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Cuban exiles to launch flotilla protesting Putin

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Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2014 3:01 am

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — A small group of Cuban exiles is seabound to protest Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Cuba and Moscow's potential for renewed military presence there.

Saturday's flotilla was planned to commemorate the drowning of Cuban migrants who fled the communist island in 1994. Survivors said Cuban coast guard vessels rammed their boat off the coast of Havana, spraying them with fire hoses.

Organizers added Putin to their objections, noting the Soviet Union provided military aid to Cuba throughout the Cold War.

The group is to leave Saturday from Key West and anchor in international waters off the coast of Cuba.

Putin is touring Latin America en route to Brazil for the ceremonial hand-off of World Cup hosting duties. Russia hosts next in 2018.

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Follow Laura Wides-Munoz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lwmunoz

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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