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Fla. Mayor set for Cuban makeshift raft trip

Posted at 11:28 AM, Mar 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-12 11:28:53-05

SANFORD — A town councilman in suburban Miami has invited a central Florida mayor to meet with Cuban exiles before attempting to return home from a visit to Cuba alone in a makeshift raft.

DeBary Mayor Clint Johnson plans to cross the Florida Straits next month without a motor. He says he wants to understand what Cuban migrants experience. The U.S. Coast Guard has urged him to reconsider.

Miami Lakes Councilman Manny Cid, the child of Cuban exiles, emailed Johnson this week to say that the migrants’ journeys are not calls to adventure but “very real pain and suffering.”

Johnson tells The Daytona Beach News-Journal that he’d like to accept Cid’s offer and plans to honor “the many who have made this journey before me.”

Johnson tested his raft on Lake Monroe this week.