International News

Pro-Democracy Protesters to Set Off Fireworks Near Cuban Coast

Every year, America celebrates the birth of its own democracy with fireworks, so it only makes sense a pro-democracy group that helps newly arrived Cubans settle in Miami is on its way to put on a fireworks display off the coast of Cuba. Predictably, the Cuban government is none too pleased.

Democracy Movement, led by Ramon Saul Sanchez, has sent 50 members on a flotilla of sorts toward Cuba. The group left Key West this morning around 9:30. According to the Associated Press, the flotilla is made up of six boats.

The group plans to anchor about 12 miles off the coast of Havana and then set off a giant fireworks display. The group has met with the State Department to ensure it breaks no American or international laws, though a State Department spokesman tells the AP "the United States government does not promote or encourage this activity."

In the past, the Cuban government has characterized Democracy Movement as nothing more than a CIA front.

It's not clear, however, how well Cuban residents will be able to see the fireworks display from 12 miles away.

Cuban Foreign Ministry official Rene Mujica meanwhile has called the peaceful plan nothing more than the latest in a series of "provocations" by the Miami exile community.

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Kyle Munzenrieder