The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued an advisory to any boaters in South Florida planning to take part in a flotilla supporting freedom for the Cuban people, noting they could face hefty fines or prison time if they cross into that country’s waters.
“It is illegal for boaters to depart with the intent to travel to Cuba for any purpose without a permit,” a boating advisory issued Thursday reads in bold block letters.
It goes on to warn that and “vessels or persons” which enter “Cuban territorial waters” would be subject to their boat being seized as well as the potential for civil and criminal fines of up to $25,000 per day “and 10 years in prison.”
The advisory adds that anyone violating U.S. immigration law by bringing foreign nationals back into the country could face fines of up to $250,000 a day and five years in prison.
The flotilla for boaters in South Florida was planned for early this week but has since been pushed back to Thursday. Organizers hope to see over 100 boats take part.
An organizer for the flotilla said the participants planned to go to international waters near the island, but not cross into Cuban waters.
“The purpose is to stay on the border, not trespassing, stay in international water and just let the Cuban people know we’re also fighting for their freedom, so once and for all they can be a free country,” one person planning to make the trip told CBS Miami.
But DHS wants to make sure the Floridians know they mean business when it comes to illegally crossing borders, threatening fines and jail time.
They also, The Hill reports, wanted to gently remind those supporting freedom in Cuba that “boaters may be put in danger by taking to the sea, especially with the potential for strong winds and waves during hurricane season.”
Last week, as demonstrators took to the streets of Cuba to protest against the Communist regime, DHS vowed they would not provide refuge to those seeking to escape, even, as CBS reports, “if they demonstrate fear of being persecuted or tortured.”
“Allow me to be clear: if you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, himself a Cuban immigrant, threatened.
News of the DHS crackdown on support for Cuban refugees prompted Senator Ted Cruz to jab, “The only immigrants Joe Biden and Kamala Harris don’t want to come to America are Cubans.”
Some of the largest anti-government protests in decades filled the streets last week with people shouting “liberty” and “yes we can” and waving American flags as they object to conditions created by the oppressive communist regime.
While DHS was warning of crossing into Cuban territory, Senator Cruz (R-TX) was actively suggesting at least two people make the journey.
“The thing that liberals never seem to understand if you go down to Key West is the rafts are only going in one direction,” Cruz said during a recent speech.
“Just once I want to see some left-wing socialist — I want to see Bernie Sanders, I want to see Elizabeth Warren, I want to see AOC go down to Key West, get on a raft, and sail 90 miles south to the socialist paradise,” he added.
Who among us would be willing to pay those fines?
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