18 years without justice for Danish student gunned down in Havana by a soldier

John Suarez in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

18 years without justice for Danish student gunned down in Havana by a soldier
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” – Elie Wiesel, Nobel Lecture 1986
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DkN7Qo5CiYQ/VRgRKtPzR3I/AAAAAAAAKMM/dfeVtF8PsTI/s1600/jlovschall.png
Joachim Løvschall: 1970 – 1997

Joachim Løvschall was studying Spanish in Havana in the spring of 1997. He was gunned down by a soldier of the Castro regime in Havana, Cuba eighteen years ago today on March 29, 1997. The identity of the soldier has never been revealed to Joachim”s family. No one has been brought to justice. Joachim’s family is not satisfied with the explanation offered by the dictatorship.

The last time they saw Joachim 
 
On March 28, 1997 Joachim Løvschall ate his last dinner with white wine in a little restaurant called Aladin, located on 21st street in Havana. He went to the Revolutionary Plaza and bought a ticket to the Cuban National Theater. Following the performance he went to the theater’s bar, Cafe Cantate, and met up with two Swedish friends. They each drank a couple of beers, but soon left because Joachim did not like the music. At 23:30, they said good bye to each other on the sidewalk in front of Cafe Cantate. Joachim was never seen alive again.

The Castro regime’s version of what happened

On September 28, 1997 the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published an article by Kim Hundevadt titled “Dangerous Vacation” that outlined what happened to Joachim Løvschall and presented the Castro regime’s version of the events leading to this young man’s death:

Around 23:30, a person matching Joachim Løvschall’s description was in a bar named Segundo Dragon d’Oro. The bar lies in the hopeless part of town, around the Revolutionary Plaza which is dominated by ministry and other official buildings of harsh concrete architecture, and lies empty in at night.

At 2:45am he left the bar, after becoming intoxicated. Around 20 minutes later, he was walking down the Avenue Territorial, behind the Defense Ministry.

Joachim Løvschall walked, according to the Cuban authorities, first on the sidewalk that lies opposite the Ministry. Midway he crossed over to the other sidewalk, considered to be a military area, though it is not blocked off.

The Cubans have explained that Joachim Løvschall was shouted at by two armed guards, who in addition fired warning shots, which he did not react to. Therefore, one guard shot from the hip with an AK-47 rifle. The first shot hit Joachim in the stomach and got him to crumble down. The second shot hit slanting down the left side of the neck.


Ten years later
 
On June 12, 2007 Christian Løvschall, Joachim’s father, at a parallel forum at the United Nations Human Rights Council spoke about his son’s disappearance and the struggle to find out if Joachim was dead or alive:

“Although the killing took place on the 29th of March, we only came to know about it on the 6th of April – i.e. after 8 days were we had the feeling that the Cuban authorities were unwilling to inform anything about the incident. Only because of good relations with Spanish speaking friends in other Latin American countries did we succeed in getting into contact with the family with whom Joachim stayed and the repeated message from their side was that they could reveal nothing, but that the situation had turned out very bad and that we had to come to Cuba as soon as possible. At the same time all contacts to the responsible authorities turned out negatively… Only after continued pressure from our side on the Cuban embassy in Copenhagen, things suddenly changed and the sad information was given to us by our local police on the evening of the 6th of April. We are, however, 100% convinced that had we not made use of our own contact and had we not continued our pressure on the embassy in Copenhagen, we might have faced a situation where Joachim would have been declared a missing person, a way out the Cuban authorities have been accused of applying in similar cases.”

Ten years later Christian Løvschall outlined what he knew concerning his son’s untimely death:
We do feel we were (and still are) left with no answers except to maybe one of the following questions:

Where, When, Who, Why Starting out with the where we were told that Joachim was killed by the soldiers outside the Ministry of Interior.

Continue reading HERE.

2 thoughts on “18 years without justice for Danish student gunned down in Havana by a soldier”

  1. Note to the Løvschall family: They killed Joachim because that’s what totalitarian regimes do whenever it suits them, and the agents of the regime are guaranteed impunity no matter how outrageous the crime. Do not expect anything more from Castro, Inc. regarding your son’s killing. Your time and energy are better spent in your own country with your own government and people, to open their eyes so that maybe they will act accordingly. May Joachim rest in peace.

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