Cuba’s Castro dictatorship: The only regime in Latin American history that murders those who try to escape it

Left to right: Aimara Meizoso, Elizabeth Meizoso, Indira Serrano, Omar Reyes, Nathali Acosta & Yerandy García. (Collage

The communist Castro dictatorship and its socialist revolution has many notorious achievements. Among them is the practice of murdering Cubans who try to escape their island prison.

Via Cuba Archive:

Not even Trujillo, Somoza, or Pinochet killed civilians trying to leave!

On October 28, 2022, a boat of Cuba’s Border Guard intentionally rammed and sunk a boat leaving from Bahía Honda bay, Artemisa province, with 23 people. Among seven people killed was 2-year-old baby girl traveling with her mother. A young pregnant woman who survived told a Miami TV station: “When the border guards saw us getting on the boat, they attacked us from behind and neutralized the engines. Immediately they attacked us from the side, telling us they were going to split the boat in the middle. That’s what they did’ they went after us with everything they had to kill us; they showed no compassion.” (Translation from Spanish.)

Cuba’s regime is the only government in Latin America’s history known to systematically prevent its citizens from leaving the country and that kills them for trying. Cuba Archive has just published a 10-page report titled “Extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances of civilians attempting to flee Cuba.” It summarizes selected cases of:

  • executions by firing squad for attempting to flee Cuba;
  • massacres of civilians attempting to escape by sea;
  • forced disappearances in “illegal” exit attempts;
  • killings and forced disappearances of civilians fleeing towards the U.S base at Guantánamo;
  • civilians killed attempting to obtain asylum in embassies.

The deliberate killing of civilians attempting to flee the country began immediately after the revolutionary government came to power on January 1, 1959. Cuba Archive has to date documented 168 extrajudicial killings in “illegal” exit attempts from Cuba. Scores more victims associated with these known cases cannot be documented due to lacking data. Thousands more have disappeared at sea seeking to flee but there is no way of knowing if State authorities had a hand in their disappearance –it can be presumed in an undetermined number of cases, perhaps many. State archives would likely have this information; their preservation during a transition process is, thus, important.

How many massacres are needed to stoke outrage?

The report profiles several other massacres before the one at Bahía Honda:

  • The Barlovento massacre of January 15, 1962: 5 killed.
  • The Prendes family massacre of March 27, 1964: a mother and 2 children killed with a family friend.
  • The Banes massacre of April 9, 1964: 6 killed including 3 children under age 5.
  • The Lazo family massacre of 1971: a mother and 3 children killed.
  • The Canimar River Massacre of July 6, 1980: around 56 believed killed including at least 4 children.
  • The Tugboat Massacre of July 13, 1994: 37 killed, including 8 children.

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