Remembering forgotten Cubans on International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

John Suarez in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances: Some of the forgotten Cubans

When human rights defenders are silenced, who will stand up for the rights of all?  – Amnesty International

Today, August 30th, is the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances and you won’t hear much about the disappeared in Cuba. However there are cases such Omar Darío Pérez Hernández, a Cuban independent journalist who went missing in Cuba in December 2003.

There have been others that stretch back decades.  Andrew de Graux Villafana was just 19 years old when he went missing on September 18, 1962.  Andrew had fought in the Escambray hills against the Castro dictatorship, and was wounded and captured.

Andrew had a successful surgery carried out by Dr. Miguel Rodriguez Marcoleta. However when the surgeon went to visit his patient, he could not find him. He went to the morgue to try to see the body, but it was not there. Days later State Security came and asked Dr. Rodriguez Marcoleta to sign the death certificate of Graux Villafana, but he refused.  Decades later Andrew’s sister, Mary de Louise de Graux Villafaña, continues to search for her brother and expresses concern for other missing youth who took up arms against the Castro dictatorship.

Less than five years later Adolfo Chamiso Sayas went missing, relatives believe he tried to leave Cuba illegally on March 5, 1967 and was gunned down by government agents.

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