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Monday, February 25, 2019

Silent Vigils for Justice for Victims of Castroism in Opa-locka, Washington DC on Sunday and today in Miami

We Remember.

Silent vigil for Brothers to the Rescue victims today at Florida International University
Silent vigils held yesterday in Opa-locka, Washington DC and today in Miami at Florida International University (FIU) with friends and family members of Armando Alejandre, Jr., Carlos Costa, Mario de la Peña, and Pablo Morales, Brothers to the Rescue martyrs, killed on February 24, 1996 and other victims of Castroism.

Silent vigil for Brothers to the Rescue in front of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C.
 Vigils in Washington D.C. in front of the Cuban Embassy and at FIU started at 3:21pm and concluded at 3:27pm. The times the two planes were shot down by a Cuban MiG.

Members of Brothers to the Rescue in Opa-locka remember their martyred brethren

Please send us any pictures or selfies of your own ceremony. Even if it is one person that organized the event. We will share it over our social media platforms.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Where were you when Cuban prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo died nine years ago today?

"October 20, 2003 [Orlando Zapata] was dragged along the floor of Combinado del Este Prison by prison officials after requesting medical attention, leaving his back full of lacerations." - Amnesty International, January 25, 2004

Orlando Zapata Tamayo, May 15, 1967 – February 23, 2010
Do you even know who Orlando Zapata Tamayo was?

Orlando Zapata Tamayo was a Cuban bricklayer and human rights defender who worked with human rights defenders Oscar Elias Biscet, and Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas in separate campaigns respectively to educate Cubans on human rights and to reclaim those rights in the Project Varela petition drive.

He was imprisoned in 2003 and continuously beaten and tortured for seven years for continuing his defiance of the dictatorship and defense of human rights behind bars. In late 2009 in order to protest mistreatment he went on hunger strike and prison officials responded by taking his water away in order to break his spirit. Instead they killed him. Amnesty International said "Cuban authorities responsible for activist's death on hunger strike."

Cuban human rights defender and martyr Orlando Zapata Tamayo
The uproar caused by his death was a key factor in the later release over the course of 2010 and 2011 of the remaining prisoners of conscience imprisoned since 2003.

Returning to the original question in abbreviated form: "Where were you the day Orlando Zapata Tamayo died?"

The Canadian punk rock band I.H.A.D. asked the question in a song simply titled "Orlando Zapata" and we after requesting their permission produced the video below accompanying their song.

On Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 3:00pm sharp join us at the Cuban Embassy in Washington, DC to protest this and other crimes of the Castro regime. Ni1Mas! Not1More

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

First Poster for #Feb24SilentProtest + #SilentVigilForJustice on #24F for Castro regime victims

Not One more (Not1+) extrajudicial killing, Not1+ political prisoner, Not1+ illegitimate vote, Not1+ year of dictatorship, Not1+ year of Castro regime meddling in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and elsewhere.


#Feb24SilentProtest + #SilentVigilForJustice

Where: Cuban Embassy
       2630 16th St NW, Washington,DC
When: 3:00pm on February 24th

Why: Time to say to the Castro regime Ni1+(Not1+):

Not1+ illegitimate vote,
Not1+ political prisoner
Not1+ extrajudicial killing,
Not1+ year of dictatorship in Cuba,
Not1+ year of Castro regime meddling in Venezuela, Nicaragua & elsewhere.

   Yes to justice, truth, reconciliation, and free and fair elections.

For more information visit here

Sunday, February 17, 2019

#Feb24SilentProtest + #SilentVigilForJustice at Cuban Embassy in Washington, DC on February 24th for Castro regime's victims

"To forget the victims means to kill them a second time. So I couldn't prevent the first death. I surely must be capable of saving them from a second death." - Elie Wiesel

What: #Feb24SilentProtest & Vigil for BTTR shoot down victims
When: Gather Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 3:00pm Vigil starts promptly at 3:21pm
Where: Cuban Embassy in Washington, DC
            2630 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Five years ago in February of 2014 on Venezuela's national youth day the Maduro regime gunned down students peacefully protesting in the streets of Venezuela. The killings have continued to the present day. 

Nine years ago on February 23, 2010 human rights defender, and Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, Orlando Zapata Tamayo died on hunger strike after years of torture and mistreatment by Castro regime agents. Political prisoners continue to suffer in Cuban prisons today.

Let us also take this upcoming Sunday, February 24th at 3:00pm not only to say "No" to the illegitimate referendum in Cuba, but to say "No" to dictatorship, and "No" to the continued impunity in Cuba and Venezuela. Friends of freedom around the world please join us in calling on the Castro regime to stop meddling and get out of Venezuela, Nicaragua and bring those responsible for gross and systematic human rights abuses in Cuba to justice.

Also at the Cuban Embassy in Washington DC there will be a vigil hosted by the Free Cuba Foundation between 3:21pm and 3:27pm the times that two Brothers to the Rescue planes, flying through international airspace searching for rafters, were destroyed by air-to-air missiles fired by Cuban MiGs on Raul Castro's orders. 

Four individuals were murdered twenty three years ago and their names are Armando Alejandre Jr. (age 45), Carlos Alberto Costa (29), Mario Manuel de la Peña (24), and Pablo Morales (29). The four men were murdered in an act of state terrorism by the Castro regime on February 24, 1996 while they sought to save Cuban lives. 

Fact Sheet on February 24, 1996 Brothers to the Rescue Shoot down 

February 24, 1996 shoot down was an act of state terrorism that blew two civilian aircraft out of the sky with air to air missiles while in international airspace after regime planned the act months beforehand with its espionage network in the United States.
 FACT 1: By definition: Terrorism is the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear)  

FACT 2: Cuba is responsible for violating the right to life (Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) to the detriment of Carlos Costa, Pablo Morales, Mario De La Peña, and Armando Alejandre, who died as a result of the direct actions of its agents on the afternoon of 24 February 1996 while flying through international airspace.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights September 29, 1999 Report on the Merits

FACT 3: Cuba is responsible for violating the right to a fair trial (Article XVIII of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) to the detriment of the relatives of Carlos Costa, Pablo Morales, Mario De La Peña, and Armando Alejandre, in that to date the Cuban authorities have not conducted an exhaustive investigation with a view toward prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators and have not indemnified those same relatives for the damage they suffered as a result of those illicit acts.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights September 29, 1999 Report on the Merits
FACT 4: In Alejandre v. Republic of Cuba, 996 F.Supp. 1239 (S.D.Fla. 1997), a federal district court awarded the families of three of the four occupants of the “ Brothers to the Rescue” planes shot down by Cuba in 1996 a total of $187.7 million in damages against Cuba.
Lawsuits Against State Supporters of Terrorism: An Overview by Jennifer K. Elsea
FACT 5: WASP spy network was involved. One of the “illegal officers” (Gerardo Hernandez) was convicted of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder based on his role in the February 24, 1996, shoot-down of two unarmed civilian aircraft in international airspace by Cuban Air Force jet fighters, which resulted in the deaths of four people, three of them U.S. citizens.
Department of Justice on Obama Commutations
FACT 6: Brothers to the Rescue had spotted and saved thousands of rafters in the Florida Straits and was engaged in such a mission on that day. The one plane that skirted the boundary briefly was the only one to return. The other two were shotdown miles away from Cuba’s boundary having never entered or touched it on that day and the planes had been in contact with the Cuban tower throughout the flight.
ICAO Resolution on February 24 shootdown
FACT 7: On July 26, 1996 the United Nations Security Council: "Noting that the unlawful downing of two civil aircraft on 24 February by the Cuban Air Force violated the principle that States must refrain from using weapons against airborne civil aircraft, the Security Council this afternoon condemned such use as being incompatible with the rules of customary international law "
ICAO Resolution on February 24 shootdown
FACT 8: Ana Belen Montes, the US intelligence community's top analyst on Cuban affairs had throughout a sixteen-year career at the Defense Intelligence Agency sent the Cuba intelligence service sensitive and secret information and helped to shape US opinion on Cuba. Investigation against her was triggered by her odd behavior before and after the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down. On September 21 2001 Ana Belen Montes was arrested and subsequently charged with Conspiracy to Commit Espionage for the government of Cuba. Montes eventually pleaded guilty to spying, and in October, 2002, she was sentenced to a 25-year prison term followed by 5 years of probation.
True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba's Master Spy
FACT 9: On December 27, 2010 and again in a January 19, 2011 clarification the defense of Cuban spy-master Gerardo Hernandez acknowledged that "there was overwhelming evidence that the 1996 shoot-down of two Brothers to the Rescue planes occurred in international airspace, not Cuban territory."
The Miami Herald: Cuban spymaster now claims Brothers to the Rescue shooting was outside Cuban airspace by Jay Weaver December 27, 2010
FACT 10: On December 17, 2014 President Barack Obama commuted Gerardo Hernandez’s two life sentences and returned him along with two other spies jailed for crimes in the United States to Cuba where they were received with a hero’s welcome in what is an immense propaganda victory for the Castro regime.
Department of Justice on Obama Commutations 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Misrepresenting Elliott Abrams record while remaining silent on the role of the Castros' in genocide in Africa and Latin America.

"Amazing how everything the left accuses the U.S. of wanting to do in Venezuela —siphon off oil wealth, install a puppet dictator, run hundreds of spies, crush democratic institutions— is stuff Cuba is *actually* doing. And has been. For years."  - Caracas Chronicles

Fidel Castro lounging with war criminal Mengistu Haile Mariam, in Ethiopia in 1977
Today the news was focused on Elliott Abrams and the Reagan Administration's policy of promoting democracy (in El Salvador) and backing anti-communist regimes in Central America. Nor was any mention made today of the role Elliott Abrams played in easing General Augusto Pinochet out of power in Chile.

It is also important to recall that "University of Hawaii historian R. J. Rummel, who made a career out of studying what he termed “democide,” the killing of people by their own government, reported in 1987 that credible estimates of the Castro regime’s death toll at the time ran from 35,000 to 141,000, with a median of 73,000."

Also missing from the conversation was that this was at a time when the Soviet Union and Cuba had been backing communist insurgencies to overthrow governments across the region, or that Fidel Castro has a far higher body count to account for, not only in the Americas but also Africa.

The conversation today at the Congressional hearing was supposed to be about Venezuela.

According to Amnesty International there have been more than 8,200 extrajudicial executions between 2015 and June 2017 in Venezuela. Wonder what the full tally is during the 20 years of the Chavez-Maduro regime?

But the record of extrajudicial killings goes back to the early 1960s.

Fidel Castro greets Hugo Chavez in Cuba on December 13, 1994

Fidel Castro, beginning in 1959, had strategic designs on taking over Venezuela to exploit its natural resources in order to magnify its regional impact.  A cache of three tons of weapons was found on a Venezuelan beach in November 1963 that was to be used to disrupt the democratic elections there. The Castro regime repeatedly tried to violently overthrow the social democratic government in Venezuela.

On May 8, 1967 "two small boats carrying a dozen heavily armed fighters made landfall near Machurucuto, a tiny fishing village 100 miles east of the Venezuelan capital, Caracas. Their plan was to march inland and recruit Venezuelan peasants to the cause of socialist revolution." An all night gun battle with the Venezuelan military led to nine guerrillas dead, two captured, and one who had escaped.

What the Cubans were not able to do in Venezuela with force of arms they were able to accomplish through subversion via the ballot box first with Hugo Chavez in 1999 and later with his successor Nicolas Maduro. Tens of thousands of Cuban intelligence officers and soldiers are in Venezuela and have played a role in the political violence and extrajudicial executions there.

Fidel Castro and Augusto Pinochet
The communist regime in Cuba was also involved in training and arming insurgencies in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, and many other places. Many of these initiatives directly on the orders of Fidel and Raul Castro.   These actions on more than one occasion sparked violent civil wars that claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Efforts to subvert the Colombian government through a combination of training and arming communist guerilla groups while funding them through drug trafficking did not lead to the overthrow of the Colombian government but it led to the Castro regime being placed on the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism on March 1, 1982

The Castro regime achieved one "success" in Latin America with its myriad of armed interventions: the overthrow of the Somoza regime in Nicaragua and the installation of the Marxist-Leninist Sandinista regime. Robert A. Pastor, of The Carter Center in July 1992 in the report "The Carter Administration and Latin America: A Test of Principle" explained that in Nicaragua "by May 1979, with Cuban President Fidel Castro's help, the three Sandinista factions had united and established a secure and ample arms flow from Cuba through Panama and Costa Rica." The Sandinistas drove out the Somoza regime on July 19, 1979 and would remain a force there to the present day committing extrajudicial killings.

Will Congresswoman Ilhan Omar mention the role Cubans played in the civil wars in Latin America? What about Africa?

In Ethiopia the Castro brothers backed a genocidal war criminal who murdered over a million of his own people. Fidel and Raul Castro sent 17,000 Cuban troops to East Africa to assist Lt. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam in consolidating his rule and eliminating actual and potential opposition in Ethiopia. Charles Lane of The Washington Post in the December 1, 2016 article "Castro was no liberator" raised the following facts about events in Ethiopia:

Mengistu participated in a successful military coup against the U.S.-backed Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974, eventually seizing power on Feb. 3, 1977,by massacring his rivals in the officer corps. Castro admired this bloody deed as a preemptive strike against “rightists” that showed “wisdom” and cleared the way for Cuba to support Mengistu “without any constraints,” as he explained to East German dictator Erich Honecker in an April 1977 meeting whose minutes became public after the fall of European communism. [...] With the Cuban forces watching his back, Mengistu wrapped up his bloody campaign of domestic repression, known as “the Red Terror,” and sent his own Soviet-equipped, Cuban-trained troops to crush a rebellion in Eritrea. The last Cuban troops did not leave Ethiopia until September 1989; they were still on hand as hundreds of thousands died during the 1983-1985 famine exacerbated by Mengistu’s collectivization of agriculture. 
Human Rights Watch in their 2008 report on Ethiopia titled outlined "Collective Punishment War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in the Ogaden area of Ethiopia’s Somali Region" some of the practices carried out by Cuban troops sent there by Fidel and Raul Castro excerpted below:
In December 1979, a new Ethiopian military offensive, this time including Soviet advisors and Cuban troops, “was more specifically directed against the population’s means of survival, including poisoning and bombing waterholes and machine gunning herds of cattle.”
The last Cuban troops did not leave Ethiopia until 1989 and were present and complicit in the engineered famine that took place there. Will Congresswoman Ilhan Omar raise the issue of the genocide aided and abetted by the Castro brothers in Africa? A genocide that killed over a million Ethiopians.

If black lives matter then the role two white Cuban dictators played to facilitate genocide in Ethiopia should not be ignored. Hopefully, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar will call a hearing to explore this matter and the role played by the Castro regime both in Africa and Latin America.

Raul Castro and Fidel Castro with ally Mengistu Haile Mariam