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Anniversary of a Castroite Massacre

Sandokan

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Anniversary of a Castroite Massacre
Townhall - Humberto Fontova - Anniversary of a Castroite Massacre - Full Article

Humberto Fontova

In the predawn darkness of July 13, 1994, 72 desperate Cubans - old and young, male and female - sneaked aboard a decrepit but seaworthy tugboat in Havana harbor and set off for the U.S. and the prospect of freedom. Let Jack Nicholson label their captive homeland "a paradise!" Let Bonnie Raitt rasp out her ditty calling it a "Happy Little Island!" Let Ted Turner hail their slavemaster as a "Helluva guy!" Let Democratic party honcho Frank Mankiewics proclaim Castro "one of the most charming men I've ever met!" Let Michael Moore hail the glories of Cuba's healthcare in Sicko. Let Barbara Walters add gravitas while soft-soaping Castro during an "interview": "you have brought great health to your country."

The people boarding that tug knew better. And for a simple reason: the cruel hand of fate had slated them to live under Fidel Castro and Che Guevara’s handiwork.

The lumbering craft cleared the harbor and five foot waves started buffeting the tug. The men sprung to action as the impromptu crew while mothers, sisters and aunts hushed the terrified children, some as young as one. Turning back was out of the question.
Leon Ichaso’s daughter Mari Rodriguez Ichaso made a documentary about the Tugboat Massacre titled “Niños del Paraíso” (Children of Paradise). The YOUTUBE clip has sub-titles
YouTube - Recordando el hundimiento del remolcador '13 de Marzo'

What would take the “Progressives” to recognize the atrocity perpetuated by the Castros’ regime?
 

Renae

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Leon Ichaso’s daughter Mari Rodriguez Ichaso made a documentary about the Tugboat Massacre titled “Niños del Paraíso” (Children of Paradise). The YOUTUBE clip has sub-titles
YouTube - Recordando el hundimiento del remolcador '13 de Marzo'

What would take the “Progressives” to recognize the atrocity perpetuated by the Castros’ regime?
Progressives don't discuss the "Bad things" that are attributed to Cuba. Those are isolated incidents and regrettable as they are, do not overshadow the glory of Cuba.
 

Deuce

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Uhh, have you been hearing people say that Castro is a swell guy? I've never once heard that...

When will conservatives stop worshiping Satan? I really think Satan has done bad things. :(
 

Sandokan

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Progressives don't discuss the "Bad things" that are attributed to Cuba. Those are isolated incidents and regrettable as they are, do not overshadow the glory of Cuba.
Castro in his speech of August 5, 1994 praised Jesus Gonzales, the tug boat pilot in charge of the operation, for his "heroism" in the sinking of the tugboat. He decorated the guy with the “Hero of the Cuban Revolution" and made him a member of the communist party.
 

phattonez

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You blamed the embargo. It's pretty hard to tell how much of an impact that has had on the country, unless you mention the fact that the rest of the world can trade with Cuba and they still have a terrible economy.
 
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You blamed the embargo.
The word embargo doesn't even appear in my posts.

I showed that your silly assertion that "the GDP at the end of [Batista's] regime [compared] with GDP now [is] pretty terrible" is simply wrong. As you say, the economic numbers speak for themselves.

I'm beginning to think that you didn't even read them before responding here.
 
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Sandokan

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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released a report about the sinking of the tug boat and in its conclusions said that “The Cuban State is responsible for violating the right to life (Article 1 of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) of the 41 people who were shipwrecked and perished as a result of the sinking of the tug 13 de Marzo", and that “The Cuban State is responsible for violating the personal integrity (Article 1 of the American Declaration) of the 31 persons who survived the sinking of the tug 13 de Marzo"

On July 13, 1994, the Castros tyrannical regime murdered 41 Cubans, including children and women, when they were trying to escape from the “workers island paradise”. Sixteen years later, the people responsible for this massacre haven’t been punished.
 

phattonez

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The word embargo doesn't even appear in my posts.

I showed that your silly assertion that "the GDP at the end of [Batista's] regime [compared] with GDP now [is] pretty terrible" is simply wrong. As you say, the economic numbers speak for themselves.

I'm beginning to think that you didn't even read them before responding here.
Here, from one of your own.

Cuba's annualized average growth rate of GDP per capita during the whole 1950-2006 period is a meager 0.80%. During the same period, Latin America's average per capita GDP grew at a rate of 1.67%. That is, during this period, Latin American average per capita GDP more than doubled (to be more precise, increased 161%), whereas Cuban per capita GDP grew only 58%.
The Economy After A Half Century | Solidarity
 

tacomancer

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Progressives don't discuss the "Bad things" that are attributed to Cuba. Those are isolated incidents and regrettable as they are, do not overshadow the glory of Cuba.
Please show me where all progressives think Cuba is a great place.
 

Sandokan

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The official newspaper Granma published that “the three pursuing vessels had attempted to intercept the “13 de Marzo” and the maneuvers undertaken to that effect had resulted in a regrettable accident that had made the boat sink.” So much for your statement "the government didn't send out any boats."

The Cuban Port Authority under the MINIT control would never dare to mobilize three tug boats for this type of operation without the Castros’ orders.

“The three pursuing vessels” were modern, larger, and heavier tugboats made of steel, the “Polargo 2,” “Polargo 3,” and “Polargo 5.” All tugboats and ships are under the MINIT command which exercise authority over them. They are not part of a private enterprise, the regime own them.

The massacre has been condemned by many international organizations, including the Pope who denounced the incident and expressed condolences to the victims.
 

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Official version of the tugboat sinking:
The boat had been notified of a malfunction which made possible a leak, a fact that was known to the leaders of the plan, who nevertheless proceeded in an irresponsible way to carry out their design.

In an attempt to prevent the hijacking, three boats belonging to MITRANS (Ministry of Transportation) attempted to intercept it, and as a result of the maneuvers executed to achieve this objective the unfortunate accident took place, resulting in the eventual sinking of the ship.

Two units of the Coast Guard who happened to be patrolling in the immediate area immediately went to the aid of the shipwrecked passengers….only 31 persons were rescued alive. Note from Ministry of Interior.

In its haste the boat capsized approximately 7 miles offshore. Some 31 persons (20 men, 5 women and 6 children) were rescued by government boats or by units of the Coast Guard. Granma newspaper, July 14, 1994.

…it had taken place as a result of a collision between the “13 of Marzo” and another tugboat which was attempting to catch up with it” Granma newspaper July 16, 1994.
“…Fidencio Ramel Prieto (the tugboat’s captain), stole the tugboat after knocking the night watchman with a drug which he put on his drink The boat, made of wood in 1879, was known to leak and too many people were on board. Granma, July 23, 1994.

In this case, the organizers of the boat seizure, by having placed more than 60 people in a 115-year-old wooden tugboat fit to carry a crew of only four and sailing in port waters, traveled toward an inevitable wreck in the strait. Raúl Castro speech, July 26, 2004.

This incident lasted approximately one hour and 20 minutes, between the time they hijacked the tugboat and the time it sank… The border guards reported on this and were instructed to go toward the place where the events were taking place. This happened rather quickly.

It is quite known that a boat positioned itself in front of the tugboat to try to make it reduce its speed; another boat positioned itself behind the tugboat; yet another boat was on one of its sides. This is how the accident took place: the boat trailing behind rammed into the tugboat's stern… So, this is how the accident that led to the tugboat's sinking took place. It was really an accident.

The border guards had nothing to do with the sinking; they arrived at the scene one minute after the accident took place. Fidel Castro speech, August 6, 1994.

The famous incident they talk about involving the tugboat 13 de Marzo has its own history…. Three people who worked there boarded another tugboat and another three or four boarded a third one. This was at night and without saying anything to anyone they left with the two tugboats to try and intercept those who were escaping. No one knew anything; in fact, hours had gone by since the theft of the tug. Fidel Castro speech, September 8, 2000.

A group of people got together and hijacked an old tugboat- an old wooden tugboat, which was good for nothing but short distances close to the shoreline… so they got into two other tugboats, on their own, without contacting anybody.... and they chased this old tugboat that by now was out of the harbor.

No authorities were ever notified of something suddenly taking place. We have the complete report of what happened that night... As soon as news came of what was happening…the border guards sent out a patrol boat at full speed….Those tugboats move slowly, no more than five or six miles an hour; [the two pursuing tugboats] followed the hijacked old tugboat... and started manouvering to make it turn back. One got in front of it and the other behind, and it was under those circumstances that an accident happened. … as luck would have it the patrol boat, at full speed, comes up just minutes after the accident had taken place.

The metal-hulled tug.... had no way to rescue the people….but they started rescuing people and they saved some of them, until the moment came where they were afraid the number of people they'd rescued might mean that they'd be hijacked too… The boat [then] that had hit the other one saved some of those who'd fallen into the water, but most of those who were saved, about half, about thirty people, were saved by the patrol boat. Fidel Castro: My Life, by Ignacio Ramonet, January 8, 2008 (The final text was edited and approved by Castro himself before publication).
Reports of the tugboat sinking by the Castro brothers and the regime controlled media are conflicting. Some maintain that the tugboat sank because it was old and not seaworthy, others say that it sank because the tugboats chasing the “13 de Marzo” accidentally collide with it.

It is very obvious the attempts to accentuate the bad condition of the tugboat with references to “malfunction”, “old wooden boat”, “known to leak”, “good for nothing”, rendering it unseaworthy.

Fidencio Ramel Prieto, Chief of Operations at the port in Havana, with 25 years of maritime experience, was in charge of the operation, and Raúl Muñoz , who had been a pilot of the “13 de Marzo” and actual pilot of another tugboat, was the pilot of it again.
It is impossible that seamen with such experience will attempt to flee with 72 passengers on board, including children and women, on a ship in the conditions describe by the regime official version.

The reality is that the tugboat has been repair and a new motor install. The last inspection took place on May 9, 1994, and the Ministry of Transportation issued a seaworthy certificate. In other words the tugboat was in a fit condition for a sea voyage after the repairs were done.

With regard to the comment “fit to carry a crew of only four”, the crew consist of the people who pilot and service a ship, doesn’t has anything to do with the size and capacity of it. Beside tugboats because of their function are very powerful and strongly built, no likely to capsize just because “having placed more than 60 people” on it. By the way the small yacht Granma that carried Fidel Castro from Mexico to Cuba, designed for only 12 passengers and a maximum capacity of 25, carried 82 persons plus fuel, food and weapons in a 1,240 mile crossing.

The version of the time period keep changing, like a chameleon change colors: “This incident lasted approximately one hour and 20 minutes, between the time they hijacked the tugboat and the time it sank.” “No one knew anything; in fact, hours had gone by since the theft of the tug.” “Those tugboats move slowly, no more than five or six miles an hour.”

The fact is that at 3:15 A.M. the “13 de Marzo” started to move out of the harbor, navigating 7 miles in 45 minutes in spite of the harassment with the water cannons (no 70 minutes at 6 miles an hour as suggested by Castro), and it was then that the chasing tugboats began ramming it. Finally they manage to sinks it around 4:50 A.M, an hour and 35 minutes after leaving the harbor. For another 45 minutes the other tugboats began circled round the survivors, creating a turbulence so they would drawn and no one would be left alive to provide evidence of the massacre. All of a sudden they stopped and the survivors began to be recues by the Coast Guard ship that had arrived before the ramming started and was simple observing the slaughter. The reason for this sudden change was the proximity to the scene of a Greek freighter in route to the port of Havana. The survivors believe that was the reason they were rescued.

“The border guards reported on this and were instructed to go toward the place where the events were taking place. This happened rather quickly.” “The border guards had nothing to do with the sinking; they arrived at the scene one minute after the accident took place.” “No authorities were ever notified of something suddenly taking place....As soon as news came of what was happening…the border guards sent out a patrol boat at full speed”

From the time of the tugboat hijack to the time of its sinking 2 hours and 20 minutes had elapsed, more than enough the amount of time necessary for a prompt response to the incident.

According to official explanation several persons were rescued by the tugboats. “Some 31 persons were rescued by government boats or by units of the Coast Guard “….”but they started rescuing people and they saved some of them, until the moment came where they were afraid the number of people they'd rescued might mean that they'd be hijacked too…The boat [then] that had hit the other one saved some of those who'd fallen into the water, but most of those who were saved, about half, about thirty people, were saved by the patrol boat.”

The matter of fact is that only 31 were rescued, and according to the survivors none of the crews of the attacking tugboats rescued anybody, they were rescued by the Coast Guard ships. A liar is sooner caught than a cripple, and Castro isn’t a cripple. The official story has more holes than a Swiss cheese.

The “13 de Marzo” sinking was not an accident, was intentionally achieved due to the recurrent ramming by the other tugboats. They knew that children and women were on board.

How is possible to believe that 3 tugboats executed this type of operation and the port authority was not aware of it, and presumable were not in communication with each other. When the “13 de Marzo” came out of the harbor, the other two tugboats that were waiting for it, joint in the chase according to the survivors accounts.

What is the probability that the three tugboats participating in this episode very early in the morning were there? Practically nil unless they were previously notified.

The regime plan was to attack the “13 de Marzo” in a place on the high seas less than 12 nautical miles from the coastline, inside Cuba’s territorial waters, and farther out enough that wouldn’t produce witnesses.

Since the regime was aware of the plan, the Coast Guard was advised ahead of time of the tugboat hijacking, and wouldn’t intervene until the other tugboats carried out the attack and sank it without leaving any survivors. Survivors described that the tugboats attacking their tugboat seemed to be taking orders from the Coast Guard ship.

The regime refusal to investigate and sanction those guilty of the massacre can only be explained by an interest to cover up the criminal act and those who perpetrated it.

The truth always appears eventually, despite all efforts to hide it. It is impossible to keep something secret forever.
 

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On April of the same year, the tugboat “Polar 12” had been seized in Havana harbor and taken to Florida with sixty-eight people on board, and on June another tugboat had also been taken to Florida with seventy-four people on board.

If life in the worker island paradise is so wonderful, why the Havana Port Authority have to send tugboats to sink a ship leaving port without authorization? Because the previous successes and the growing attempts to escape, the regime, that had advance knowledge of the plan to steal the tugboat, instead of arresting the heads of the plot, took the decision to allow them to steal it and sunk it to teach a lesson to those trying to escape from the island.

A few days after the incident the regime claimed that it could not raise the sunken tugboat or recover the bodies because lack of equipment and personnel. But the bodies of the 10 years boy Juan Mario Gutiérrez García, Fidencio Ramel and Rosa M. Alcalde, which drawn in the surface and were floating, weren’t recovered either.

The nautical chart shows that in the place where the tugboat sunk the contour line higher elevation doesn’t exceed 800 meters. The Minister of Transportation marine cranes Pablo Sandoval and the Magnum XII are capable of lifting large sunken vessels up to a depth of 1000 meters.

If the Cuban regime could not raise the sunken tug or recover the bodies, it could have requested help from international organizations to do so, or allow others to recover them, they didn’t.

When the fact became public, thanks to the crew of the Greek freighter, the Italian Divers Union offers their services, including equipment, to perform the rescue of the bodies, which was not authorized by the regime. "Brothers to the Rescue” asked the Cuban regime for permission to fly over the area where the sinking took place, to help recover the bodies, but the request was denied.

The UN in June 1995 requested an investigation, “urging that the allegations be properly investigated, the prosecution of those responsible and compensation to the victim families.” The UN Special Rapporteur on Cuba, in his report to the UN General Assembly on October 1996 (Interim report of the Special Rapporteur), expressed serious concern “about the fact that an event of this magnitude, in which 37 people died, has not been investigated.” The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (REPORT Nº 47/96 CASE 11.436 VICTIMS OF THE TUGBOAT "13 DE MARZO" vs. CUBA October 16, 1996) in October 1996 released a report about the sinking of the tug boat saying that “there was clear evidence that it was not an accident but a premeditated and intentional act.” Amnesty International on 21 July 1994 requested from the regime to investigate the sinking of the tugboat (Cuba: The sinking of the "13 de Marzo" Tugboat on 13 July 1994 | Amnesty International). After taking into considerations the international condemnation of the incident, AI reached the conclusion that “there is sufficient evidence to indicate that it was an official operation and that, if events occurred in the way described by several of the survivors, those who died as a result of the incident were victims of extrajudicial execution.”

On July 13, 1994, the Castros tyrannical regime murdered 37 Cubans, including children and women, when they were trying to escape from the Dr. Castro island paradise. Sixteen years later those responsible for this horrific massacre perpetrated upon the passengers of the tugboat haven’t been punished yet.
 

Sandokan

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How many more boats like the "13 de Marzo" tugboat and the riverboat "XX Aniversario” the Castro brothers military regime has sank in the last 51 years, sending to their death many innocent children, men and women? How many massacres like the Cuban-Chinese aboard the yacht "Pretexto? Like the icebergs, where only ten per cent of the mass is visible above the water surface, the rest below the surface isn’t. The same happens with these mass murders of innocent people, where only ten per cent is of common knowledge, the rest below the surface isn’t known up to now.

One thing that is unavoidable is change, and when it happens will not be possible to forgive and pardon. It is absolutely necessary to judge and condemn the crimes perpetrated by the high-ranking officials of Castro’s tyranny. ¡Justice most be done!
 
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