MIAMI – Authorities say 13 Cuban migrants in the Florida Keys are the first to land on U.S. soil since the death of Fidel Castro.
Monroe County Sheriff's Office Deputy Becky Herrin said the group arrived by homemade boat early Tuesday on Big Pine Key. U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Norma Morfa said there were 10 men and three women.
The number of Cubans attempting risky sea crossings has been surging for two years, since the U.S. announced it was resuming diplomatic relations with Havana.
Coast Guard officials say it's too soon to tell whether the longtime Cuban leader's death Nov. 25 has triggered an additional increase. Last week, 38 Cubans intercepted at sea by U.S. authorities were returned home.
Under the so-called "wet foot, dry foot" policy, Cubans reaching U.S. shores generally can remain.