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Cubans say that they were attempting to reach the United States via Mexico when their improvised vessel sank near Isla Mujeres
Cuban refugees attempting to reach Mexico found themselves in dire straits yesterday when their improvised raft washed up on a reef near Isla Mujeres, the BBC reports, sinking the vessel and killing two people. Eleven others are currently missing.
CNN reports that the ten survivors—nine men and a woman—were taken to a Mexican hospital and proclaimed to be in good health.
The survivors told the Mexican media that they intended to join family in the USA, a common destination for Cuban refugees, says BBC.
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CNN adds that the Yucatan peninsula, which contains the popular beach resort of Cancun, is a popular place for Cubans who are attempting to escape the Communist regime of Fidel Castro, and make their way to the USA.
Cuban refugees often die while attempting to flee the country, as the rafts they use in last-ditch escape efforts are usually improvised and overcrowded.
In 2011, the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Sea cruise ship came into contact with a raft containing 12 Cuban refugees, and alerted the US Coast Guard to their presence, says CruiseLawNews. The Cubans were deported back to their home country. You can see video of this encounter below: