The Seattle Times
Cuban exile firework show lights up Havana horizon
Red, white and gold balls of light shimmered low on the horizon off Havana's seafront Malecon boulevard Saturday night in a maritime fireworks display launched by Cuban exiles hoping to inspire protest.
The fireworks were clearly visible from the coast and lasted about an hour. People who saw it said they were mystified by its origin.
"It's curious, because you don't see that often on the Malecon," said Jose Antonio Camejo, who was fishing for red snapper from the seawall along with family members.
Told it was organized by Cuban exiles from Florida, he shrugged and said, "They must be celebrating something."
[JG: Yes, they were celebrating the welfare checks that they get from Obama for silliness like this!]
The small Florida nonprofit group the Democracy [Made in USA] Movement said earlier that they would park their vessels 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) from Havana, safely outside the 12-mile territorial water limits.
The exiles timed the show to coincide with a summer carnival that can draw thousands to the Malecon, and they called the show a peaceful display of solidarity with their compatriots.
Cuban authorities scaled back the carnival festivities after torrential rains Saturday soaked Havana and left huge puddles on the Malecon. Several hundred people still came out to laugh and canoodle on the seawall, and families queued up for sizzling barbecue chicken.
One young girl cried out the colors of the fireworks as they exploded: "yellow!" "white!" and "green!"
Like similar previous displays, the fireworks did not elicit any discernible protest from Havana residents.
But the shows are an irritation for the Communist-run government, which considers them provocative, subversive and even potentially dangerous. Cuban officials did not respond to requests for comment, but have criticized Washington in the past for not blocking the actions.
In 1996, the Cuban military shot down two small planes carrying exile activists, killing four people. Cuba maintains the aircraft violated the country's airspace, though the exiles deny that.
The exiles said he had been in contact with the U.S. Coast Guard, which has patrolled previous sea missions to guard against an international incident, and given assurances that they would remain outside the 12-mile maritime limit.
U.S. officials have said they don't encourage or condone such activities, but lack legal authority to block them.
JG: Since 1996 they have not crossed into Cuban territory. If they do: "Plomo con ellos."