Janet Hernandez, a survivor, gave this account: "Sometimes I think
that it was all a nightmare. But the hideous cries of mothers that lost
their children, the little hands of children sinking forever to the
bottom of the sea and the crying that we shared, is real."
Confronting that massacre, the communist dictator Fidel Castro said: "The coastguardsmen had nothing to do with it, they arrived a few minutes after the accident happened..."
Instead, the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights, in its session of October 16, 1996, pointed clearly to the responsibility of the Cuban state in that crime, with the flagrant violation of two consecrated rights found in the American Declaration of Rights and Duties of Mankind: the right to LIFE and the right to TRANSIT.
But this tragedy has been practically forgotten. I ask in the name of
those who died, a prayer and a feeling of compassion. A prayer so that
soon, freedom will come to the Cuban people; and to the many occidental
leaders, to stop "opening" to the dictator and instead, open to the
unfortunate inhabitants of the prison-island of Cuba, as His Holiness
John Paul II, asked them to.
I will request also in the plenary of the Brazilian Congress - as soon as it starts its activities after the current recess - that there will be one minute fo silence in remembrance of those innocent victims. But that minute of silence - as it will constitute a genuine manifestation of respect, and justly so, of the Congress of my country - does not seem to suffice.
Every time it is more imperious the necessity to proclaim to the
entire world, not only this horrendous crime that lays unpunished, but
the actual situation of Cuba.
Denouncement so needed and urgent, as there has been so little or no change in the Cuban society after the visit of His Holiness John Paul II, despite the revolutionary stubborness of Castro.
It was denounced a few days ago by Sebastian Arcos, son of a well known Cuban dissident, who recently passed away, as he received in Madrid a posthumous award given to his progenitor: "Castro has instrumentalized the visit of the Pope, to give an appearance of change in front of the International Community, which has hastily diminished its pressure on Cuba, when nothing has changed in the regime. Everything has continued to be exactly the same."
And the executive secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba (COCC), ffther Jose Felix Perz Riera, has just declared; "There has not been any openness or any significant occurrences. To the average citizen, everything has been kept the same."
July 13, the catholics of this entire world also commemorate a
special date, which has a lot of common from many points of view, with
the massacre of the tugboat and with the actual situation of the Cuban
people. It is the 81st anniversary of the 3rd apparition of our Blessed
Mother the Virgin of Fatima, Portugal. to 3 little shepherds. It is of
significant coincidence that said apparition happened also July 13th,
and that same day, the Virgin prophetically pointed out that Russia
would spread "its errors throughout the world," promoting "wars and
persecutions against the Church," in which "the good will succumb to
martyrdom." Those celestial words, don't they describe and how
profoundly so, the stations of the cross of the cuban people, in which
the massacre of the tugboat is but one chapter?
Our Blessed Mother, on the same occassion, had some words of hope that equally important, without a doubt, have a relationship with the island; "At last my immaculate heart will triumph!"
May the victory of the Christian civilization as previewed by the Virgin - that in Cuba is revered under the invocation of the Caridad del Cobre - arrive at once to the "Pearl of the Antilles".
So I stated.