Cuba’s latest migration crisis is not letting up as thousands attempt to leave the island for a better life.
United States Customs and Border Protection reported that in the last 11 months, nearly 180,000 Cubans crossed the US-Mexico border, and another 8,000 tried to make it to the US by sea.
In addition, the US Coast Guard reports that it intercepted 5,421 Cuban rafters trying to cross the Florida Straits since October 2021, and about 3,000 made it to US shores, numbers that exceed the total number of rafters detained in the last five years. The current Cuban exodus is unprecedented and far surpasses previous mass emigrations like the 1980 Mariel boatlift (125,000 people) and the 1994 Cuban rafter crisis (35,000 people).
Cuban sociologists and economists all agree that the haemorrhaging will not be stanched anytime soon and may even worsen due to deteriorating living conditions and economic hardship in Cuba. They believe that the current crisis will take years of investment, financial aid and radical reforms for the country to recover, measures that the Cuban government may be reluctant to take.