"Balseros" are taking a detour
Well, nunca falta el ingenio de los cubanos, so now they are finding an alternate route to get to the US - Puerto Rico. Traveling first to the Dominican Republic, where authorities are already investigating a Cuban-smuggling ring, they then depart in yola (Dominican raft) to Puerto Rico. But as it is well known el canal de la Mona is not only treacherous, but it is also shark infested which makes arriving to the mainland harder. So what do you do know? You end your travels at La isla de Mona. You see, Puerto Rico has three island towns - Culebra, Mona and Vieques. All three of them are territories of Puerto Rico, so they in turn are the United States of America.
From 2003 to 2005 the number of Cubans arriving through this route has gone from 76 to 485; you do the math. You can read the whole article from El Nuevo Herald here.