On this day, February 24, 1996, three civilian American planes from Brothers to the Rescue flew over international airspace over the Florida Straits on a humanitarian mission. Their mission that day, as it was all other days they flew, was to provide aid to Cubans who had escaped the island prison of Cuba on rickety rafts in a desperate attempt to reach freedom.
Four pilots flying two of the Brothers to the Rescue aircraft would never return home that day, their lives snuffed out over international waters by the very same murderous socialist dictatorship they were helping others to escape.
It was on that fateful day 24 years ago when Cuba’s Castro dictatorship decided it was time to send a message. Acting on intelligence provided by its spies in the U.S., Fidel and Raul Castro scrambled MiGs to intercept the unarmed civilian aircraft. In what became one of the most heinous acts of cowardly terrorism in modern history, Castro himself gave the order to shoot down the defenseless airplanes and murder four Americans.
The video below is a recording of the disturbing, gut-wrenching, and infuriating radio calls made by the cowardly Cuban MiG pilots who screamed and cursed with glee over shooting down defenseless airplanes and murdering innocent men:
Not long after this incident, the Cuban spies who provided the Castro regime with the intelligence to carry out this act of international terrorism were captured. The leaders were convicted and sentenced to long prison terms for their acts of espionage and conspiracy to commit murder.
On December 17, 2014, however, President Obama sullied the memory of the four pilots murdered by trading the spies back to the Castro dictatorship in exchange for absolutely nothing.
Requiescat in pace, Armando, Mario, Carlos, and Pablo. Your courage and sacrifice will never be forgotten.
Read the facts behinds this solemn anniversary at Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter.