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Demonstration Off The Coast of Cuba
[MIAMI-DADE POLICE DEPARTMENT]
CRIMINAL INTELLIGENCE BUREAU
C.I.B. UPDATE 98-40
July 15, 1998
CUBAN EXILES PLANNED PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION OFf THE COAST OF CUBA
On July 7, 1998, Ramon Saul Sanchez (Director of Movimiento Democracia) Luis Felipe Rojas (Spokesman for Movimiento Democracia) and Norman Del Valle (Air Group and Public Relations person for Movimiento Democracia) were interviewed regarding the up-coming flotilla.
They provided the following information: They plan to meet at Conch Harbor marina, Key West, Florida on July 17, 1998, and depart later that evening or early morning July 18, 1998, to hold a peaceful demonstration off the coast of Cuba.
They claim to have approximately 12 vessels and 10 airplanes which will be used to transport demonstrators when asked if he was planing to enter Cuban waters, Mr. Sanchez stated that he was not prepared to answer that question.
He did state that it was his right, as a Cuban, to peacefully enter his country without any U.S. interference. He also expressed his displeasure for the presidential decree, signed by President Clinton February 24, 1996, which prohibits him from freely traveling to Cuba.
Mr. Sanchez stated that he previously traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with members of the Department of State and National Security Counsel. They discussed several topics concerning the upcoming flotilla and several other political matters. It was brought to his attention that if he were to cross into Cuban waters, he could risk being arrested and prosecuted in the United States.
He stated that he was aware of the repercussions if he were to cross into Cuban waters, but insisted it was his right, as a Cuban, to freely travel to his country of birth. Mr. Sanchez claimed that he turned down two grants from The Department of State for $750,000.00 an $300,000.00, respectively, to use to back the dissident movement within Cuba and for humanitarian reasons.
Mr. Sanchez stated that the unmanned raft his organization recently sent to Cuba was a symbol of humanitarian brotherhood. The raft contained diapers, powdered milk, toothpaste, shampoo, baby bottles, pencils, and Democracia T-shirts.
The raft had a thirty foot rope attached to a balloon with the word "Democracia" inscribed on it. He added that a dissident in Cuba told him that the balloon was visible from the Malecon in Havana, Cuba.
Sanchez was evasive in acknowledging whether he planned to enter Cuban waters but stated that his planned activities will cost the Cuban Government a great deal of money and man power which it cannot afford to spend. He also acknowledged that his activities would cause a burden to the U.S. Government.
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