World Small Florida flotilla returns from Cuba after showing support for protesters, democracy
Mexico Seeks to Renew Ties With North Korea, Also Backs Cuban Government: Foreign Minister
North Korea has, like Mexico, thrown its support behind Cuba's government after recent protests in Havana.Mexico's support for Cuba's government, as well as its desire to reopen ties with North Korea, put the key U.S. trading partner at odds with leaders in Washington, D.C. The U.S. has for decades had tense relations with Cuba due to Washington's opposition to the communist government there, while also technically remaining at war with North Korea despite the conflict's unofficial end in 1953.
A small flotilla of boats returned toon Saturday evening after motoring off coast and setting off fireworks and flares in a show of support for the Cuban people and democracy.
The boaters had left Miami on Friday morning.
"We also want to draw the attention to the United States government that they have to do something," organizer Jose Portieles told The Associated Press. "We feel identified with what is happening in the protests in Cuba. We could be the ones who are there."
Cuba considered the boats a provocation. Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriguez called the flotilla illegal and urged the U.S. government to halt them "to avoid incidents which are not in anyone’s best interest."
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"It is important for the international community to speak up in support of the Cuban people," a State Department spokesperson told Newsweek.Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez took to Twitter on Wednesday to reveal what he suspected to be a U.S.-made draft intended to be signed by foreign ministers as part of a joint statement by the Organization of American States, the 35-member state international bloc spanning the Western Hemisphere.
The U.S.warned the boaters it would be illegal for them to depart U.S. waters with the intention of entering Cuban territorial waters. However, for those intending only to go near Cuban waters, the agency merely advised against doing so.
The boats reportedly stayed in international waters.
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Boater Marcos Suarez told WSVN-TV in Miami the experience gave him "chills."
"They’re going to see us," organizer Osdany Veloz said in a video he posted to Instagram. "They’re going to see us, and they’re going to see that we’re there for them."
Read Joe Biden's Full Remarks Announcing 'Concerted Action' Towards Cuba
"Cuban-Americans are hurting. They are hurting because their loved ones are suffering, and it's quite frankly intolerable," Biden said on Friday.Biden made his comments when meeting with Cuban-American leaders at the White House on Friday afternoon. Since July 11, thousands of Cubans have been protesting their government over food shortages and the worst economic crisis the country has experienced in 30 years.
Portieles said most of the boaters were Cuban-American entrepreneurs who know each other from the South Florida boating community and share a desire to see a free Cuba.
The boaters also thanked the Coast Guard for helping make the trip possible,reported.
Cubans historically took to the streets earlier this month in massive numbers to protest food shortages, high prices and other grievances against the government.
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel acknowledged government shortcomings in the lead-up to the unrest in the country after the protests broke out.
He has been widely criticized for the country’s violent crackdown and Internet blackouts.
"We have to gain experience from the disturbances," he said in an address earlier this month. "We also have to carry out a critical analysis of our problems in order to act and overcome, and avoid their repetition."
Nikole Hannah-Jones said Cuba is among 'most equal' countries because of socialism .
1619 Project founder Nikole Hannah-Jones said in a podcast that she believes Cuba is the most equal country in the Western hemisphere and could serve as a model for its integration agenda . In a 2019 podcast with Ezra Klein of Vox and The New York Times, Hannah-Jones was asked whether there were candidates or places that she thought had a "viable and sufficiently ambitious integration agenda." Hannah-Jones responded that while she is not an expert on race relations internationally, she believed the most "equal" and "multiracial" country in the Western hemisphere is Cuba, which she attributed to socialism.