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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Open Letter to Cuban American Student Leaders

Dear Fellow Cuban American student leader,

13 days to spread the word, organize, and take peaceful action. Less than two weeks to raise awareness and organize activities and take peaceful action in the service of truth, memory and reconciliation. 
Four men were killed when the two planes they were flying in were shot down on a Saturday afternoon at 3:21pm and 3:27pm on February 24, 1996 over international airspace while engaged in a search and rescue flight for Cuban rafters. Their planes were destroyed by air-to-air missiles fired by a Cuban MiG-29 aircraft on the orders of Raul and Fidel Castro.  

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights September 29, 1999 in their Report on the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down held the Cuban government responsible for the murder of these four activists.
At Florida International University we will join hands for the 20th time at the main fountain on Modesto A. Maidique Campus as we have done for the past 19 years in a silent vigil spanning the time when two civilian planes were shot down over international airspace at 3:21pm and 3:27pm on February 24 ending the lives of Mario Manuel de la Peña (age 24), Pablo Morales (age 29), Carlos Costa (age 29), and Armando Alejandre Jr.  (age 45) .

Please let us know if you plan to hold an event on your campus. We will be compiling a list of campuses that will be holding a six minute silent vigil on February 24 between 3:21pm to 3:27pm.

Invite your friends to examine the evidence, and to let others know what happened 20 years ago on February 24, 1996. 

The Free Cuba Foundation

At dramatic meetings of the UN Security Council, the US has shared one of its most prized possessions, secret intelligence. [...] In 1996, the US played recordings of radio conversations between the Cuban interceptor pilots and the ground 1996 as they shot down two Brothers to the Rescue in a premeditated attack. Such electronic eavesdropping is achieved through specialized and top secret satellite and airborne surveillance platforms.

Listen to the Cuban pilots as they hunted and shot down the civilian planes here:  (In Spanish)

Before all the details were revealed Fidel Castro took responsibility for the shoot down but later backed off with other Cuban officials saying it was a terrible accident. The facts state otherwise. Here is the video of the interview. (In Spanish)

Years later audio of Raul Castro that also implicated him in the chain of command that decided to shoot down both planes was made public. (In Spanish)

 For more information on the Shootdown:

Brothers to the Rescue official page

Shootdown Victims 

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