A 35-year-old American on Thursday left Havana on a stand-up paddleboard in a bid to reach Florida — a journey he said he hoped would promote “peace and love” between Cuba and the United States.
“This trip is to promote peace and love and friendship between the people of Cuba and the United States, as well as a healthy lifestyle,” Benjamin Friberg said before leaving Havana’s Marina Hemingway.
Friberg, who hails from the US state of Tennessee, said he hoped to complete the 170-kilometer (105-mile) journey from the Cuban capital to Key West in about 20 hours.
“I’m not sure. It depends on the challenges I will face — waves, winds, current, all the variables,” he said, calling his attempt to cross the perilous, shark-infested Straits of Florida the first by paddleboard.
In the past two years, three swimmers have tried — and failed — to make the hazardous crossing.
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