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Boaters going to Cuba could face fines and jail time; locals demand action from D.C.

Posted at 8:19 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 09:21:48-04

HENDRY COUNTY, Fla. — From Clewiston all the way to the White House. Johnny Navarro is making his voice heard for Cuba.

“However you look at this, we have to help Cuba in some way,” he said.

It’s the most he can do from this side of the water, since Americans can face fines and prison time, if they boat to Cuba territorial seas without the proper permits, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Navarro says it’s not fair for people who just want to help.

“They should be backed by our government. There should be an actual plan set in place. The government needs to work with these people. There’s obviously a want and a need to go to Cuba,” sad Navarro.

But, his efforts already have the attention of local and national leaders. Clewiston commissioners shouted him out in Monday’s meeting, and passed a resolution to show support for Cubans fighting for their civil rights.

Florida Congressman Mario Diaz Balart shared what action steps the white house can take to help Cubans. Including: unblock and expand Cubans' internet access, impose sanctions on those committing human rights abuses, denounce the illegitimacy of Cuba’s dictatorship, and end trade with the Cuban military.

Navarro’s hoping this will be a start for leaders across the state to also take action.