Five boats head to international waters in flotilla to show support for Cuban people

A small team of Cuban-Americans and their supporters took off from Miami on Friday for international waters. The five boats left Bayside Marina with the intention of stopping at Key West, refueling and checking in with the US Coast Guard before heading for Cuba. The group will stop just 15 nautical miles from Havana as they show their support for Cubans.

U.S. Coast Guard Captain Adam Chamie told CBS News’ Manuel Bojorquez the voyage was legal, but entering Cuban waters was not, and could result in fines of up to $25,000 and five years in prison. prison. There is also concern about the tropical and unpredictable weather of South Florida.

“What might seem like it’s pretty safe waters just a few miles from shore when you’re 50 miles from shore can look very different,” Chamie said.

The rowing group was supposed to depart on Monday, but the event was postponed until friday. About a hundred boats are expected to appear before the event.

The trip is scheduled to arrive when Biden Administration announced new sanctions against Alvaro Lopez Miera, Minister of Defense of Cuba, as well as the Special Brigade of the Ministry of the Interior of Cuba for the suppression of peaceful pro-democracy protests in Cuba that began in Cuba. from 11 July. There are reports of about 500 people being detained since the protests began.

In a statement, President Biden said, “The Cuban people have the same right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as everyone else.”

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez argued that Cuba was not a priority for the Biden Administration.

“The Cuban people are defending themselves with stones and sticks against guns and sticks, so I even called for things as dramatic as not to rule out the possibility of military intervention to some extent,” Suarez said.

Jorge Duany, director of the Institute for Cuban Studies at Florida International University, told Bojorquez that the Biden administration is trying to find a middle ground between the Obama administration’s more open policies and the former’s rapid reversal. President Trump.

“Much of the calculation regarding what to do next with Cuba has to do with next year’s midterm elections in Florida. I’m sure that was part of the discussion in the White House,” Duany said. .

Duany also said the Biden administration’s stated goal of restoring the Internet to the Cuban people, which was cut off by the communist government after the uprising, could help the protesters continue to maintain some momentum.



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