U.S. Coast Guard officials say Cuban migrants are using more speedboats in their attempts to reach Florida shores since the end of a policy granting residency to Cubans arriving on American soil.
Lt. j.g. Kate Webb of Coast Guard Sector Key West tells The Citizen that up to 70 percent of Cuban migrant vessels intercepted by U.S. authorities have been go-fast boats since President Barack Obama ended the ``wet foot, dry foot'' policy on Jan. 12.
The number of rustic vessels called “chugs'' has plummeted. Capt. Jeffrey Janszen said Coast Guard interdictions have dropped from as many as 25 a day to about 20 per month.
Janszen said go-fast boat operators charge up to $10,000 per person, compared with several hundred dollars for the same journey in a chug.