|Executed in Santiago de Cuba by the Castro regime in 1959|
The peasants in the Escambray Mountains, an independent group even during the anti-Batista struggle, took up arms again, this time in opposition to the government's heavy hand. Castro had taken a lesson from Batista's hapless efforts at counterinsurgency, however, and he responded to the Escambray guerrillas with more force and ruthlessness than Batista had dared employ. With the guidance of Soviet counterinsurgency experts, Castro sent thousands of army troops into the mountains to pursue the guerrillas. Captured Escambray insurgents were often executed on the spot, and in a move reminiscent of the Spanish army's "reconcentration" strategy during the independence war, Castro ordered the relocation of entire villages where the guerillas enjoyed mass support. The villagers were moved en masse to western Cuba, where they could be closely monitored.The guerrillas were eventually exterminated and the uprising was crushed by 1966. The full number of dead may never be known. In addition, for the Castro regime, merely wanting to flee the country was considered an offense and was often punished with death. Taking all this into account, below is my response.
|Raul Castro preparing one of his victims for execution|
|Extra-judicially executed by the Castro regime on July 13, 1994|
Matthew White in the introduction to his 2011 book, The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History's 100 Worst Atrocities explains that:
An exact body count is hard to come by for Castro’s regime in Cuba, but no one has ever suggested that he killed the hundreds of thousands necessary to be considered for a slot on my list. Many infamous brutes such as Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, Vlad the Impaler, Caligula, and Augusto Pinochet easily fall short, as do many well known conflicts such as the Arab-Israeli wars and the Anglo-Boer War.The logical question a skeptic would ask is why is Fidel Castro placed in the company of the above named historic villains. The answer can be found in well documented archives stretching back to the beginnings of the dictatorship.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in their April 7, 1967 special report on Cuba documented that on May 25, 1963 the Castro regime issued orders to the armed forces that any peasant seen out of their home after 8:00pm and before 5:00am be executed without a trial by an official of the army or the militia. They also provided numerous examples of young Cubans who were detained and summarily executed.
The IACHR also documented the October 24, 1964 armed invasion of the Uruguayan embassy in Cuba by forces of the Cuban government in order to machine gun to death four Cubans that had sought asylum there.
The IACHR also reported that on October 23, 1966 a group of young Cubans tried to flee Cuba swimming from the populated coast of Caimanera to the Guantanamo naval base. The "Frontier Batallion" of the Cuban government pursued them and shot them with automatic weapons killing three of the four of which two were identified:Pedro Baraña age 35 and Francisco Arcano Galano age 21. Their bodies were found floating in Guantánamo Bay. The same type of action was denounced in 1993 with the addition of grenades used against defenseless swimmers.
- On Jan. 15, 2012, on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, a large group of the Ladies in White were brutally beaten up and detained as they peacefully marched calling for the release of prisoner of conscience Wilman Villar Mendoza in order that his life be saved. Hedied four days later on Jan. 19 while on hunger strike, protesting his unjust imprisonment.Amnesty International denounced the death stating: "The responsibility for Wilman Villar Mendoza’s death in custody lies squarely with the Cuban authorities, who summarily judged and jailed him for exercising his right to freedom of expression." This is not an isolated case. Another prisoner of conscience, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, also died on a hunger strike on February 23, 2010 and there have been more over the past 53 years.
- Ladies in White founder Laura Pollan was subjected to a very sophisticated form of torture that resulted in her death on Oct. 14, 2011 in at what was described as "purposeful medical neglect."
- Juan Wilfredo Soto García was beaten and arrested by Cuban regime police on May 5, 2011 while protesting the dictatorship and died on May 8, 2011.
- In January of 2010, 26 psychiatric patients died of exposure and neglect at the National Psychiatric Hospital in Havana known as Mazorra.
- Three men, Lorenzo Enrique Copello Castillo, Bárbaro Leodán Sevilla García and Jorge Luis Martínez Isaac, were among a group who hijacked a Cuban ferry with passengers on board on April 2, 2003 and tried to force it to the United States. The incident ended without bloodshed, after a standoff with Cuban security forces. They were executed nine days later, following a summary trial, by firing squad.
- Fidel Castro gave the orders to fire air-to-air missiles destroying two Brothers to the Rescue planes in international airspace on Feb. 24, 1996, killing Armando Alejandre Jr., Carlos Alberto Costa, Mario Manuel de la Peña, and Pablo Morales. The four victims had been engaged in search and rescue operations for fleeing rafters.
- "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 68 people on board. The incident occurred seven miles off the Cuban coast, opposite the port of Havana. 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 37 deaths, including ten minors. Thirty-one people survived the events of July 13, 1994." - Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Report Nº 47/96 Case 11.436 Victims of the Tugboat “13 de Marzo” vs. Cuba.
For example, according to Matthew White who cites William Eckhardt’s statistics on World Military and Social Expenditures 1987-88 (12th ed., 1987) between (1972-80): 15,000 civilians + 21,000 military = 36,000 deaths with 17,000 Cuban troops at the height of interventions assisting their close ally Mengistu Haile Mariam. The aftermath before Mengistu's departure rose to more than a million and a half dead. Haile Mariam is today a convicted war criminal hiding out in Zimbabwe with another close ally of the Castros, Robert Mugabe. The Castro brothers had a direct role in an African genocide.
|Fidel Castro with Reynaldo Benito Antonio Bignone Ramayón|
In Argentina during the same period the Castro brothers trained and placed urban guerrillas in the country creating the conditions of political instability that led to the consolidation of a brutal military junta that murdered 30,000 Argentinians in a Dirty War then forged an unusual alliance with the same military junta, to the detriment of the very people it had trained, to block efforts at the United Nations to document all the disappeared people and hold the military dictatorship accountable.
In addition to international missions formally carried out by the Cuban military the Castro brothers have a five decade tradition of training, funding, and organizing urban guerrilla groups and terrorists to advance their revolutionary agenda.
Finally, the Castro brothers also have a track record of supporting brutal regimes around the world such as Communist China, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sri Lanka, and Syria while undermining international human rights standards at the United Nations Human Rights Council in coalitions with many of these countries.