By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – This week has been heavy, sad, for me at least. Many deaths, including a little two-year-old girl, whose face I can’t get out of my head. I don’t know why I associate her with my daughter when she was that age. I don’t dare to imagine the pain and suffering her mother is going through.
Somebody in Miami came for their family. The boat was equipped with everything they needed for the journey: water, fuel, life jackets… the possibility of a shared dream, of being reunited and embracing the future.
But all of this turned into a horrible nightmare because of the orders and actions of some wretched people.
What unfolded was completely unplanned for, the only risk they’d calculated was being arrested by these people or by the US Coast Guard… but they’d never imagined murder. It didn’t make any sense.
Survivors’ testimonies soon flooded in, and they all agreed that the Cuban Coast Guard acted in a treacherous and criminal way.
“What they did to us was murder. They threw us into the water to die, they had zero compassion,” one of the women said.
She also said that they were attacked only 200 m away from the coast. A voice cried out: “we’re going to break it in half”; and that’s exactly what happened. They smashed into their boat, breaking it in two. None of the women knew how to swim and two of them were hit by the ship’s propeller. They asked for help but the only response they got from these direct murderers was: “drown.”
The mother of the deceased child gave her testimony: “we got onboard the boat and, when we were leaving, the boat slowed down because it was being circled in from every side, because another boat was coming. When they passed by us, the Coast Guard official said: “Now, I’m going to split you in half,” and then, they charged at us and broke our boat in half.”
The remaining survivors agreed with this in their own statements to the independent and foreign press, testimonies that are going viral on social media, despite the harassment and threats being handed out by the Cuban Government. To try and cover up the truth, more and more, the Government says, on its social media pages, that it was a human trafficking operation, where a boat sunk to the north of Bahia Honda after crashing into a Coast Guard boat.
The Cuban Government also blamed the US Government for its “hostile and cruel policy that encourages illegal migration.
I was heading home on Friday. Three men – complete strangers – were traveling next to me, in silence. Looking at the fields with collapsed tobacco drying huts, one of these men said:
“Nobody will have tobacco this year; and the price of a pack of cigarettes is going to go through the roof.
Another man joined in and said something, as did another man, and we all got to know each other instantly, chatting as if we’d been friends since we were kids. The topic of conversation went round and round until we landed on the subject of what really happened in Bahia Honda.
Somebody half-heartedly said that it didn’t seem like an accident. Another one joined in, like the half-hearted guy, and suggested he read up on it, and I, without hiding my rage, to save him the diligence settled it: “it was intentional, a massacre.”
The three men agreed. The Cuban people know that it was another murder for the world to see. Sadly immune, like so many others.