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Friday, July 15, 2016

FCF organizes 13 minute silent vigils at FIU and at the Cuban Embassy in Washington DC on July 13th

"State crimes are never an issue exclusive to the families of the victims." - Rosa Maria Payá Acevedo, protesting in front of the Cuban Interests Section on 7/10//14

Free Cuba Foundation members together with Rosa Maria Payá hold vigil at FIU
Once again on July 13th young activists gathered at 12 noon in silence for 13 minutes to remember and continue the demand for justice started 22 years ago at Florida International University.  In front of the Cuban embassy in Washington DC another group of activists gathered at 6:30pm for a 13 minute moment of silence.  On the same day activists in Cuba and the Democracy Movement at the Our Lady of Charity (La Ermita) in Miami held observances of this anniversary of a murderous and criminal act ordered by the Castro regime.

Cuban pro-democracy activists hold 13 minute vigil next to the Cuban Embassy in DC
 None have forgotten that on July 13, 1994 at three in the morning three extended Cuban families set out for a better life aboard the "13 de Marzo" tugboat from Havana, Cuba and were massacred in a heinous crime committed by the Castro regime. The most extensive international report on the the events that took place was prepared by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. A Cuban women who lost 14 relatives, including her 10 year old son, Juan Mario Gutiérrez García described what she experienced.

María Victoria García Suarez and her son Juan Mario
 María Victoria García SuarezNo, they never told us to stop.  Then what they did was to shoot water at us.  Then the time came when we saw that we could not go on because it was going to be fatal and we stopped because the water was getting in.  Then we stopped and we told them:  "Look, we're turning back, we have already stopped, and they saw that we had stopped, and it was then that they split the side and turned the boat  around."  When they turned you around, what happened to you?  Those of  us on deck, we all went under and the boat sank immediately, but those of us in the water tried to get to the surface.  It was very deep.  I was carrying my son, I was holding him, I did not let go of him and then I pulled him up, but I don't know how to swim, then I came up but I went under again.  Then when I came up there was a woman who had drowned, she was floating beside me, then I grabbed her and carried my son--the waves were high--then  I could­n't... I couldn't, he had already drowned... 
This atrocity was not an aberration of the Cuban dictatorship but part of its totalitarian DNA. The men responsible for giving the orders and carrying them out 22 years later have still not had to answer for this crime.  On July 13, 2016 activists in Cuba, in Miami and Washington DC gathered in silent protest to remember those who were killed, their names and how many were just children and youth who never got to live out their lives. They remembered the words of Cuban martyr Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas from March 18, 2005 in  El Nuevo Herald:
“In Cuba there are missing and it is known who has disappeared them, the latter are heroes for the government"..."There are more than 20 murdered children waiting to be claimed and mothers and grandmothers who were not allowed to look for them when they were killed off the coast of Havana.”
On July 13, 2016 they remembered those who died, their names and how many were just children and youth who never got to live out their lives 22 long years ago. They also remembered that Oswaldo Payá who had spoken out for the "13 de marzo" tugboat massacre victims was himself murdered along with youth leader Harold Cepero on July 22, 2012.

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