Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Black Ribbon Day 2022: Day of Remembrance for the Victims of All Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes.

To commemorate the Europe Union's Day of Remembrance for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, President von der Leyen issued the following statement excerpted here:

“On 23 August, we honour the memory of the victims of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, in Europe and beyond. Today, on the 83rd anniversary of the signature of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, this date carries a special significance. This year, Putin brought the horrors of war back to Europe, along with the reminder that peace cannot be taken for granted.[ Rest of statement here ].

The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was named after the two signers, Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. It contained secret protocols that divided Eastern and Central Europe between the two totalitarian regimes. What they called a "peace treaty"signed on August 23, 1939 started World War 2 with the invasion and conquest of Poland by the Nazis and Soviets days later in September 1939.
Czechoslovakia, a Soviet satellite since 1948, had its Prague Spring in 1968, a moment when reformers in the government sought socialism with a human face and it was ended on August 21, 1968 with the arrival of Warsaw Pact tanks on Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev's orders followed by an occupation that crushed the reformist initiative. 
Castro backed Leonid Brezhnev's invasion of Czechoslovakia on August 23, 1968
Two days after the Soviet led Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia on August 23, 1968 Fidel Castro publicly supported the invasion and occupation of the central European country.  Castro's support of Soviet imperialism on the 29th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact revealed the true nature of the regime in Cuba. 

Havana also supported the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Today let us also remember the Cubans murdered by the totalitarian dictatorship in Cuba.
This is not an exhaustive accounting.
Killing peasants who resisted
Firing squads in Cuba ordered by the Castro brothers
While Fidel Castro talked democracy in 1959 the firing squads were filmed and broadcast to terrorize the populace and consolidate control. Those who had fought by his side in good faith believing the Revolution was a struggle to restore democracy became uneasy with the course of the new regime. 
Some, like Huber Matos, Julio Ruiz Pitaluga, and Mario Chanes de Armas who spoke out spent decades in prison. Many returned to the hills of the Escambray to carry on the struggle for a democratic restoration. This resistance was crushed in 1966 after over six years with assistance from 400 Soviet counterinsurgency advisors. 

Frank Calzon writing in National Review on November 10, 1978 about the six year peasant uprising in the Escambray and numbers killed citing official and non-official sources. "Raul Castro estimated that five hundred government soldiers died in order to kill or capture 3,591 " bandits." Writing in 1971, the British historian Hugh Thomas put the total slightly higher: "Minor guerrilla skirmishing has gone on most of the time in Oriente and other mountainous districts in an unsung war; rumors abound but probably at least four thousand guerilleros have been killed since 1962."

Rafter deaths
15-year-old rafter Gregorio Perez Ricardo died of dehydration in 1991.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) 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 when regime officials used snipers and grenades against defenseless swimmers. 

In February of 1991 news accounts of the death by dehydration of 15-year-old Gregorio Perez Ricardo, a rafter fleeing Cuba, as U.S. Coast Guard officials tried to save his life made the news, but the question that arises is how many rafters since 1959 have perished in the straits fleeing Castroism or been murdered by Castro's border patrol? 

In the 1995 monograph, The Cuban Balseros: Voyage of Uncertainty authored by human rights expert Holly Ackerman, and sociologist Juan M. Clark and published by the Policy Center of the Cuban American National Council placed the number of balseros, Cuban boat people, to have died trying to leave Cuba in a range with an upper limit of 100,000 over the first 36 years of the Castro regime. Professor Clark, who passed away in 2013, is the author of Castro's Revolution: Myths and Reality that was published posthumously in 2016 and covered with great detail the sociological impact of Castroism on Cuba and its human cost.
There are several IACHR special reports on Cuba from 1962, 1963, 1967, 1970, 1976 , 1979 and 1983 that document extrajudicial killings in the island.
Thirty seven men, women, and children were extrajudicially executed by Cuban government agents on July 13, 1994 when the "13 de Marzo" tugboat was attacked and sunk six miles off the coast of Havana, Cuba.
On February 24, 1996 air-to-air missiles fired by a Cuban MiG-29 at 3:21 p.m. and 3:27 p.m., respectively, in international airspace destroying two civilian light aircraft extra-judicially killing Armando Alejandre Jr. (age 45), Carlos Alberto Costa ( age 29), Mario Manuel de la Peña (age 24), and Pablo Morales (age 29).  
On Sunday, July 22, 2012, Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante were killed. Cuban state security bumped into the car they were driving, and when the vehicles stopped, with everyone still alive in the car, they approached the driver, striking him in the temple with the butt of a pistol. Within hours, the lifeless and brutalized bodies of both Oswaldo and Harold would appear.

Killings have continued to the present day  

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel appeared on state television after the 11J protests started on July 11, 2021 stating, “The order of combat is given, revolutionaries take to the streets.” This directive incited government security forces to commit violence against civilians. They shot and killed unarmed demonstrators.

Authorities recognized one death in these protests. Diubis Laurencio Tejeda was a 36-year-old singer who was shot in the back by the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) in Havana on July 12. There are others, but they have not been officially recognized.

Christian Díaz, age 24, disappeared after joining the protests. Relatives on July 12 reported him missing to the PNR in Cárdenas. Police told his father that Christian was jailed in Matanzas. On Aug. 5, officials informed his family he’d drowned in the sea and was buried in a mass grave. His family is convinced he was beaten to death.

Diubis Laurencio Tejeda and Christian Díaz killed in 2021.

The body count
Glenn Garvin wrote an important essay on December 1, 2016 titled "Red Ink: The high human cost of the Cuban Revolution" and in it addresses the question of how many extrajudicial executions have taken place in Cuba. This blog addressed this issue before in 2012, but Garvin adds some new and critical insights to understanding the real nature of the Castro regime.
"University of Hawaii historian R. J. Rummel, who made a career out of studying what he termed “democide,” the killing of people by their own government, reported in 1987 that credible estimates of the Castro regime’s death toll ran from 35,000 to 141,000, with a median of 73,000."

No comments:

Post a Comment