The Mariel Exodus – State Terrorism
The Mariel Exodus: State Terrorism / Cubanet, Roberto Jesus Quinones
Posted on April 1, 2015
Against the “scum,” acts of repudiation, beatings and humiliations.
Against Florida, an invasion of the unemployed
Cubanet.org, Roberto Jesus Quinones Haces, Guantanamo, 1 April 2015 – On
the first of April 1980 a bus was driven through the entrance to the
Peruvian embassy in Havana; its occupants entered and sought political
asylum. Unfortunately, the non-commissioned officer of the PNR (National
Revolutionary Police), Pedro Ortiz Cabrera, lost his life in the event.
The event was followed by others extremely traumatic for many Cubans due
to their violence. All would be indelibly recorded in the nation’s
collective memory and would reveal the terrorist nature of the Cuban regime.
Fidel Castro demanded that the Peruvian government immediately hand over
the people who had forcibly entered the diplomatic headquarters. To have
pleased him, long jail sentences and execution by firing squad
undoubtedly would have been the sanctions applied. But the government of
Peru did not agree, and the Cuban regime adopted a measure that, like
the others taken in those days, made it seem to their proxies that the
ball had been placed in the opponent’s court.
The Measures Taken by Fidel
Fidel Castro ordered the withdrawal of protection and monitoring from
around the diplomatic headquarters, inciting all Cubans who wanted to
emigrate to enter it. Very soon, thousands of people from all the cities
and towns of the country crammed into the place turning it into a
tangible reservoir of the discontent that now was sapping society.
The increase in the number of countrymen who wanted to emigrate was made
evident, and the government, with the objective of discouraging the
exits that it had sponsored, made terror its deterrent method par
excellence. It was the first time that acts of repudiation were applied
on the Cuban public stage. The beatings and humiliations abounded
everywhere. The masses, encouraged by powerful groups and directed by
individuals of doubtful social behavior, violated the most basic norms
of respect for human dignity, and the country lived through several
weeks of fascist practices that kept it on edge until the international
community strongly protested.
The government demanded the refugees in the embassy and all those who
desired to emigrate to present themselves at their places of employment
or study in order to be given leave. The unemployed had to seek the
document from the CDRs (Committees in Defense of the Revolution). That
was the indispensable requisite in order to obtain the exit permit, and
it would allow the mobs to intercept the petitioners in order to attack
Another Shameless Political Action
Some years had to pass to have access to other reports and above all to
read and listen to the irrefutable testimonies on Radio Marti and right
here, in order to understand the magnitude of the events and the
perversity of the government in those demeaning days of our history.
With the single purpose of getting the advantage in a confrontation
where he would always be seen as the victim due to the political,
military, economic and moral grandeur of the opponent, Fidel Castro took
dangerous offenders from the jails and put them in the embassy in order
to create chaos, and then he demanded that the boats that came in search
of relatives take these people as well. Together with them travelled not
a few mentally ill, it was later learned.
It was a clever move, but of ephemeral value and revealing of the
unethical essence of the regime whose immediate objective was to
discredit the new emigrants, whom the government elite called “scum.”
But also it tried to clean out the Cuban jails and export to the US
potential disruptive social elements that Hollywood would portray in
popular films like Scarface.
Time Relentlessly Passed
Thirty-five years after these events — which came to be known in the
United States as the Mariel Boatlift — many of the Cubans who were
catalogued as “scum,” thanks to their honest work and a society that is
not perfect but that does guarantee all human liberties, enjoy a life in
the US where maybe nostalgia for the home country occupies an important
place, but one in which they live according to their way of thinking,
The Mariel Boatlift was not a success of the Castro regime; to the
contrary. One highly placed leader from that time, Carlos Rafael
Rodriguez, admitted to a Mexican magazine that the Revolution had
nothing to be proud of with respect to what happened. It is rumored that
it was the catalyst for the suicide of Haydee Santamaria and the object
of analysis in the farewell letter that Osvaldo Dorticos wrote to Fidel
Catro before dying from another gunshot. It was a Pyrrhic victory that
very soon lost the artificial shine of the trappings that the
Castro regime figureheads dished out in order to praise the supposed
genius of the leader. His abuses, still unpunished crimes and inequities
were unmasked to reveal the fascist essence of the methods used by the
mobs encouraged and supported by the police and political leaders.
Since then the acts of repudiation against officially disfavored
diplomatic headquarters and the peaceful opposition, especially the
extraordinary Ladies in White and the brave members of the Patriotic
Union of Cuba (UNPACU), are still practiced in the streets and before
the homes of those harassed.
This, together with repression and constant vigilance by the state
security forces as well as the government’s refusal to respect political
and fundamental civil rights, shows that state terrorism is a practice
entrenched in the Castro regime. The Americans should not forget it,
especially now when, behind the abundant dividends, they try to remove
Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Source: The Mariel Exodus: State Terrorism / Cubanet, Roberto Jesus
Quinones | Translating Cuba –