Cuban youth exodus continues amid economic crisis
MIAMI – A cruise ship recently rescued 12 men at sea and these incidents are on the rise.
Since October of last year, U.S. Coast Guard crews have encountered 3,683 Cubans at sea. In the previous fiscal year, there were 838.
The influx of migrants has overtaken the historic Mariel boat lift from 1980.
By land, the numbers are much higher. According to US Customs and Border Protection, since October of last year, more than 157,000 Cubans have been processed at the US-Mexico border.
“That’s a significant number of young people,” said Willy Allen, an immigration lawyer, who added that about 70% of his Cuban clients are under 40. “Almost all professionals, a significant number of doctors, a significant number of teachers, a significant number of lawyers.”
Allen thinks Cubans are fleeing because of a lack of hope since Cuba is in a deep economic crisis. Abdel Legra, a Cuban activist, said the biggest problem is the lack of freedom.
The pandemic and US sanctions have worsened what was already an inefficient centralized socialist economy. Daily blackouts that last for hours are now common across the island.
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