Jodi a 24 Fevrye 2009, Gad Kot Ameriken retounen 214 Ayisyen ke yo te bare bo zonn kot Cuba.
Ti batô sa te gen 27 timoun piti e 11 ti bêbê.
Pou mwa Janvye 2009 ki sot pase la Gad Kot Ameriken femen barye peyi yo sou 742 ayisyen deja, san konte sa ke yo pa gentan kenbe.
A U.S. Coast Guard cutter returned 214 Haitians
to their homeland Monday after the migrants were intercepted Friday night in a makeshift sailing freighter just east of Cuba.
The freighter contained 27 children -- 11
of them infants, said Petty Officer Barry Bena, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman.
Friday's interdiction comes amid a recent spike in Haitian migration to South Florida; January saw a significant increase in migration, with 742 Haitians
interdicted at sea, records show.
Lt. Matthew J. Moorlag, a public affairs officer, said that, generally, ''economics, natural disasters, and weather are significant factors in migration.'' Moreover, Moorlag said, ``there may be an incorrect perception in Haiti and within the South Florida Haitian community that the presidential election would signal an immediate change in policy with regard to returning Haitians back to Haiti.''
With 11 infants
on board, the freighter represents a departure from typical migration patterns -- one of which is a cause for concern among authorities. LIVES AT RISK
''It's kind of sad that the situation has gotten to the point where they are risking the lives of small children,'' Bena said. ``It shows how desperate the situation has become to put children that small in danger.''
A Coast Guard cutter on routine patrol, the Pea Island, intercepted the ragtag freighter Friday evening about 23 miles east of Cuba, the Coast Guard said in a prepared statement. The freighter, which had a cobalt-blue wooden hull and a blue mast, was heavily overloaded with 187 adults and 27 children.
''During the rescue, one migrant fell overboard from the sail freighter and was immediately recovered in good condition by Coast Guard smallboat crewmembers,'' the release said. No migrants or Coast Guard staff were injured in what proved to be a lengthy effort to move the migrants onto a cutter for their trip to Cap-Haitien, where they were repatriated.
Authorities do not know where the vessel originated, Bena said.
Aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Spencer, which returned the migrants to Haiti, all of the migrants were given food, water and basic medical care before their repatriation.
Authorities have no information to suggest the voyage was part of a smuggling operation, said Bena.
The freighter was equipped with one sail and a 75-horsepower engine -- the kind one might see attached to a 20-foot pleasure boat. A sailboat can move quickly in the Caribbean, as ''you have strong winds in the area that help guide boats away from the islands,'' Bena said.
With more than 200 people aboard, the freighter would have been at serious risk of capsizing, Bena said. ``In an instant, people can shift and the whole thing capsizes . . . It makes for a really bad situation.'' TOP PRIORITY
Coast Guard Capt. Peter Brown, who heads law enforcement efforts in the region, said protecting migrants from such danger is among the agency's highest priorities.
''The patrol presence of our cutters off the coast of Haiti continues to prevent the potential loss of life that has occurred too many times when grossly overloaded vessels take to the sea in an attempt to illegally migrate to the United State,'' Brown said in a prepared statement.
Interdiction efforts ''are as much humanitarian missions as they are border security missions,'' Brown added.