Relatives of one of the fencers murdered on the 1976 explosion of a Cubana airliner off the coast of Barbados demanded justice and that Luis Posada Carriles, one of the authors of the terrorist act, be prosecuted.
My sisters and me are indignant because after so many years this criminal is living in peace in the United States after he committed this act that killed Milagro, said Osvaldo Pelaez.
Milagro, a 19 year old at the time, was a member of the juvenile fencing team that had won all gold medals at a fencing championship in Venezuela, they were returning home onboard a Cubana flight with another 72 people on board. Here we retake an article published by the Cuban News Agency on these atrocious actions against Cuba.
October 6th is a sad and unforgettable date for the relatives of 73 people who died in the terrorist bombing in midair of a Cubana airliner, off the coast of Barbados, in 1976. It is also recalled as one of the most atrocious terrorist actions committed ever.
The masterminds behind the atrocious act are named Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch; were free in US territory with the protection of the US administration, thirty two years after the explosion. Bosch already died in Miami. The executers of the crime were known as Freddy Lugo and Hernan Ricardo. “We planted the bomb, and so what? Lugo later told Venezuelan reporter Alicia Herrera, in an interview while he was in prison.
Among the 73 victims of the terrorist action were 11 Guyanese youths, six of them had been selected to take medical courses in Cuba; five North Korean citizens who were on a friendship tour of Latin America. Among the Cubans was the whole juvenile fencing team, whose members expected to return home after having garnered the victory at the Central American and Caribbean sports games, held that year in Venezuela.
“You cannot get rid of such a deep pain,” the victims´ relatives have reiterated over the past 32 years. “It is an incalculably deep wound,” said Odalys Perez Rodriguez, older daughter of pilot Wilfredo Fello Perez, also a victim. “The years go by and I still can hear my father’s recorded voice asking for help; I listen to it and I start crying.”
After a bomb exploded onboard Cubana flight 455, which was covering the route Barbados, Kingston, Havana, the captain Wilfredo Perez and his co-pilot contacted Barbados´ Seawall air traffic control and warned: “We have fire on board!, we request landing immediately, immediately!…” Shortly after those words and a second explosion onboard, the plane, set on fire, fell to the sea.
The Cuban people gathered at Havana’s Revolution Square on October 15 to hold a farewell rally for the victims of the terrorist crime. On the occasion, Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro said that “shocked, painful and outraged, we gather today at this historic square to say good-bye, though in a symbolic way, to the remains of our sisters and brothers murdered in the brutal terrorist action perpetrated against a Cuban civil plane. Most of their remains are still in the deep ocean waters, while the tragedy did not allow their closest relatives the relief of having their dead bodies.”
After all these years, the world public opinion has witnessed how impunity and injustice have prevailed in the case. Luis Posada Carriles has been protected once and again by Washington despite his terrorist crimes.
Cuba declared October 6 Day of State Terrorism Victims. Terrorist actions have killed 3 thousand 478 Cubans over the past years.
Ceremony held in Havana to commemorate the Day of State Terrorism Victims (Photos: AIN).