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Cuban Exiles To Launch Flotilla Protesting Putin

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KEY WEST (CBSMiami/AP) —  A group of cuban exiles are headed out to sea Saturday in protest of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Cuba.

The group is also protesting Moscow’s potential for renewed military presence on the island.

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 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.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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