Exiles Set To Protest Air Attack

NEW YORK -- Cuba and the United States exchanged warnings over plans by exile groups to take to the air and sea later this week to protest Cuba's downing of two civilian aircraft piloted by opponents of Fidel Castro.

But President Bill Clinton also warned Cuban exiles Thursday that while they could protest in international waters, if they tried to enter Cuban territory, the U.S. Coast Guard would stop them.

Havana said it would use all necessary means to counter violations of its territory and called on the United States to stop this Saturday's planned exile foray.

Clinton instead ordered the U.S. Coast Guard to escort the participants to the area off Cuba's coast where MiG jets downed two civilian planes last week.

Cuban exiles in Miami plan to sail to the spot where two unarmed Cessna airplanes were attacked by Cuban fighter planes last Saturday. They will drop wreaths into the water as a tribute to the four who died in the attack.

In Havana, senior Foreign Ministry official Carlos Fernandez de Cossio said the United States had the legal and technical means to stop any violation of Cuban territory and should do so.