Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Acts of remembrance to mark 25 years since the "13 de marzo" tugboat sinking

“For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.” - Elie WieselNight

Twenty five years have passed but the victims are not forgotten, the survivors continue bear witness, and this crime is part of our collective memory along with our continued demand for justice.

July 13th marks 25 years since 37 men, women and children were massacred by Cuban government agents who sank the tugboat they were on and used high pressure hoses to drown them. July 13th also marks two years since Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo died of "multiple organ failure" while still under the custody of the Chinese communists. Friends and family had expressed concern that he was not receiving proper medical care.  On July 22, 2012 Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante were killed for dedicating their lives to a nonviolent transition to democracy and freedom in Cuba.

Five years ago visual artist Rolando Pulido created an artwork that became a visual reference at protests observing the 20th anniversary of the "13 de marzo" tugboat massacre. He has now updated it to mark the protest to be held tomorrow night (Wednesday, July 10 at 8pm) at the Cuban Embassy (2630 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20009) to mark 25 years without justice with a 25 minute silent vigil.

On Saturday at the Museum of the Cuban Diaspora located at 1200 Coral Way, Jorge Garcia, who lost 14 family members in the "13 de marzo" tugboat massacre will give a presentation of an edition of his book on the subject that has now been translated to English.  Ramon Saul Sanchez and Marcel Felipe are co-hosting the event. Below is a tweet from Ramon Saul Sanchez of Movimiento Democracia announcing the event.
Jorge Garcia and survivors of the massacre, such as Sergio Perodin, have done the hard work of bearing witness both for the dead and the living. It is a heavy burden they carry, but a necessary one to safeguard memory from the malicious fictions propagated by the Castro regime's propagandists.

Below is a playlist of videos beginning with Inspire America Foundation's announcement of the event on Saturday, July 13 at 2pm. The videos are mostly in Spanish, but some are subtitled in English. Please share them widely with others, and let them know about this terrible crime.


  1. Ramon Saul Sanchez and the Democracy Movement supported the Obama opening to Cuba (https://www.efe.com/efe/english/world/faceoff-among-exiles-over-obama-s-request-to-congress-lift-cuba-embargo/50000262-2517805#).

    1. And your point is? One can disagree on one point, but agree on others. People of good will can have a difference of opinion on a particular policy issue, but agree on the nature of the dictatorship and the need for change.

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