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Friday, June 13, 2014

Remember Victims of July 13, 1994 Tugboat Massacre and Demand Justice

"It’s important to realize that this is a process of truth telling, that’s very, very important. When you are dealing with a totalitarian regime, such as the Castro government, you have a culture of lies that you have to deal with.... Lies sustain authoritarian governments. Lies about the people themselves, lies about the people who are enemies. And by acknowledging our wounds we begin a process of truthfulness." - Father Robert Schreiter on reconciliation in Cuba (2012).

37men, women, and children killed on July 13, 1994
One month from today will mark 20 years that have passed since 37 men, women and children were massacred by agents of the Cuban government as they tried to find a better life in freedom. On the early morning hours of July 13, 1994 the "13 de Marzo" tugboat left Havana harbor bound for the United States only to be intercepted six miles from the Malecón by other tugs that rammed and sank it while being monitored by the Cuban coastguard.

 Over the past 19 years this day has been a time to remember and to organize actions for others to remember this crime and demand justice. This year is no different. How do you plan to remember the victims and continue the call for justice?

This is not about revenge. It is the pursuit of justice and truth through time which requires persistence and memory. This is a necessary component of national reconciliation.

Useful videos and links:

CUBA: The Sinking of the "13 de Marzo" Tugboat on 13 July 1994 / Amnesty International

REPORT Nº 47/96: CASE 11.436 VICTIMS OF THE TUGBOAT "13 DE MARZO" vs.CUBA October 16, 1996 / IACHR

Cuba: Cuban authorities should lift threats against peaceful protesters / Amnesty International

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