This coming February 24th will mark the 21st anniversary of the murder of four Brothers to the Rescue pilots by Cuba’s Castro regime. The four men were flying over international waters in the Florida straits when the two planes they were flying on a humanitarian mission were shot down by Cuban MiGs on direct orders from Raul Castro.
Almost twenty-one years later, the MiG pilots and Raul Castro have yet to face justice for their heinous and cowardly crime.
Brothers to the Rescue Shootdown Anniversary: Continuing call for justice
“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
Twenty one years ago on February 24, 1996 on a Saturday afternoon over the Florida Straits two civilian planes were blown out of international airspace on the orders of Fidel and Raul Castro in an act of state terrorism that claimed the lives of three U.S. citizens, Carlos Costa, Mario De La Peña, and Armando Alejandre and U.S. resident Pablo Morales.
Two years later in 1998 when Castro’s wasp spy network was broken up and Gerardo Hernandez arrested the one person to be held accountable was finally in custody. In 2000 following a lengthy trial he was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for conspiracy to commit murder and espionage. On December 15, 2014 President Obama commuted his sentence and on December 17, 2014 announced that Gerardo Hernandez had been returned to Cuba. He was welcomed back by Raul Castro where he proudly declared that he was ready to complete another such mission for the dictatorship. Two days later in a year end press conference President Obama sought to rewrite history declaring this premeditated crime “a tragic circumstance.”
This is why it is so important to continue to stand up silently on February 24th at the times both planes were shot down and hold a moment of silence, remember, and continue to demand justice. We must also remind our fellow countrymen that U.S. courts have also found the Castro regime guilty of premeditation in this shoot down on three occasions.
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