AP

Cuban troops report fatal clash with Florida speedboat

Jun 28, 2022, 11:55 AM | Updated: 12:41 pm

HAVANA (AP) — Cuban authorities say they have intercepted more than a dozen speedboats arriving from the United States this year — including two shooting incidents and at least one death. They say U.S. authorities have handed over a suspect in the shooting of a Cuban coast guard officer.

The Interior Ministry statement read over state television Monday night comes amid a sharp increase in migration from Cuba to the United States, both by sea and via Mexico, at a time of economic hardships aggravated by the pandemic and by tightened U.S. sanctions.

The ministry said its coast guard units had intercepted 13 speedboats from the U.S. entering Cuban waters this year, with 23 crew members. It was not clear how many of the boats might have reached shore or how many of those aboard were arrested. It mentioned at least some arrests, but also at least one case in which a boat escaped.

“Recently situations of greater violence and aggressiveness have occurred, with the use of firearms” against Cuban coast guard units, the ministry said.

It said in one incident, agents intercepted a Dakota speedboat with a Florida registration number 3 nautical miles north of Bahia Honda, on the coast west of Havana, and were fired upon. The ministry said troops returned fire, killing one of those aboard the speedboat.

That boat was detained, and the ministry said it found drugs and evidence of firearms use aboard. It said U.S. authorities were informed about the identities of those arrested and the man who died.

In another case on June 18, it said people aboard a speedboat near Cayo Fragoso off the central Cuban province of Villa Clara opened fire with an automatic weapon at close range, wounding one Cuban officer, and then raced of northward as Cubans evacuated the wounded man for treatment.

It said Cuban officials notified the U.S. Coast Guard, asking for help to detain the attackers. On Monday, one Cuban citizen “implicated in the aggression” had been returned to the island, it said, under an agreement by which the U.S. returns Cubans attempting to immigrate illegally.

“In parallel,” it said, 30 people who were trying to leave the island were found by Interior Ministry agents and were being investigated.

In a separate statement Monday, the Interior Ministry said its coast guard troops found six of 15 people who had set out in makeshift board that sank last week. It said there was no word on what happened to the other nine.

The 15 apparently had set out from the area of Playa Jibacoa along the coast east of Havana on June 20.

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported finding about 140,000 Cuban migrants between October last year and the end of May — a number that surpassed the so-called Mariel exodus of 1980, when 125,000 Cubans reached the U.S.

The U.S. Coast Guard said Monday week that so far this fiscal year it has intercepted 2,900 Cuban migrants at sea, up from just 838 in the previous fiscal year and 49 in 2020.

___

Andrea Rodríguez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ARodriguezAP

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

4 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

4 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

7 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

11 days ago

deadly heat wave last summer...

Associated Press

After a deadly heat wave last summer, metro Phoenix is changing tactics

Fresh memories of the deadly heat wave last summer have led Arizona authorities to launch new tactics ahead of summer 2024.

21 days ago

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near...

Associated Press

Man accused of starting wildfire in national wildlife preserve in Yuma

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near the California border.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Cuban troops report fatal clash with Florida speedboat