Haitian Refugee Boat Ends Up in Cuba Instead of US

An overloaded Haitian cargo boat bound for the United States had already motored through Cuban waters towards the Florida Keys when the vessel reportedly began taking on water and was forced to return to Cuba on Tuesday. 

According to the Cuban state media, island authorities are scrambling to provide the group of 842 Haitian migrants with humanitarian aid.  

Reports said the boat was found early on Tuesday near Caibarién, not far from Cayo Santa Maria, but several days of stormy weather and thunderstorms forced it towards Cuba. 

In recent months, Haitian migrants have taken to sea on vessels headed for the United States to escape gang violence and poverty in their home country. 

Many of those vessels that stray off course were poorly equipped for the voyage or were overwhelmed by weather before landing in Cuba, the Bahamas, or elsewhere in the Caribbean Sea. 

Reports said that if the boat had successfully arrived anywhere near the South Florida mainland, it would have been the largest migrant landing from Haiti. 

On Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Miami operations Division Chief Adam Hoffner said that the Border Patrol detained more than 30 Cuban migrants in three separate landings in the Florida Keys. 

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