Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / EFE
MIAMI, Florida – Almost an hour late and only four ships set sail this Friday the “flotilla of support for Cuba”, which intends to reach 15 miles from the island to let Cubans who are protesting against the government know that they have your endorsement.
It is unknown if during the journey to Key West, where they will stop to refuel and the ships will be reviewed by the Coast Guard, new vessels will be added and if there will also be boats that are waiting in that port of the Florida Keys.
Only four boats arrive
Only four boats showed up at the meeting point set for departure, far fewer than the number of journalists gathered there to report on the departure.
On the Instagram account of Odany Veloz, one of the organizers, there is so far no content related to the game and there are many comments in support of the initiative, some from Cuba.
They have permits from the Coast Guard
The Cuban-American stressed to Efe on Thursday that have all the US Coast Guard permits for the “event” of solidarity with the people of Cuba who have demonstrated against the Government of the island since last July 11.
Clarified that they do not intend to enter Cuban territory. “We are not going to touch the land or waters of Cuba,” he emphasized.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reiterated on the eve of the flotilla’s departure that a permit is required to enter Cuban waters and those who violate that rule face 10 years in prison, fines of $ 25,000 a day and the confiscation of the vessel.
He also warned that the punishment for those who illegally bring foreigners into the United States It is five years in jail and a fine of up to $ 250,000 per day.
Cubans in Miami seek to do better
The departure of the flotilla was scheduled for last Monday, but the group of young Cubans in Miami that organizes it decided, after meeting with representatives of the Coast Guard, a postponement to “do better” things and give more security to an initiative that has had a lot of echo in the media and the Cuban community in South Florida.
The vessels will sail about four hours from Miami to reach Key West, where they will be refueled and checked by the Coast Guard before setting sail for the point where they will gather at sunset to launch fireworks and light Chinese lanterns.
At that point, about 15 miles from Cuba, the boats will shut down their engines and drift, but they will have to correct their position every 15 minutes, according to the plan published on the networks.
The objective is to let Cubans on the island know that they are not alone in their fight against the one-party regime that has held power in Cuba since January 1959.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.