by Washington in 2017.

Therefore, Cubans who need to process a visa or other consular service must do so in third countries.

The short video published on the Embassy’s account on that social network shows images of the precarious ships made by Cubans that intend to touch US soil at the risk of drowning or being deported if they are intercepted.

The United States Coast Guard indicates that from October 1, 2020 to the present, its crews have intercepted 87 Cubans compared to 49 in the same period a year ago.

One of the last episodes of this type occurred last March when the Bahamian authorities rescued a group of six Cubans who were trying to reach the US shores.

Cuba argues that the US encourages illegal migration by suspending the processing and granting of immigrant and non-immigrant visas at its Consulate in Havana and the transfer of these procedures to third countries.

The validity of the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Law is also one of the factors that encourages illegal departures, according to the Cuban government. The latter allows Cubans to apply for permanent residence in the United States for one year and one day to stay in that country.

Added to this is the failure to comply with the US commitment to guarantee legal migration from Cuba to that country of a minimum of 20,000 Cubans per year, according to the authorities of the Caribbean nation.

Since the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959, the Florida coasts have been the final destination of many Cubans fleeing their country.

In 2017, then-President Barack Obama, who agreed to normalize relations with Cuba together with former president Raúl Castro, eliminated the “dry feet / wet feet” policy.

It began to be applied in 1995 and allowed rafters who managed to set foot on US land to stay and even obtain permanent residence.

(c) EFE Agency

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