Another Murder Incident from Cuba for the World to See

The artistic project “Exodus Alternate Documents” takes as its starting point a collection of 80 photographs taken by Willy Castellanos on the coast of Havana during the events that gave rise to the “Exodus” of 1994. Photo: Willy Castellano

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.

Read more from the diary of Pedro Pablo Morejon here.

Pedro Morejón

I am a man who fights for his goals, who assumes the consequences of his actions, who does not stop at obstacles. I could say that adversity has always been an inseparable companion, I have never had anything easy, but in some sense, it has benefited my character. I value what is in disuse, such as honesty, justice, honor. For a long time, I was tied to ideas and false paradigms that suffocated me, but little by little I managed to free myself and grow by myself. Today I am the one who dictates my morale, and I defend my freedom against wind and tide. I also build that freedom by writing, because being a writer defines me.

2 thoughts on “Another Murder Incident from Cuba for the World to See

  • Over 100 young Cubans are leaving Cuba every day! That is not exaggeration but fact – over 3,000 per month. The Diaz- Canel regime is well aware of the statistics. A caring government would have concern about the young with individual initiative, departing, for they ought to be the future of the nation. But the reality is that they know that most – but not all of those who depart will in due course succeed and then send remittances to their families, and for Cuba, they form a significant source of revenue. Leaving is now simple, people save their pittance of wages and/or sell possessions and fly to Nicaragua – being able to do so showing connivance at government level. I personally know three young people who have departed within the last 8 weeks, one of whom, I know is now in the US. But the regime cannot be seen by others to approve such departures and like show trials, has to give show demonstrations of its power and control. Hence the murders at Bahia Honda – including the two year old girl! Make no mistake, Raul Castro studied potential successors for years before selecting Diaz-Canel, a hard-bitten dedicated Party hack, who illustrated his intentions on July 11, 2021, when Alejandro Castro Espin’s MININT goons were released upon those Cubans who took to the streets in peaceful demonstration. Subsequently non-public trials have resulted in 17 and 18 year old youths being jailed for up to 14 years, and over 1,000 have gone to jail. For Cubans in Cuba, nothing has changed, life just gets tougher and survival is difficult. Outsiders should also note that without exception, Diaz-Canel is always described as: “First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic of Cuba.” The precedence of the Party over the State of Cuba is thus emphasized.

  • I can’t wrap my brain around the Castros cruelty in this attack. These people were trying to LEAVE Cuba. Why stop them? Obviously they didn’t want to live in Cuba. If this was about sending a message to others who would try to do the same, this strategy won’t discourage Cubans who want to leave from leaving. It will only cause them to leave some other way, possibly more dangerous.

Comments are closed.