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Ship carrying 800 Haitian migrants to U.S. arrives at Cuban docks

Many disembarked in need of urgent medical attention, among them a pregnant woman

Los haitianos habían iniciado un bojeo a la Isla desde finales de la semana anterior
Los haitianos habían iniciado un bojeo a la Isla desde finales de la semana anterior | Collage: ADN América/Redes Sociales

May 25, 2022 2:42pm

Updated: May 26, 2022 9:40am

A ship carrying more than 800 Haitians arrived at the port of Caibarién, in Villa Clara, Cuba, on Tuesday as it made its way to the United States, reported Diario de Cuba, citing local sources.

The Haitians had been on a boat trip to the island since the end of the previous week, fleeing bad weather in the Florida Straits. Many disembarked in need of urgent medical attention, according to the media. Among them was a woman who began to give birth in the middle of the journey and was treated at the María del Carmen Zozaya Municipal Hospital.

Shortly after, vehicles from the Immigration and Alien Affairs Directorate, accompanied by patrol cars, stormed the village to control the situation.

In February, another vessel with 292 migrants from Haiti on board, bound for the United States, made landfall a few miles off Cayo Paredon, in the Cuban province of Ciego de Avila.

In September 2021, a boat with 500 migrants from that Caribbean country arrived in Moa, Holguin, a province located in the far east of the country.

Between 2001 and 2021, in the Cuban province of Guantánamo alone, 76 boats with more than 4,000 Haitians landed, informed Roel Estévez Matos, administrator of the refugee camp in that territory, told the Granma newspaper.

As of October last year, 433 Haitian migrants were reported to have landed in the Guantanamo municipalities of Baracoa and Maisí, as part of their journey to the United States or the Bahamas through the dangerous Paso de los Vientos.

More than 180 migrants from the neighboring nation landed on September 26, 2021, in the municipality of Esmeralda in Camagüey after their boat had a technical problem.

Although Haiti, one of the poorest nations on the continent, has always generated migratory flows to the United States, the situation worsened after the 7.2 earthquake that devastated the country in August and left 2,000 dead and 12,000 homeless.

Additionally, several hurricanes hit the southern coast this year, and the country faces an acute political crisis following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last July.

The United Nations estimates that nearly 4 million Haitians out of some 11.5 million do not have enough food. A fifth of the population, about two million people, have been forced to migrate, according to the BBC.