Members of the exile organization Democracy Movement plan to hold a floating fireworks show for the Cuban people on Friday night, a move that Cuban leaders believe is nothing more than a U.S.-backed attempt to destabilize the communist island.
Arranged aboard a large floating flotilla the group has set sail for Key West where they will set up in international waters just 12.5 miles from Havana.
The groups fireworks will then be shot 1,000 feet into a partly cloud sky where organizers say they will still be visible from the shorts of the communist country.
As the fireworks begin to display activists in Cuba are calling for a pot-banging rally at the seawall.
Meanwhile Cuban President Raul Castro has not said anything about the flotilla while state media has called the fireworks display and the group Democracy Movement a “terrorist and provocative organization.”
According to the state-run media the group has used 17 flotillas in the past, in several cases entering Cuban waters and in one case sneaking explosives onto the island.
Cuban officials also attempted to use another scare tactic, stating that the fireworks could pose a danger to airplane flights.
Speaking out against Cuba’s claims a rep for the agency notes:
“We would like to provoke their reflection, their thoughts on these issues,” he said. “We don’t see how this could be seen in any way that increases tensions.”
The group also revealed that they allegedly met with the U.S. Department of State and the flotilla was sanctioned by the Obama administration to “tweak the communist government.”
In the meantime the State Department confirmed the meet but said they did not give their blessing.
State Department spokesman William Ostick revealed:
“We have urged the Democracy Movement and the Cuban government to exercise caution and restraint” during the fireworks show.”
“We have also made it clear to Cuban authorities as well as participants in this event that the U.S. government would punish any violation of U.S. laws.”
A U.S. Coast Guard boat will follow the floatilla but only to ensure that all international laws are followed in international waters.
[Image via ShutterStock.com]