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Thursday, July 11, 2019

25 minute silent vigil to protest 25 years of justice denied for 37 Cuban victims of the "13 de Marzo" massacre

To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.” - Elie WieselNight


On Wednesday, July 10th at 8:00pm Cuban dissidents Rosa Maria Payá Acevedo, Sirley Ávila León together with former political prisoners Basilio Guzmán, Raudel Bringas and Cuban exiles Frank CalzonMario Felix Lleonart, Yoaxis Marcheco and their daughter, and several other civil society activists carried out a 25 minute silent vigil to protest 25 years of justice denied for 37 Cuban victims of the "13 de Marzo" massacre.


The vigil commenced with Reverend Mario Feliz Lleonart leading the vigil participants in a prayer for justice and concluded 25 minutes later with another prayer.


We gathered at 8:00pm and were joined by others until 8:30pm and a short time later began the 25 minute silent vigil. While we waited to start passersby asked us about the posters we carried and why we were in front of the Cuban embassy.
We explained to them that on July 13, 1994, a group of 72 Cubans, including children and women, tried to escape from the Island of Cuba aboard an old tugboat. State Security Forces, and four Cuban State boats of the Havana regime intercepted the boat 7 miles off the coast of Cuba, with water jets from pressure hoses pulled people off the deck, tore the children from the arms of their mothers and sank the tugboat. 37 people were murdered, 11 of them children.

In this spirit of sharing knowledge and spreading the word we share the link to the 1996 IACHR report that investigated this event.  We also list below the names and ages of the 37 victims.

Hellen Martínez Enriquez. Age: 5 Months
Xicdy Rodríguez Fernández. Age: 2
Angel René Abreu Ruíz. Age: 3
José Carlos Niclas Anaya. Age: 3
Giselle Borges Alvarez. Age: 4
Caridad Leyva Tacoronte. Age: 5
Juan Mario Gutiérrez García. Age: 10
Yousell Eugenio Pérez Tacoronte. Age: 11
Yasser Perodín Almanza. Age: 11
Eliécer Suárez Plasencia. Age: 12
Mayulis Méndez Tacoronte. Age: 17
Miladys Sanabria Leal. Age: 19
Joel García Suárez. Age: 20
Odalys Muñoz García. Age: 21
Yalta Mila Anaya Carrasco. Age: 22
Luliana Enríquez Carrazana. Age: 22
Jorge Gregorio Balmaseda Castillo. Age: 24
Lissett María Alvarez Guerra. Age: 24
Ernesto Alfonso Loureiro. Age: 25
María Miralis Fernández Rodríguez. Age: 27
Leonardo Notario Góngora. Age: 28
Jorge Arquímedes Levrígido Flores. Age: 28
Pilar Almanza Romero. Age: 31
Rigoberto Feu González. Age: 31
Omar Rodríguez Suárez. Age: 33
Lázaro Enrique Borges Briel. Age: 34
Julia Caridad Ruíz Blanco. Age: 35
Martha Caridad Tacoronte Vega. Age: 35
Eduardo Suárez Esquivel. Age: 38
Martha Mirella Carrasco Sanabria. Age: 45
Augusto Guillermo Guerra Martínez. Age: 45
Rosa María Alcalde Puig. Age: 47
Estrella Suárez Esquivel. Age: 48
Reynaldo Joaquín Marrero Alamo. Age: 48
Amado González Raices. Age: 50
Fidencio Ramel Prieto Hernández. Age: 51
Manuel Cayol. Age: 56 


Finally, we invite those in the South Florida area on Saturday, July 13, 2019 to the Museum of the Cuban Diaspora located at 1200 Coral Way where Jorge Garcia, who lost 14 family members in the "13 de marzo" tugboat massacre will give a presentation of an edition of his book on the subject that has now been translated to English.  Ramon Saul Sanchez and Marcel Felipe are co-hosting the event. 

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