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Miami boat owners attempt to transport supplies to Cuba amidst protests

Boaters joined forces to take water, food and other supplies to Cubans amidst country wide protests.

Cuban protest in Miami Getty Images

Miami residents have teamed up with local boat owners to attempt to transport food, water and supplies to Cuba amidst widespread protesting in the country. According to CBS Miami, the Coast Guard has issued a warning prohibiting boaters from traveling to Cuba. However, a group that formed over social media is still doing what they can to support protesters.

According to NBC Miami, the group of boaters planned on leaving Monday night (July 12) from the city’s Pelican Bay Marina but were delayed due to thunderstorms. On Tuesday (July 13), however, they were ready to set sail with cases of water, food and more.

“We are just bringing supplies. They are trying to create a group to take water, food, medicine — whatever we can take to Cuba,” one organizer told CBS. “We are just waiting for the approval so we can enter and give it to them.”

“Water, food. Whatever we can get to Cuba; whatever we can take to help is good,” another person added. “We brought big boxes of water that we’re planning to take Cuba.”

If they’re allowed to get close enough to Cuban ports, the boaters say they will hand over all of their supplies. However, if the Coast Guard or Cuban officials don’t allow them to get close enough, they hope to at least be able to show their support for the Cuban people.

As reported by REVOLT, protests broke out across Cuba on Sunday (July 11) against the country’s communist government and the lack of COVID-19 vaccines and food. The demonstrations arrive at a time of economic strife in Cuba, increased political tension and a spike in Coronavirus cases. According to NBC, protesters shouted, “We want freedom” and, “We are no longer afraid” and called for communist President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s resignation.

Cuban Americans in Miami have been supporting the protests since Sunday. One resident of the Florida city, Christian Guzmán, told local outlet WTVJ, “I know my family in Cuba is struggling, people are dying. It’s terrible.”

“Right now it’s hard,” another Miami resident, Darío Suárez, added. “There’s no food, there’s no medicine. The COVID outbreak. The whole country is in the streets.”

See CBS’ interview with the boaters below.

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