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New powers to seize vessels in US territorial waters

By doina — last modified Apr 29, 2004 08:19 AM

Published: 2004-04-29 08:19:23
Topics: Cruising Information
Countries: Cuba , USA

On 26 February 2004, President Bush issued a new decree which grants the Secretary of Homeland Security the power to regulate the anchorage or movement of any vessel, US or foreign, which may be used or be suspected of being used for a voyage into Cuban waters. In addition the authorities are authorised to inspect any such vessel of any nationality in US territorial waters, to place guards on board, take full possession of any such vessel and remove the officers and crew. The principle impetus behind this decree is cited as the war on terror. Probably aimed at larger vessels, it could still be applied to that unlikely band of terrorists - cruising sailors.

An editorial in May 2004 Cruising World suggests the reason behind this decree is the need to court the anti-Castro Cuban Americans in Florida in the run up to the presidential election in which Florida is a key state.

The decree is published in full in May 2004 issue of Cruising World magazine.