Cuban Migrants Trapped on Coast Guard Ship as State Department Works to Repatriate

US Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant

The Associated Press reported on Friday dozens of Cubans are currently stranded aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant in the Florida Straits awaiting permission from the Cuban government to return home.

The U.S. Coast Guard could not confirm this report, however a State Department official tells gCaptain in an emailed statement, 38 Cuban migrants were intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard while aboard a crowded catamaran in the vicinity of the Virgin Islands.

“We strongly discourage such dangerous voyages and encourage Cuban nationals wishing to immigrate to the United States to pursue existing safe and legal migration options,” said the State Department official.

“The relevant agencies of the U.S. government are working together to resolve the case of these migrants.

We are in discussions with Cuba, and other countries through which the migrants may have transited, about this case and all appropriate steps we can take to prevent people from undertaking the dangerous sea journey in precarious crafts.”