HAVANA — The Cuban coast guard shot at three suspected migrant smugglers from the United States who refused orders to halt their boat as it neared the island, killing one, official media reported Thursday.

The Communist Party daily Granma said the confrontation occurred Wednesday morning near Cuba's southern coast in the western province of Pinar del Rio.

The coast guard official in charge ordered officers to open fire after the three-man crew aboard the 40-foot speed boat failed to stop as ordered and launched "violent sudden attacks" on a coast guard vessel, damaging the craft and almost causing it to overturn, the report said.

It said that two men aboard the U.S.-based boat were wounded by gunfire and taken to a local hospital, where one died Wednesday afternoon. The other wounded man and the other crew member were taken into custody but were not cooperating with authorities, Cuban officials said.

Cuban authorities said the identity of the dead man was not immediately known because he did not have any documents.

The other two men carried U.S. passports identifying them as Rafael Mesa Farinas and Rosendo Salgado Castro. It was unclear which of those two was wounded, or how seriously.

The passports showed the men recently had visited the Mexican southeastern state of Quintana Roo, where Cuban authorities believe they had planned to take a boatload of illegal migrants.

Cuban authorities later temporarily took into custody 39 people they believe had been scheduled to leave the island on the speedboat: 20 men, 12 women and seven children.

After giving statements to authorities, most were later sent home, although several remained in custody pending further questioning.

The boat, named the "Tiburon Azul," was registered to an American man of Cuban origin named John Roberto and has traveled to Cuba numerous times on migrant smuggling trips, many through Mexico, the report said.

"The events in the pre-dawn hours of yesterday in the waters south of Pinar del Rio confirm the irresponsible, criminal and aggressive character of United States policy toward Cuba, especial the deliberate use of the issue of migration against the Revolution," Granma said in the front page report.

It also criticized as "cynical" the Cuban Adjustment Act, a 1966 law that grants U.S. residency to most Cubans one year after reaching American soil. That privilege does not apply to apply to immigrants from most other nations.

Under current American policy, most would-be Cuban migrants the U.S. Coast Guard picks up at sea are returned to the island, but most who reach American soil are allowed to stay.

Mexico is among several routes migrant smugglers use to get Cuban migrants into the United States, and Quintana Roo, home to the Caribbean resorts of Cancun, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, has become an increasingly popular transshipment point.

From there, the migrants travel to the U.S. border with Mexico, where they identify themselves as Cubans to American officials and are often allowed to stay.