The Biden administration warned Americans against attempting to bring supplies to Cuba.
Last week, Floridians attempted to use their own boats to aid Cubans protesting the island’s communist regime. As The Daily Wire reported, a large group of boaters reportedly departed from Miami with vessels full of food, water, and medicine.
However, a Thursday advisory from the United States Department of Homeland Security warned that any such actions are prohibited:
It is illegal for boaters to depart with the intent to travel to Cuba for any purpose without a permit. Boaters departing any United States port with the intention of entering Cuban territorial waters must obtain permission in advance from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Vessels and persons illegally entering Cuban territorial waters or getting underway or departing from U.S. territorial waters with the intention of entering Cuban TTW, without the required permit may be subject to seizure of their vessel, civil and criminal penalties up to $25,000 per day, and 10 years in prison.
People who violate U.S. immigration laws and illegally bring foreign nationals into the country, or who attempt to do so, may be subject to arrest, vessel forfeiture, civil and criminal fines up to $250,000 per day, and five years in prison.
The advisory directs readers to a site by which they can request permission to enter Cuban waters.
The Coast Guard said in a separate release:
It is illegal for boaters to depart from the U.S. with the intent of transiting to Cuba for any purpose without a permit, and the waters are in the Florida Straits are unpredictable and dangerous.
The Coast Guard strongly urges boaters to not take to the seas as it could put the boaters life in danger, especially during hurricane season. In recent months, 20 Cuban migrants from two separate search and rescue cases could not be found in the Florida Straits after their rustic vessels capsized.
For the past week, Cubans have protested the island’s communist government. Southern Floridians — many of whom are of Cuban descent — took to the streets in support of the movement.
A group of pop stars and rappers based in Miami and Cuba recently collaborated on a song entitled “Patria y Vida,” which lambasts the Cuban government for its suppression of civil liberties. Many point to the song as a spark for the current protest movement.
“Patria y Vida” translates to “Fatherland and Life,” a direct challenge to Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara’s slogan “Patria o Muerte” — “Homeland or Death.”
“It’s over. No more lies! My people demand freedom. No more doctrines! Let’s no longer shout ‘Patria o Muerte,’ but ‘Patria y Vida,’” says one verse of the song. “Stop the blood from flowing for daring to think differently… Your time has expired, silence has been broken.”
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