Cuban exiles return home after lackluster laser protest
November 2, 1997
Web posted at: 10:56 p.m. EST (0356 GMT)
KEY WEST, Florida (CNN) -- Cuban exiles returned safely to the United States on Sunday morning after trying to stage an unusual pro-democracy laser show from a chartered boat in waters off Cuba.
Protest organizers called the event a success, but the message they tried to write in the sky with laser beams was barely seen in Havana.
"Even if a slim ray of light was seen in Cuba we have raised an expectation on the part of the people of Cuba that we are getting a little closer to them," Democracy Movement leader Ramon Sanchez said on the Key West dock where supporters and relatives greeted the 40 returning protesters.
Havana residents failed to comply with the Miami-based Democracy Movement's call to gather on an esplanade Saturday evening to bang pots and pans while the laser "pro-democracy" message lit the sky.
The trip was the 23rd for the anti-Castro group known for sending flotillas of private boats to the fringes of Cuban territorial waters.
Reuters contributed to this report.