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Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart on anniversaries of BTTR shoot down and death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo



February 25, 2013

Diaz-Balart: We Must Redouble Our Commitment to Cuban Democracy in Honor of ‘Brothers to the Rescue’

Washington, D.C. –Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement in remembrance of the seventeenth anniversary of the “Brothers to the Rescue” plane shoot-down. Two American civilian planes were flying over international waters and were shot down by the Castro regime.

“Yesterday marked the seventeenth anniversary of the brutal shoot-down by the Castro dictatorship of two “Brothers to the Rescue” planes, which claimed the lives of Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Mario de la Peña, and Pablo Morales.

“The anniversary of this heinous, terrorist act over international waters is a grim reminder of the true nature of the Castro regime, and is one of many reasons that the regime remains a U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism.  Not only have the Castro brothers increased their violent oppression of the Cuban people; they have opposed U.S. interests worldwide and actively aided America’s enemies for decades.

“While we mourn the loss of the four generous humanitarians whose lives were lost seventeen years ago, we must redouble our commitment to their mission of promoting liberty for the Cuban people and continuing our resolve to hold their murderers accountable for their crimes and acts of terror.”




February 25, 2013

Diaz-Balart Remembers Orlando Zapata Tamayo

Washington, D.C. –Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement in remembrance of the third anniversary of the death of pro-democracy activist Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

“Saturday, February 23 marked the third anniversary of the death of pro-democracy activist Orlando Zapata Tamayo, one of freedom’s greatest heroes.  Orlando Zapata Tamayo was a member of the pro-democracy organizations Movimiento Alternativa Republicana and the Consejo Nacional de Resistencia Cívica.

“The brutal Castro regime imprisoned Zapata Tamayo on March 20, 2003 during Cuba’s notorious “Black Spring.”  He began a hunger strike on December 3, 2009 to protest the cruelty in Castro's prisons and arbitrary extensions of his sentence.  Zapata Tamayo died on February 23, 2010 after he was denied water and forced to lay naked under an air conditioner until he developed pneumonia.

“While we mourn the loss of this great hero, his mission on behalf of the Cuban people continues.  Shortly after his death, other pro-democracy activists, including Jorge Luis Garcia Perez ‘Antunez’, established the ‘Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Front for Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience’ in his honor.

“Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s hope for Cuba has been kept alive by Cuba’s pro-democracy activists who refuse to let his sacrifice be in vain.  Over the weekend, more than fifty Ladies in White were brutally arrested by Castro’s thugs for commemorating his death.  Despite the regime’s efforts to silence him, Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s legacy of courageously opposing oppression and demanding essential liberties for the Cuban people has only grown stronger in the three years since his death.”


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