NEAR CORAL GABLES, Fla. (WSVN) — A small group of boaters returned to South Florida after they lit up the night sky off the coast of Cuba with fireworks and flares in a show of support, as residents continue their fight for freedom in the island nation.

7News cameras captured the demonstrators’ vessels as they neared Matheson Hammock Park near Coral Gables, Saturday evening.

Participant Marcos Suarez spoke to 7News about his experience out at sea.

“It was just something where, like, it just gave us chills,” he said.

Local demonstrators made it their mission to travel on international boaters on Friday and get as close to Cuba as they could.

About 15 miles out from the island, the boaters got to work.​

Cellphone video posted to social media showed boaters setting off fireworks and launching flares.

“They’re going to see us. They’re going to see us, and they’re going to see that we’re there for them,” said organizer Osdany Veloz.

And they did.

From the island, some spotted the signs of support and recorded them on their phones.

While demonstrators remained miles away, they hope the Cuban people got the message loud and clear.

“They’re not alone,” said Veloz.

The demonstrators who took part in the flotilla thanked the U.S. Coast Guard for making their trip possible.

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