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Flotilla 1995 July
6 Reports & 2 Flyers


UPDATE: CIB-306 [number conflict]
DATE: July 5, 1995
DETECTIVE: L. Rodriguez
TELEPHONE: [deleted]

The following information has been received by this office:

On July 13, 1995, representatives from various Cuban exile organizations (inclusive of Cuban National Commission, Brothers to the Rescue and Cuban Refugee Transit House) will host a flotilla that will travel from Key West, Florida to approximately 12 miles off of Cuba's northern shore.

This event is being held on the anniversary of the sinking of "13 de Mayo" , a Cuban tug boat which was sunk by Cuban government authorities one yea ago and as a result of which a total of 43 Cuban Nationals lost their lives.

Recent information received from various sources has revealed the intention of several organizers to create an international incident during the course of the aforementioned event.  Source statements have revealed that Ramon Saul Sanchez (head of Cuban National Commission) and Jose Basulto (Head of Brothers to the Rescue) are presently involved in an effort to obtain a vessel which will be utilized solely to enter Cuban territorial waters and attempt to disembark in the Port of Havana.

At present time, the aforementioned individuals are coordinating a radio marathon at a local spanish radio station for the purpose of obtaining the purchase of said vessel.  In the event that any U.S. registered vessel involved in the flotilla attempts to enter Cuba territorial waters, there is a probability that said vessel will be challenged or boarded by Cuban Coast Guard authorities.  As a result of such boarding, crew members could be suggested to a brief detention or possible arrest and prosecution.

Due to the prominence of participating organizations leaders, any detention or arrest of Cuban Americans by Cuban government representatives will be viewed as a direct affront to South Florida's exile community and may lead to large scale demonstrations in Dade County.

Below are listed several related activities which will take place in connection with the flotilla.

July 11, 1995-Miami
3:00 P.M.: Members of Cuban Youth Organizations will light up a torch at the 2506 Brigade Monument (8th Street, S.W. 13th Avenue) and will carry same to Our Lady of Charity Church.

4:00 P.M.: Cuban exile women will commence a vigil at Our Lady of Charity Church.

6:00 P.M.: The flotilla lead vessel will depart from Our Lady of Charity in route to Key West, several smaller vessels will follow to the Port of Miami, Lighthouse.

July 13, 1995-Key West
5:00 A.M.: The flotilla will depart Key West in route to a location approximately 12 miles off of Cuba's shores.

2:00 P.M.: Several vessels, inclusive of the lead vessel will enter Cuban territory waters and attempt to arrive at the actual location where the "13 of March" vessel was sunk.

10:00 P.M.: The flotilla will return to Key West.

Due to the sensitivity of this event, the Criminal Intelligence Section will monitor all related activities and will forward additional information in an expeditious manner.

FLYER [In Spanish]
FLYER [In Spanish]

DATE: August 4, 1995
DETECTIVE: L. Rodriguez
TELEPHONE: [deleted]

On September 2, 1995, Democracia, the newly formed coalition of Cuban exile dissident groups will sponsor a flotilla which will travel from Key West, Florida to within 12 miles off of Cuba's coast.

Based on the media attention and community interest developed over a similar event which occurred on July 13, 1995, the Criminal Intelligence Section has monitored on going plans for said flotilla.

The following related events will occur in the near future:

1.  Friday August 4, 1995   8:00 p.m.

A meeting for member organizations and the general public will be hosted by Democracia at West Miami City Hall, located at 901 S.W. 62nd Avenue, West Miami.  Details for the upcoming event will be discussed at that meeting.

2.  Wednesday August 9, 1995 8:00 p.m.

Richard A. Nuccio, Senior Policy Advisor for the Department of State Inter-American Affairs, will host a Law Enforcement Agency Conference at the City of Miami Police Department (mini-station), located at 22nd Avenue, West Flagler Street).  Mr. Nuccio will discuss several aspects directly related to the upcoming flotilla.
The Criminal Intelligence Bureau will disseminate any new information expeditiously.

DATE: August 14, 1995
DETECTIVE: L. Rodriguez
TELEPHONE: [deleted]

On August 8, 1995, Arturo Cobo, head of the Cuban Rafter Transit House in Key West, Florida, was met by Monroe County Sheriff's Office authorities and he provided the following statement:
Mr. Cobo and others heads of the various Cuban exile organizations are not in agreement with Flotilla organizers and most likely will not participate in the upcoming flotilla.
Mr. Cobo furthers states that in the event that a participating vessel or aircraft is attacked by the Cuban government military, Key West as well as Miami, will experience large anti-Castro demonstrations.

Mr. Cobo concluded by saying that the flotilla would not be comprised of many vessels since the sponsors have not obtained sufficient funding for their project.  Furthermore, he does not think any weapon shipments were involved but a confrontation with Cuban Coast Guard vessels is inevitable.

On August 9, 1995, Richard A Nuccio, Senior Policy Advisor for U.S. Department of State, held a conference at City of Miami Police Department and revealed the following information.

As a result of the migratory decisions taken by the Clinton administration on May 2, 1995, a total of 80 Cuban rafters have been returned to Cuba by U.S. authorities.

Though the Cuban exile community residing in South Florida has expressed its discontent with such migratory measures, Mr. Nuccio believes that certain reforms within Cuba (though small in nature) will lead to future agreements and the establishment of a democratic government in that island.

Mr. Nuccio emphasized the U.S. Attorney General's Office concern with ongoing plans for an upcoming flotilla by Cuban exile organizations.  Such concerns have been aggrandized by the following recent release from U.S. Department of State:


The Department of State warns that entering Cuban territory, territorial waters or airspace without authorization from the Cuban government may cause one to be subject to arrest or other enforcement action by Cuban authorities for violation of Cuban law.

Generally speaking, under international law each coastal state may claim a 12 mile territorial sea.  A country's sovereignty extends to the airspace over its territorial sea.  Cuba claims a 12 mile territorial sea.  Hence, any vessel or aircraft that goes inside the 12 mile limit off Cuba would be inside jurisdiction of the Cuban government.

Furthermore, under international agreement, Cuba provides air traffic control services up to the 25th parallel, an area well beyond it territorial jurisdiction.  As required under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, to which the United States is a signatory, aircraft transuding another country's controlled airspace must follow established international rules of the air including positive communication with the providing air traffic service and submission of a flight plan.

In a public statement issued on July 14, the Cuban government asserted its "firm determination" to take action necessary to defend Cuban territorial sovereignty and to prevent unauthorized incursions into Cuban territorial waters and airspace.  The statement continued, "Once more (the Cuban government) warns that any boa from abroad can be sunk and any airplane downed."  The Department takes this statement seriously.

The freedom to travel, recognized by international agreement, does not give anyone the right to enter a particular country, including Cuba, without prior authorization.  All travelers must comply with the immigration, customs and other applicable laws of the country concerned.

If persons enter Cuba territorial waters or airspace without prior permission, they may place themselves and others at serious personal risk.  If they are detained, the ability of the United States Government to assist them would be very limited.  The United States government cannot obtain the release of U.S. citizens arrested abroad.  Cuban authorities sometimes deny consular access by U.S. officials to American citizens of Cuban birth.  In addition, there would be very little, if anything, the United States government could do to assist persons arrested in Cuba who are not American citizens.

The Department of State urges all persons who wish to travel to Cuba or to enter Cuban territorial waters or airspace to do so using safe, orderly and legal means, and to avoid unnecessary risk to themselves and others.

On August 10, 1995, Sergeant Joe Lopez, Detective Luis Rodriguez and City of Miami authorities met with Ramon Saul Sanchez, leader of the Democracia Movement and discussed the groups ongoing plans for a flotilla and its possible repercussions.  Mr. Sanchez revealed the following:

Mr. Sanchez is convinced that Richard Nuccio's policies towards Cuba are antiquated and fall short of his group's desire to bring about a positive change of government in the island.

Mr. Sanchez cites that Nuccio's plan does not set a definite time goal for such changes to occur and he points out Fidel Castro's inability to democratize by permitting a free market economy and the establishment of independent political parties.

Mr. Sanchez added that plans for the upcoming flotilla will continue as planned and he expects larger turnout than the prior showing on July 13, 1995.  Mr. Sanchez reiterated his organization's passive philosophy; however, he warned that if hampered by Federal Government regulations that would seek to derail such plans, he would call for local acts of disobedience as a form of protest.

Mr. Sanchez will remain in contact with the Criminal Intelligence Bureau and will update such of any changes of strategy.

On August 10, 1995, the Democracia group met at City of West Miami (City Hall) and discussed the following subjects:

A support march is on the planning stages and would concur with the department of the flotilla to international waters.

Up to date a total of 50-75 vessels are expected to participate in the flotilla.

As previously stated by group leaders, a campaign has begun seeking to acquire as many as possible zodiac style rafts.  The ultimate usage of such crafts continues to be a mystery.

Ramon S. Sanchez is presently in New Jersey were he has sought support for his movement.

Humberto Sanchez has requested law enforcement assistance in the form of security checks in order to prevent the boarding of flotilla vessels by undesirables.

As previously planned a strict control of flotilla regulations prohibits any weapons or explosives to be brought onboard any participating vessel.

Dr. Carol of Miami's Medical Team revealed that his group will participate in the flotilla.  One vessel will carry a team of doctors and nurses while speed boat will be utilize for possible injuries.

Caesar Ray of Commandos L. was present at this meeting.

Pedro Gonzalez AKA: "Chenequene" an outspoken Cuban exile with a long history of participation in rallies and demonstrations requested a stronger message be sent to the community.  Gonzalez seeks to enroll the assistance of local radio stations in order to publicize the event.

The following P.O. Box has seen opened for collection of funds and donations: P.O. Box #0014082039, P.O. Box 440661, 33144, Flotilla, Cuba.

The Criminal Intelligence Bureau will disseminate any new information expeditiously.

DATE: 08/23/95
DETECTIVE: L. Rodriguez
TELEPHONE: [deleted]

The following information has been received by this office:

As reported on prior updates, on September 2, 1995, a group of Cuban exile organizations will sponsor a flotilla that will travel from Key West, Florida to approximately 12 miles off of Varadero Beach, Cuba (located approximately 75 miles east of Havana City).

As a result, the Cuban government has increased its military presence on or about the Varadero Beach area.  In previous communiqué, the Cuban government informed the U.S. Department of State that violation of Cuban waters or air space will result in military retaliation against such culprits.  As demonstrated during an earlier flotilla, the Cuban government's coast guard and air force will play a major role in preventing foreign aircraft or vessels from entering their sovereign territory.

At present time, it is known that several Cuban exile organizations are planing to stage acts of sabotage against Cuban government installations.  Such acts though independent from flotilla plans are due to occur on September 2, 1995.

As a result, representatives from ABC Charters Inc. have expressed their concerns for passenger safety since one of their flights will take place during that date.  These concerns have been brought to the attention of the U.S. State Department and Airport District personnel should be aware of the same, in the event of possible acts of terrorism against the Charter Co. or LACSA airlines.

The following flight information has been confirmed.

ABC will utilize a LACSA Airlines jet during its September 2 flight.  LACSA air flight counter (located between concourse B-C) will be utilized for ticketing; however, a flight gate has not been awarded as of date.

DATE: 04/22/96
TELEPHONE: [deleted]

On Wednesday, May 1, 1996, leaders of the Democracy Movement announced that a flotilla of Cuban exile vessels will sail to the territorial limits of Cuba, to protest labor conditions on the island.

Democracy Movement founder Ramon Saul Sanchez said the boats will leave from Key West, weather permitting, and stop at the 12th mile limit off Cuba.  The flotilla plans to reach that point when the Cuban government is convening its annual May 1st rally in Havana.

The rally in Havana will convene thousands of Cubans in the island to celebrate the annual "Workers Day."  The flotilla was organized to coincide with the annual event, to provoke the Cuban community in the island to rebel against the Cuban government.

A strong possibility exist that local Cuban exiles could join the demonstration in support of the democracy Movement.  No direct information has been received as of this date, however, the Criminal Intelligence Bureau will monitor this event.

DATE: July 12, 1996
TELEPHONE: [deleted]

Plans for a flotilla sponsored by the Democracia Movement are still in effect.  The flotilla will travel from Key West, Florida, on July 13, 1996, in order to conduct a mourning ceremony in international waters.  Ramon Saul Sanchez, leader of the movement has stated that the flotilla, to date, consists of 25 registered vessels and 9 small aircrafts.

Intelligence sources have revealed, that leaders of the movement have expressed their intention to maintain the vessels outside Cuban waters and to obey the Presidential decree.  However, past statements from Sanchez have hinted that designated vessels from the flotilla might cross the 12 mile limit.

In the event that any vessel violates the decree, they could be subject to arrest from local or federal authorities in Key West.  This might initiate sympathy demonstrations in Dade County.

The criminal Intelligence will continue to monitor the event and disseminate any new information expeditiously.

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