Ailing Cuban migrants rescued after weeks at sea

Ailing Cuban migrants rescued after weeks at sea

/ 11:22 AM May 08, 2024

Ailing Cuban migrants rescued after weeks at sea

A boat used recently to transport Cuban migrants from the island nation to the U.S. is shown along the shoreline on January 05, 2023 in Marathon, Florida. FILE PHOTO/Agence France-Presse

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico — Four emaciated and dehydrated migrants were rescued by Mexican fishermen more than a month after leaving Cuba on a flimsy raft with several others who died at sea, authorities said.

Two of the survivors remained hospitalized Tuesday in Mexico’s northeastern state of Tamaulipas due to what immigration authorities called “severe dehydration.”


According to testimonies given to Mexican officials and a Cuban diplomat, who asked not to be named, the migrants had left the island on April 1 in the hope of reaching the US state of Florida.


READ: 10 Cuban migrants killed in Mexico truck accident, 17 injured

But the rudder of the raft broke and they were left adrift.

A local police report suggested that the migrants might have even spent around two months at sea.

It quoted one of the survivors as saying that they had left Cuba on March 5.

Images broadcast by local media showed the four malnourished men — two of them lying on the ground — along with a raft made of pieces of wood, metal cans and a plastic sheet used as a sail.

They were found by fishermen who were on their way to work in the Gulf of Mexico, received first aid from Mexican emergency services and were rushed to hospital.


READ: Cuban influx forces US Park Service to close Florida islands

Four other migrants died during the journey, according to the survivors, but Mexican authorities have not been able to corroborate that information.

The police report identifies the survivors as Mario Sergio Marquez Ventura, 30, Yuriesky Romero Hernandez, 33, and Rogelio Loasis Fuentes Fernando, 50.

The fourth migrant could not provide his name due to his critical condition.

They have expressed a wish to stay in Mexico, according to immigration authorities.

Nearly five percent of the Cuban population has fled to the United States in the past two years, the biggest wave of emigration since Fidel Castro’s revolution.

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The communist island is in the grips of its worst economic crisis in decades, with sky-high inflation and shortages of fuel, medicine and basic foodstuffs — and US sanctions — aggravating an already dire situation.

TAGS: Cuba, Migration

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