Monday, July 1, 2013

Shadows over the month of July: A Call to Action

Will you bring sunlight to these dark clouds over Cuba?

Remembering two recent crimes
 Although July is the first full month of summer. For Cubans it is overshadowed by crimes that darken what should be a sunny and joyous time.  At least four awful days will be observed this month that are dark clouds that hover over the Cuban nation: 

First, a year ago on July 22, 2012 Cuban agents rammed the car Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero were traveling in on their way to Bayamo in eastern Cuba. Both bodies appeared later. It is unclear if they died in the crash or were killed afterwards. The family is demanding an international investigation.  

Second, 19 years ago on July 13, 1994 Cuban government agents killed 37 men, women and children trying to flee Cuba on board the "13 de Marzo" tugboat. Other vessels struck the tugboat and creater a whirlpool effect to drown the survivors. 

Third, 33 years ago on July 6, 1980 the "XX Aniversario" ferry was commandeered on the Canimar river by three teenagers who wanted to flee Cuba heading out to the open ocean. The regime's response was to send a Cuban jet to strafe the vessel leaving scores wounded and dead.

Fourth, 60 years ago on July 26, 1953 Cubans shed each others blood when Fidel Castro organized an assault on the Moncada Barracks

What plans do you have to honor the memory of these Cubans killed during July under extralegal circumstances and to reject the culture of violence upon which the current regime is founded? Recalling the words of  Elie Wiesel, “For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” What will you do to bear witness for them? Will you mention something over twitter? Create a blog post? Host a vigil? Change your profile on Facebook? What are you going to do to bear witness and demand justice?

What will you do to bring the light of accountability and justice to Cuba in the month of July?  Please let others know and let us make this a July to remember. Its the least we can do for those who can no longer speak up for themselves.

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