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Monday, July 13, 2015

Scenes and Reflections from the July 13 Vigil for July's Cuban Martyr's at FIU

On July 13, 2015 at Florida International University at the main fountain students, Free Cuba Foundation members and relatives of some of the 37 victims of the July 13, 1994 tugboat massacre gathered in a silent vigil for 13 minutes and afterwards gave interviews to local media.  Jorge Garcia, who lost 14 family members on that day including his son and grandson was present. He reiterated his call for justice while rejecting hatred

Students and activists gathered together after the vigil

Also joining in the observance was Ramon Saul Sanchez, of the Democracy Movement. 20 years ago on July 13, 1995 he led a thirteen boat flotilla that entered Cuban waters to journey to the spot where the "13 de marzo" tugboat was attacked and sunk in order to hold religious services for the departed. However, Cuban gunboats partially crushed the hull of the lead boat forcing the flotilla to turn around.

Jorge Garcia, who lost 14 relatives on July 13, 1994, spoke to media
 The event was organized by the Free Cuba Foundation (FCF) and announced over this blog and through other social media. Three past presidents of FCF were present at the vigil today, Augusto Monge, John Suarez and Pedro Ross. Each of them during their tenure organized silent vigils on July 13 in memory of the victims of the Castro regime's repression. Rey Anthony, age 20, initiated the vigil today at midday and thirteen minutes later thanked all who attended for their presence ending the vigil.

Silent vigil at FIU on July 13, 2015

Jorge Garcia thanked FIU students for holding the vigil and continuing the demand for justice in a nonviolent and civic manner.

Jorge Garcia and Rey Anthony at the silent vigil at FIU
The event today marked a change for the Free Cuba Foundation after twenty one years of silent vigils for the July 13, 1994 "13 de marzo" tugboat massacre. Sadly, today the vigil was also dedicated to the memory of  Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante both murdered by state security agents on July 22, 2012. Oswaldo Payá had spoken out denouncing the tugboat massacre over
the years while still in Cuba, and paid the ultimate price for speaking truth to power.  We will not forget and we will continue to demand justice and hold actions to raise awareness on the crimes of the Castro regime.

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