Latest: Caribbean

US Coast Guard intercepts Cuban migrants

Published: Sunday December 22, 2013 | 10:45 am Comments 0

MIAMI, Dec. 22, CMC The United States Coast Guard has intercepted 13 Cuban migrants who left the island aboard a stolen fishing vessel and turned them over to Bahamian authorities.

The Coast Guard said on Saturday that the migrants are likely to be repatriated to Cuba. Coast Guard spokesperson Marilyn Fajardo said the cutter Richard Etheridge intercepted the 48-foot vessel, in Bahamian territorial waters the day before.

The Royal Bahamian Defense Force confirmed 13 Cuban migrants were being held on New Providence Island. The 13 migrants could face charges of stealing the vessel, as well as intimidating, disarming, and tying up the guards.

The US Coast Guard has an agreement with the Bahamas that allows Nassau to decide what to do with vessels intercepted in its territorial waters.

Nassau also has an agreement with Havana to return intercepted Cuban migrants who are not granted refugee status.

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