Cuban exiles to commemorate 20th anniversary of tugboat drownings

MIAMI (AP) -- The 20th anniversary of the deaths of 41 Cubans trying to cross the Florida Straits is being remembered with a flotilla.

The Miami Democracy Movement plans to announce details Thursday for a July event commemorating the tragedy.

The drownings occurred when a group of some 70 people boarded a stolen tugboat on July 13, 1994, in Havana, headed for the United States. Survivors say Cuban coast guard vessels pursued them and repeatedly rammed their boat about seven miles offshore, spraying them with fire hoses and refusing to respond to some cries for help. The victims included nearly a dozen children.

Cuban officials maintain the coast guard vessel accidentally crashed into the tugboat. At least 31 people survived.

Print this article Back to Top