Twelve years ago today the revolutionary government of fidel castro blatantly displayed its brutality against its own people for all the world to see. Over 70 Cubans, in an attempt to escape the island prison, boarded the tugboat 13 de Marzo, and tried to set sail for the freedom of the shores just 90 miles to the North. The ensuing events led to the deaths of 41 freedom seeking Cubans at the hands to fidel castro’s State Security.
The absolute brutality of the attacks by the continuous ramming of the tugboat and the use of firearms and water cannon proves the complete disregard for human life by fidel castro and his regime.
From the Weekly Standard:
Remember the 13 de Marzo
Cuban-Americans mark a grim anniversary.
by Duncan Currie
07/13/2006 8:20:00 AM
IT LACKED THE SCALE and profile of Tiananmen Square, but was no less brutal. In the early morning hours of July 13, 1994, Cuban fireboats rammed and attacked a rickety tugboat ferrying more than 70 would-be defectors away from the Port of Havana. Using water cannons, Fidel Castro’s ships quickly sank the wooden vessel, leaving its passengers to drown. More than half the Cubans on board plunged to a maritime grave. The survivors were left to tread water for over an hour before being plucked out of the sea and returned to the island.
At the time, the incident was lost amidst news of violent unrest in Cuba and the worst refugee crisis since 1980 (the year of the Mariel boatlift). Less than a month after the tugboat massacre, anti-Castro riots broke out near the famous Malecon boardwalk in Havana. Seeking to deflect widespread anger with Cuba’s moribund economy and post-Soviet food shortages, the dictator unleashed an armada of boat people, letting thousands of Cubans set sail for America on homemade rafts and wobbly boats. This ultimately led to the Clinton-Castro migration accord, which established new visa rules and codified the “wet foot, dry foot” policy.
The tugboat sinking was almost forgotten. The Castro regime called it an “accident.” Exiles in Miami called it an atrocity. To others it seemed a tragic consequence of the refugee frenzy.
But thanks to a few brave survivors, the picture has become much clearer. In October 1996, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) released its final report on the tugboat. It found that two Cuban ships had begun trailing the 13 de Marzo as soon as it left port. Several miles from shore, another pair of Cuban vessels turned up and, “equipped with tanks and water hoses, proceeded to attack the old tug.” The pleas of women and children were ignored. So were the drowning passengers. Though precise numbers remain murky to this day, the IACHR report lists the death toll at 41–out of 72 original passengers–including 10 minors.
The report concludes: “The evidence clearly shows that the sinking of the tug 13 de Marzo was not an accident but rather a premeditated, intentional act.”
Some years later, Jesus Martinez, captain of one of the Cuban ships that intercepted the 13 de Marzo, affirmed that his mission was indeed planned ahead of time. Cuban state security knew when the tugboat was to be stolen, Martinez claimed, and yet chose to allow its departure. “That’s cruelty,” he told author Jorge Garcia Mas.
Today the Coalition of Cuban-American Women will hold a ceremony in Miami to honor the victims of the 13 de Marzo. They will dedicate a memorial to the children who perished that day and read a letter from the current U.S. envoy to Cuba, Michael Parmly. The event will be carried out simultaneously in English and Spanish. A handful of 13 de Marzo survivors are expected to attend.
This has become an annual tradition, says Coalition president Laida Carro. “It’s a way to remind the world that this crime has gone unpunished.” Carro, whose family fled Cuba in 1962, notes that Cubans on the island can be jailed for observing the July 13 anniversary.
Outside of Cuba and South Florida, of course, the world will barely notice. That hardly distinguishes the tugboat slaughter from the lengthy catalogue of Castro’s depredations. But the victims at least deserve our memory. The 13 de Marzo affair unmasked the true nature of the Cuban regime. For Americans, it should be a stark reminder of the tropical tyranny that endures 90 miles south of Key West.
Despite the world as witness, despite various human rights organizations releasing reports and condemnations of this atrocious act and despite eyewitness accounts clearly depicting the brazen brutality and outright murder of innocent human beings, the world has turned a blind eye once again. The unnecessary deaths of men, women and children, at the hands of fidel castro have gone virtually unnoticed.
To add salt to the wounds, when some Cubans decided to commemorate the victims of the 13 de Marzo attack by staging a peaceful protest in Havana, fidel castro’s brutish CDR along with State Security and Rapid Response Brigades focused their brutality on them with disgusting and disheartening results. You can see a video of same here.
I posted on the protests and the ensuing events last year. You can read that here.
Last year’s post is here.
The Real Cuba has more on the massacre here.
More can be found here and here.
And here. (In Spanish)
A partial list of victims here, pay close attention to the ages.
There will be a remembrance of the victims of the 13 de Marzo tonight at the Women’s Park located at
10251 West Flagler Street, Miami, Florida at 6 pm:
THE COALITION OF CUBAN-AMERICAN WOMEN
and its Juvenile Chapter
Cordially invite you, particularly young people,
to remember the
Sinking of the Tugboat “13 DE MARZO”
“On July 19, 1994, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights received a complaint stating that in the early morning hours of July 13, 1994, four boats belonging to the Cuban State and equipped with water hoses attacked an old tugboat that was fleeing Cuba with 72 people on board. The incident occurred seven miles off the Cuban coast, opposite the port of Havana. The complaint also indicates that the Cuban State boats attacked the runaway tug with their prows with the intention of sinking it, while at the same time spraying everyone on the deck of the boat, including women and children, with pressurized water. The pleas of the women and children to stop the attack were in vain, and the old boat–named “13 de Marzo”–sank, with a toll of 41 deaths, including ten minors. Thirty-one people survived the events of July 13, 1994.”
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report No 47/96, Case #11.436 Victims of the Tugboat “13 DE MARZO” vs. CUBA – October 16, 1996
IN A CEREMONY TO HONOR THE VICTIMS OF THIS TRAGEDY, A BRONZE PLAQUE WITH THE NAMES OF THE TEN MINORS, WHO DIED ON JULY 13, 1994, WILL BE DEDICATED AS A PERMANENT MEMORIAL
Last year, after watching the brutality of the Rapid Response Brigades against their own people, I was completely heartbroken and put my sentiments into words in a post titled “Dolor,” which I have reposted below the fold.
Last night I sat there in front of my TV completely dumbfounded as the video from the protest over the 13 de Marzo tugboat incident at El Malecon was showing. It was appalling. The viciousness of the pro-castro goons made me literally sick to my stomach. The venom they were spewing towards those people that had gone there to voice their opinions and pay homage to lost family members was truly sickening.
What sheer courage these dissidents have. What sheer hopelessness they must feel hour after hour, day after day, week after week. It is heartbreaking.
And those organized castristas. How incredibly stupid they are. They arent just idiots. No. They are stupid. Stupid because the absolute truth is all around them and they do not allow themselves to see it. To admit it.
The whole country lives in squallor. The daily routine of all Cubans is to scrounge for food. SCROUNGE FOR FOOD!!!! That is what parents do all day in Cuba. They find a way to feed their families. To get a piece of chicken or some eggs or an extra cup of milk they must hustle. Bargain, wheel and deal, steal, beg, sell themselves to tourists.
There are so many things that people here in the States and elsewhere have that we take for granted that to an average Cuban is a luxury. Soap. Running water. Ice. Aspirin. Feminine napkins. FEMININE NAPKINS!!! Think about that last one for a second. Picture it. Imagine how a Cuban woman must feel during that time of the month. How degrading, how unsanitary, how depressing, how helpless.
Yet the castro thugs continue to act as if they live in paradise. As if they have everything they need. As if they are actually sentient human beings. These goons continue to follow the preachings of one man. Because it’s not an ideology that they are promoting. No. It is the psycopathic rantings of one man that believes himself to be the god of the Cuban people. The lider maximo. And those who willfully blinded follow the man are anything but sentient.
Where has he led them to? Where has this blackhearted shepherd taken his flock to? Where have all these followers allowed their slavemaster to take them to?
To the depths of depravity and hate and inhumanity. Hatred for their fellow man, their fellow countrymen. Hatred, possibly, for themselves.
Twelve year old girls sell themsleves for a Coca Cola. Boys let grown men fuck them up the ass for a couple of dollars to take home to feed their kin. Parents stand by and are forced to allow this. This humiliation and destruction of their children. Brothers turn in brothers to the authorities so that at least one of them will have the luxury of an extra ration for his family.
I fear, my friends, that Cuba is lost.
At night now, in Havana, in the overwhelming darkness caused by that one man’s stubborn refusal to admit the mistake, thousands of Cubans roam the blackened streets. They are listless. They are lost. They are hopeless. The uncertainty of their future is such that they dont look forward to it. They have nothing to gain and nothing to lose. They have nothing and live in the darkness of nothingness.
I feel such an overwhelming sorrow. Such an all encompassing futility. So overwhelmingly distraught.
I fear, my friends, that Cuba is lost.
Update: First, I want to thank all of you for your support and for your kind words in the comments section. You guys truly rock.
Any one familiar with this blog knows that I am a person that wears his heart on his sleeve. That is sometimes a good thing, yet at others it can be seen as a sign of weakness. I may be a big cry baby and I may write shit that makes you cry, but I can still kick serious ass when I need to. I was incredibly frustrated this morning in the wee hours when I wrote this piece. But I want to assure you all that I have not given up, nor have I contemplated giving up, nor will I ever give up until the bearded bastard is maggot food.
I also want to post the comment from my friend and hermano KillCastro in its entirety for you because it speaks truth to power and is well worth repeating:
Mi hermano Val : Life is a string of disappointments marked by moments of triumph. When any Cuban see the brutality of brother against brother, our first instinct is one of despair and disappointment and triumph seems so far beyond our reach that any intelligent rational person will feel it is just but a chimera. DOLOR , is the logical feeling . Deep, overwhelming, unspeakable pain. We see the mobs frothing at the mouth against these valiant Cubans and we come to the conclusion that ?all is lost?, but is it? Let?s look at from a simple logistics point of view. Let us look at it without the cloud of pain that overcomes our soul. Let us be as calculating and coldhearted as a military man should be, because this, Val, mi hermano is WAR!. Look at the numbers, who were defending the Beast , how many people came out in favor of the monster? Now, if in fact Cuba was lost, there would?ve been a couple of million people attacking those brave souls, but there were not. Let us go further, how many people would LIKE to have joined the peaceful demonstrators but did not dare to? Just do that simple calculation in your head and the picture becomes a LOT more hopeful. You better than any one else knows the value of populism, you know the power the control KaSStro (and his henchmen) hold over Cubans in general. This is nothing new. It is just one of the many disappointments, but this one can easily be dismissed. We are dealing with the humanity of man, and we MUST be honest and truthful and have the cojones to admit that NOT all Cubans in Cuba deserve to be free. It has been 2+ generations of indoctrination, of lack of morals, nonexistent family values, of thievery of godlessness of sex for the sake of fucking. The SAME hijos de puta chanting and spitting at the demonstrators are the ones who are stealing toilet paper at their place of work. These are amoral people, some of them may have it better NOW than they will ever have it, if Cuba became free and democratic, because now they know how to ?resolver? whereas an honest future portends WORK. You will find honest hard working men and women alongside pricks, whores and pimps all over the world all through history. It is HUMAN NATURE. How different are these animals that made you write your posts from those who took to the streets on Jan 1 1959 and ransacked La Habana? It is the SAME slime that every society has. The thieves, the dregs, the scum that no society will ever extinguish. Within what we saw yesterday of course it looks like an inexplicable insurmountable situation. HOW can these people defend a regimen that denies its women sanitary napkins, how, how, how? Simple answer, these are animals that have been running rampant for 46 years. This is 46 years of hyena breeding. These same pricks will be the FIRST to fly the American flag the day Cuba is free. In fact they will be the MOST vocal anti-KaSStro force. Yes there are 12 year old girls selling themselves for a Coke and 11 year old boys taking it up the ass for $10 USD , but ? Look at the morals in Cuba. It has been 46 years of free fucking, From the very first ?Trabajo Voluntario? contingent where the only thing to do was get laid and you had babies having babies. There?s no parental guidance, there is no Church, no GOD, and there is no sense of honor or respect for their own bodies. Their bodies do not belong to them. They are ONLY a tool to a mean. I DO feel that there is HOPE, for the simple reason that it is NOT the majority of girls and boys doing this, it is the girls and boys who in pretty much any society will find an easy way of making a buck.
We should not romanticize our history, there were whores and pimps and thieves and gangsters and murders before KaSStro. His destruction of the Cuban family, the values of yesteryears, the honor the pride in one?s self worth has just made the practice that much more ?acceptable?. Before it used to be by ?vocation? now they are practically TRAINED in those practices and it becomes an easily adopted way of life.
I have three nieces in Cuba 12, 14 & 15 they suffer as much hunger as anyone else they too lack sanitary napkins , but they are NOT taking to the streets, because within the CORE of my family DOES remain a moral fiber that no KaSStro can touch.
The 14 year old is not allowed to DATE. The 15 year old brings a boy home and he gets drilled as any American parent would drill the kid taking their daughter to the prom.
So we need to concentrate on THOSE who have not fallen pray to the debauchery, who have kept their heads high, who against all odds DO protest and have instilled moral and civil values in their children. It is for these people we need to fight. The scum, will be sifted probably violently and as has been said ?La sangre se va a desbordar en el Malecon? but the society WILL be purged. And even after it is, they will still be whores, and pimps and thieves and gangsters because man is part divine and part animal and for some the animal side will always outweigh the divine.
And that is what you saw yesterday, the Christians facing the lions in the Coliseum
The worse of humanity trying to devour the best of humanity. Isn?t the best of humanity worth fighting for?
Let us not let our emotions defeat our purpose. As long as there is ONE man or woman in Cuba willing to throw a flower in remembrance of those who have died at the hands of The Beast, Cuba is NOT lost.
It is one year after the Dolor entry was written. And right now, to be honest, I am once again in pain. Watching the videos of last year’s travesty just brought all the emotions back.
I can say without reservation, however, that those people you saw chanting the name of the dictator, their hearts sated with hatred and contempt, those are not my people. They do not represent my country or my culture. They are not Cuba.