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Cuban military reports deadly clash with Florida based speedboat

Cuba Migrants Repatriated
Cuban Border Patrol divers inspect the surrounding water and the dock before the arrival of the Coast Guard Sentinel-class cutter Charles Sexton to deliver the deportees to the Cuban authorities at Orozco Bay in Artemisa, Cuba, Tuesday, June 29, 2021. The US Coast Guard repatriated 18 Cuban nationals that were found at sea this week attempting to migrate illegally into the United States. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

HAVANA- Government officials in Cuba say their forces have intercepted 13 speedboats attempting to come ashore this year with at least one of the encounters turning deadly.

State media reports that among the vessels attempting to enter Cuban waters, one Florida registered boat engaged in a fire fight with coast guard units and resulted in the death of one of the occupants near Bahia Honda on the northwest coast of Cuba.

Officials reportedly found drugs and weapons aboard the boat.

The Interior Ministry said on state TV Monday that 23 individuals have attempted to enter the waters around Cuba this year but it’s not clear how many have been arrested or whether any of them were able to reach shore.

In another incident, a Cuban coast guard officer was wounded by automatic weapon fire from an inbound speedboat near Cayo Fragoso in the province of Villa Clara.

The incidents come as record numbers of Cuban citizens attempt to enter the United States by sea and by land via Mexico.

Over 140,000 Cuban migrants have been intercepted by U.S. Customs between October and the end of May, surpassing the influx of 125,000 migrants that arrived in 1980 during the so-called Muriel Boat Lift.