The Michigan Daily-Friday, May 16, 1980-Page 11
From AP and UPI
KEY WEST, Fla.-the U.S. government threatened
heavy fines and prison terms yesterday for boat cap-
tains defying its order to halt the illegal "Freedom
Flotilla" from Cuba. Dozens of boats were seized as
refugees still streamed into Florida aboard crowded
Customs agents reported late'yesterday that about
60 boats carrying more than 2,700 refugees had been
seized since President Carter announced the crack-
down late Wednesday. That brought the total number
of refugees arriving here in the last three weeks to
AS THE BOATS tied up, Customs agents slapped
each one with a bright red seizure sticker and served
its captain with a notice he was subject to a fine of
$1,000 per refugee for violating immigration laws.
In another development, the government chartered
four commercial boats and sent them to Key West to
await further orders for a U.S.-sponsored program to
carry refugees from Cuba.
Cmdr. Samuel Dennis, head of the Key West Coast
Guard station, said the first ship, the 75-foot, 110-
passenger Impossible Dream, was due to arrive late
yesterday. The ships will remain here until Cuba
agrees to conditions Carter set for the program to
IN WASHINGTON, the Treasury Department said
anyone caught helping Cubans come here illegally
could face a $50,000 fine and a 10-year prison senten-
Treasury moved to prohibit all "transactions
related to the transportation of Cuban nationals to the
United States" by amending the Cuban Asset Control
The regulations were put in place in July 1963, four
years after Fidel Castro assumed power in Cuba and
two years after diplomatic relations were broken.
THE GOVERNMENT began moving against boat
owners and captains after Carter declared the United
States could not be used as a "dumping ground" for
Cuban criminals and refugees.
In his statement Wednesday, the president said the
ragtag boatlift was too dangerous, and ordered that
no more boats leave Florida and that those in the
Cuban port of Mariel return empty.
His order was mocked by the official Cuban
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