MIAMI (WSVN) - A flotilla of vessels have gathered near Bayside Marina in downtown Miami to demonstrate in support of the protests happening in Cuba.
7Skyforce HD hovered over the demonstration that included boats and personal watercrafts, just after 4:30 p.m., Wednesday. Aerial footage showed some vessels with American and Cuban flags flying in the wind.
“I’m Cuban, born and raised there since I was 11 years old,” organizer Jorge Lopez said, “came to this country because I had no freedom, so that’s what we’re fighting for.”
Lopez said as of Tuesday, he has not been able to reach his family on the island, and that is part of the reason he wants to try to hold a demonstration closer to Cuba.
“The plan today is to get an approval from the Coast Guard to go out and be as close as possible to the shore of Cuba and get flares out to let the Cuban people know we’re there,” Lopez said.
The U.S. Coast Guard has warned people against making the trip because of how dangerous it is.
However, organizers said they expect to have over 100 boats join in on the demonstration.
“As of right now, we got 67,” Lopez said. “We’re trying to get as close to 200 boats as possible.”
Lopez added that his people have been oppressed for decades, and now is the time for change.
“Viva Cuba libre! And the freedom for our country,” Lopez said from on board his vessel.
Organizers said they do not know when they will make the trip down to Cuba, but they hope it comes as soon as possible.
“Now, they have taken the risks,” Armando Mesa said. “They’ve been brave enough to step up and to risk their lives. We can’t let that go.”
Hours later, a group of demonstrators participating in a separate protest marched down Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami in support of the Cuban people.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.