2008 Vigil at FIU organized by the student organization Free Cuba Foundation
A State Department aide called the use of gaffs, usually used to pull gamefish into boats, to pull bodies from the water "an act of extreme cruelty." According to the U.S. protest, U.S. military guards surveying the bay have witnessed five separate incidents:
* On June 19 at 2 p.m., U.S. guards, startled by the sounds of detonations, saw Cuban troops aboard patrol boats dropping grenades in the paths of several swimmers headed for the U.S. base.
* On June 20 at 1:30 p.m., Cuban troops repeated the action, then strafed the water with machine-gun fire.
* On June 26 at 11 a.m., three patrol boats surrounded a group of swimmers, lobbing grenades and spraying them with automatic weapons fire. At least three corpses were lifted out of the water with gaffs.
* On June 27 at 11:30 a.m., guards aboard patrol boats lobbed two grenades into the water.
* The same day, just before 3 p.m., a patrol boat opened automatic fire on a group of swimmers, who were later seen being pulled from the water. The swimmers' status was unknown.
In the early morning hours of July 13, 1994, four boats belonging to the Cuban State and equipped with water hoses attacked an old tugboat that was fleeing Cuba with 72 people on board. The incident occurred seven miles off the Cuban coast, opposite the port of Havana. The complaint also indicates that the Cuban State boats attacked the runaway tug with their prows with the intention of sinking it, while at the same time spraying everyone on the deck of the boat, including women and children, with pressurized water. The pleas of the women and children to stop the attack were in vain, and the old boat--named "13 de Marzo"--sank, with a toll of 41 deaths, including ten minors.This outrage reported around the world and filtered back into Cuba led to one of the largest uprisings against the dictatorship in Cuba on August 5, 1994 known as the Maleconazo. Extended footage below:
Time Magazine reported the dictator's reaction to the crisis which was to turn an internal crisis of control into an immigration crisis:
Angered by a massive anti-government demonstration on the Havana waterfront, Cuban President Fidel Castro warned that unless the U.S. stops offering asylum to fleeing Cubans, he will allow the free departure of those who want to leave the country. That could trigger a repeat of the 1980 Mariel exodus, which saw some 125,000 Cubans arrive in Florida within a few months, overwhelming U.S. officials. Said Castro: "We cannot continue to guard the coasts of the U.S."
"MX instructs that under no circumstances should German nor Castor fly with Brothers to the Rescue or another organization on days 24, 25, 26 and 27, coinciding with celebration of Concilio Cubano [a planned national conference of dissident groups in Havana], in order to avoid any incident of provocation that they may carry out and our response to it."
It is now interesting to note that yesterday the Cuban Government openly bragged about a pilot who they sent to infiltrate Brothers to the Rescue and returned to Cuba the day before the incident. It is now apparent that that individual, Juan Pablo Roque, transmitted information to the Castro regime about the Brothers to the Rescue's flight plans for Saturday, and so we have here the facts developing of why I say that this act was premeditated murder and it is in fact an act of state terrorism.
You have an infiltrator pilot who tells the regime, Brothers to the Rescue are flying, they are flying one of their search-and-rescue missions, they will be in international airspace but near Cuban airspace, and therefore sets them up as clay pigeons. And you have a situation in which Castro's regime itself was thinking about the possibility of shooting down innocent civilians, asking a former retired general who was in Cuba about the United States reaction to such an event. Hence, the premeditation.
JOSE BASULTO, Brothers to the Rescue: We must not waver in our effort to bring assistance and support to those who struggle through non-violent means inside the island. It is there where our first priority lies.BETTY ANN BOWSER: Basulto supports a third approach to the Cuban question, based on the peaceful, non-violent principles of Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King. Basulto and other Cuban-American leaders believe that organizing flotillas, that by flying close to Cuban air space, and holding demonstrations in a non-violent manner will keep Cuban issues alive in the international arena. Over the weekend Basulto and the Brothers flew near Cuba to memorialize the four dead pilots. In the waters below, a flotilla braved eight-foot seas to remember the young Cuban-Americans. The television pictures were broadcast around the world...
Despite the fact that military officials watched the shootdown on several different radar installations around the country, even as far away as California, and despite the fact two more MIG's chased Basulto's plane to within 3 minutes downtown Key West, the records show that no United States military jets ever scrambled to intercept the Cubans.According to the CBS4 report "orders came from unknown people in Washington. The F-15's were ordered to stay on the ground. And they were not allowed to intercept the Cuban MIG's." Probably by someone like a Walter Kendall Meyers at the US State Department shown in the video above or Ana Belen Montes at the Pentagon.
In September of 2001 top Defense Intelligence Agency analyst Ana Belen Montes was arrested for espionage. She had been spying for the Cuban dictatorship since 1985 and had prepared a military threat assessment of the Cuban regime in May of 1998 that said Cuba was no longer a threat. Montes first caught the attention of the counterintelligence service in her response to the shoot down. Scott W. Carmichael in his book True Believer described what happened. First her role in facilitating a meeting with U.S. government representatives with retired U.S. Navy admiral Eugene Carroll on February 23, 1996 to relay recent threats by the regime and that provided Admiral Carroll a lot of television interview time on February 25 to place the Cuban government in a more favorable light and blame Brothers to the Rescue. Carmichael describes how they thought this was an "influence operation" - a covert attempt to influence public opinion. This could also be a coincidence except for two other minor but important details.
Ana Belen Montes was the senior intelligence expert on the Cuban military in the United States when the shootdown occurred she was called into the Pentagon to provide intelligence support. She received a personal call at the Pentagon in the midst of a crisis situation and announced that she would have to leave at 8:00pm and she did. Two rules at the Pentagon in the midst of a crisis: no personal calls and during the crisis you are suppose to stay at your post until your superior deems that you are no longer needed. Both these flags led to the investigation that uncovered a high ranking Cuban mole in the heart of the Pentagon.