Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"Mambo" Watch "Honors" the Victims of the "13th of March" Tugboat

From "Mambo" Watch [July 16, 2007]:

To Those Who Were Innocent

This past Friday marked a day painfully etched in the collective memory of some Cuban-Americans: The Massacre of the 13th of March Tugboat.

For those who wish to know more about this horrible event can check two very thorough reports by:

- Amnesty International: The Sinking of the "13 de Marzo" Tugboat on 13 July 1994.

- (OAS) Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: Victims of the Tugboat "13 de Marzo" vs. Cuba.

Approximately thirteen years ago, on July 13, 1994, 72 Cubans emigrating their island nation, on a dilapidated tugboat named "13 de Marzo", were confronted at sea by Cuban authorities who proceeded to ram the stranded tugboat and use water cannons. 41 lives were lost.

According to Amnesty International:

"While acknowledging that those on board the '13 de Marzo' had committed a crime by stealing the tugboat, there is no evidence to suggest that they were armed or that they were in a position to offer any serious resistance to the pursuing vessels. Indeed, from many of the survivors’ accounts, it appears that their pleas to surrender and to be rescued may have been deliberately ignored. Amnesty International has therefore concluded that at the very least the force employed by the pursuing vessels to prevent the departure of the '13 de Marzo' was disproportionate to the nature of the crime, especially taking into account the risk to the lives of those on board the '13 de Marzo' who included women and children. The Cuban authorities have argued that those on board the pursuing vessels were dock workers acting on their own initiative and not government or law enforcement officials. However, several of the survivors have doubted this assertion and have alleged that the whole operation appeared to be coordinated and directed by radio from a coast guard vessel. The Cuban coast guard service falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior. Amnesty International believes that there is sufficient evidence to indicate that it was an official operation and that, if events occurred in the way described by several of the survivors, those who died as a result of the incident were victims of extrajudicial execution."

The Cuban government has stood firm in denying any responsibility for this event, and has also failed to conduct an impartial investigation in the face of international condemnation.

One of the most disappointing aspects of this event is the how the Cuban government and its information sources reported the incident:

"On 14 July 1994, the day after the tragedy, Granma, the official Communist Party newspaper, in an article entitled 'Capsized Tugboat robbed by Anti-Social Elements' described what happened as an 'irresponsible act of piracy promoted and stimulated by counter-revolutionary radio stations, the most reactionary elements of the [Cuban exile] nest of maggots in Miami, and by the well-known failure of the United States to abide by migration agreements.'"

This is language more suited for Saturday nights on Radio Mambi.

There are few words to say about such horrendous events, especially when there are powerful obstacles to find the truth.

"Speaking to the broken and the dead is too difficult for a mouth full of blood. Too holy an act for impure thoughts. Because the dead are free, absolute; they cannot be seduced by blitz. To speak to you [...] I must not claim false intimacy or summon an overheated heart glazed just in time for a camera. I must be steady and I must be clear, knowing all the time that I have nothing to say-no words stronger than the steel that pressed you into itself; no scripture older or more elegant than the ancient atoms you have become."

"The Dead of September 11"
By Toni Morrison
Written September 13, 2001


July also happens to mark another great tragedy.

On July 3, 1988, a US Navy warship Vincennes in the Persian Gulf shot down an Iranian civilian passenger jet after apparently mistaking it for an F-14 fighter.

Of the 290 passengers and crew killed, most were pilgrims heading toward Mecca. Iran said that the radio signals of the aircraft could not be mistaken for a fighter jet.

This post is dedicated to all innocent men, women and children who have died mercilessly and have not seen justice.


Well, I am now convinced. Despite all your protestations to the contrary, it is impossible for you to show any real sympathy for Castro's victims even if they are children and babies.

This post is literally dripping with insincerity from the first word to the last. So "some Cuban-Americans" — not all — mourned the Massacre of the 13th of March Tugboat? What did the others do? They didn't mourn it? Has any Cuban-American ever spoken one word of support for the Massacre? The Cuban regime and its apologists have spoken millions.

You also seem to believe that Granma is an honest purveyor of information, and when its mendacious report on the Tugboat Massacre does not quite live-up to your expectations, you accuse it of exhibiting conduct more reminiscent of Radio Mambí.

The difference, of course, is that you have the choice to listen to Radio Mambí or no. Cubans on the island have no choice. Granma is the only national newspaper and the organ of the Cuban Communist Party. Radio Mambí's talk shows present opinion which is labelled as opinion. Granma also presents opinion but calls it news. Can you even understand the difference?

Amnesty International is not much better than you. It "acknowledges" in its Report on the Massacre "that those on board the '13 de Marzo' had committed a crime by stealing the tugboat." Really? The children and babies, too? They were "criminals?" From whom was the tugboat stolen? The tugboat belonged to the Cuban people. The thief is the Castro regime which confiscated the property of the Cuban people and exploits their blood and sweat to finance the criminal enterprise otherwise known as the "Castro government."

I also find it highly offensive that you should quote the words of an apologist for the Castro regime, Toni Morrison, to honor the victims of Castro's Massacre.

Finally, your attempt to link an incident of war to a premeditated act of terrorism committed by the Castro regime against its own people is the ne plus ultra of cynicism and disingenuousness, which have always been the hallmarks of your writings on Cuba.



Fantomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Email said...

IT is amazing how the castro government can recruit such a large number of cynics. We know how they recruit them. I just wonder how they go about finding them.

Curioso na'ma,
El Caimán

Agustin Farinas said...

this is so typical of the writings in the Mambo Watch Blog. Whenever he criticizes anything about the regime in Cuba (which is rare and far between) it is always balanced by some other piece of news comdemning the USA by its actions just to offset siad criticism. No big surprise here. One look at his Blog and the comments he leaves on others, such as the one for Phil Peters, one sees whose side he is on, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. His bias is so obvious is very revealing. All this of course, from the comforts of sunny Miami, while he fights against the easy targets of the Cuban exiles. All the time claiming he is an objective observer of the Cuban scene.

Vana said...

Stolen? how can you steal what belongs to the people? desperation is what makes one hop on some decrepit tugboat, when you gotta run for your life anything will do, even a door, I do not know one Cuban, that was not upset about what happened that day, when children were drowned by the castroite coast guard, the regime keeps abusing, jailing and murdering people, and no one clamors for them except us.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


What I find most remarkable is that Mambo is a Costa Rican. Where does his love for Castro come from or his disdain for Castro's enemies?

Vana said...

Mambo watch links to a ñangara in the Island his name, get this, Circles Robinson, I clicked on it and there was a tribute to scum bag che and how his grandson wanted to go to his tomb, I almost vomited

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

And that veneer of unctuous civility is also very annoying. Perhaps Mambo believes that if he is civil it will obscure the fact that he is unjust.

Vana said...

What is a Costa Rican doing with a blog named Mambi? that explains a lot of the hate he directs at us, as we all know most Latin Americans hate us, could it be ENVY, I think so

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


And yet Costa Rica is the one country in Latin America where civilization seems to have taken root.

What would cause him to disdain his own country, which is the real paradise of Latin America, and embrace a bankrupt system that has only brought misery to our country and war to the rest of the region?

Mambi_Watch said...

Oh Mr. Tellechea,

You HONOR me with the inclusion of this direct critique of one of my posts. Especially since Mambi Watch is NOT a "Cuban-American Blog."

I am humbled. Now let me address a few things:

- "Email" wondered how I was recruited. Answer is that I wasn't. But of course you wouldn't believe that at all, so it doesn't matter what I say. You feed directly from paranoia in my opinion.

- Me biased? Look who's talking.

- Me Costa Rican? Once again, Mr. Tellechea's false assumptions become false truths. That's what happens when you don't care for facts.

- Now my reply from my blog to Mr. Tellechea:

Excellent points Mr. Tellechea, but let's be clear:

I said "painfully etched in the collective memory of some Cuban-Americans." Not all Cuban-Americans have embraced this traumatic event as an integral ingredient to the Cuban exile identity.

Neither did I say that they don't mourn. The facts alone describe a cause to mourn.

Second, I don't think Granma is "an honest purveyer of information." On my blog I have never (as far as I can recall) used Granma as a source. If I have, please point it out because I would like to rectify the source.

I make every attempt to avoid Granma as a source because in my opinion they are as biased as some Cuban exiles in the US.

The language exhibited by Granma that I quoted is very reminiscent of the language used by Radio Mambi shows that appear on the air on SATURDAY NIGHTS. Give a listen sometimes. They aren't afraid to use "maggot", "scum", and other such degrading words.

The boat was stolen by definition of being taken surreptitiously and without permission (regardless of ownership). A relevant point nonetheless to measure the act of unlawful force.

Finally, of course YOU would find it very offensive to see a quote by Toni Morrison (first African American female to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993) being used in this context. I'm sure YOU would most likely be offended if she said anything about Cuba.

I used her words to capture the feelings of loss for innocent lives, to respect their death. Irrelevant to the personal politics of Toni Morrison.

Funny, how you haven't even mentioned the Tugboat massacre on your blog.

[And about the 1988 shootdown of the Iran Air civilian aircraft which killed 290 innocent people, I have posted additional links so you can check the FACTS of the case. It would serve you well.]

Vana said...

Isn't Costa Rica called the smallest little democracy in South America? why would anyone want to leave that paradise to come to Miami and bash Cubans? is beyond me

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I have expanded the scope of RCAB to include not only blogs run by Cuban-Americans, but blogs obsessed with Cuban-Americans. And no "foreign" blog is more obsessed with us than yours. The name that you have shamelessly hijacked for your blog says it all and then some.

By implication you are saying that the Holocaust is "painfully etched" on the minds of some Jews, not all Jews. Anyone who would suggest this is trying to deny or downplay the significance of the Holocaust to Jews just as you are trying to suggest that many Cuban-Americans couldn't care less about what happens in Castro's Cuba even something so horrific as the Massacre of the "13th of March" Tugboat.

You continue to compare Granma to Radio Mambí, which shows that I was right: you just don't get it and never will.

As for Toni Morrison, she is analogous to Harry Belafonte: always on the side of Fidel, never on the side of the Cuban people. Never has the Nobel Laureate signed one petition calling for the release of Cuban political prisoners, not even fellow authors or journalists. But she has signed the petition calling for the release of the 5 Cuban spies. It shows insensitibity at best to use her words to honor the victims of the Massacre. She herself would never have used them in that context.

As for blogging about the Massacre, I was looking for an idiot to take down. And I found him.

As for you being Costa Rican, there is no question of that.

Mambi_Watch said...

[From my blog reply]

Mr. Tellechea,

Its your personal opinion that the Tugboat massacre merits a symbolic gesture equal to the Jewish Holocaust.

The pain of trauma is a personal matter that every individual deals with differently and through varying degrees of suffering.

The facts of the case alone are horrendous enough to label it an atrocity, but I cannot say that ALL persons of a group suffer equally.

Neither can I say that such traumas have the same affects on ALL members of an ethnic group.

The Cuban-American community is currently a complex group of changing attitudes and beliefs that I cannot say for certain what historical events form its collective identity.

But, I'm pretty sure I can say that SOME are deeply saddened and angered by the Tugboat massacre. Such as yourself.

[As for the Costa Rican thing, what's your evidence again? I'm an idiot remember.]

Matt said...

There comes a point when any measures can be viewed as justified to esacpe tyranny and oppression. I think Kuba is long, long past that point. Cubans should be allowed to try to get out by any means necessary. Echoing Vana's statement, it belongs to "the people." Some of "the people" decided to put it to use.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Do I honestly have to furnish you with evidence that you are a Costa Rican?

You know, I hope, that proportionally more Cubans have been killed by Castro than Jews were killed by Hitler?

This is why I don't believe you are on the right side of history and will have cause to regret your support of the Castro regime just as the supporters of every other sanguinary tyrant have regretted it after the killing fields were dug up and the people whose bondage they had sanctioned could finally speak freely. Of course, by then, you, too, will have the blood of thousands on your hands.

The pity is that you are not really an idiot. On the contrary, you are a smart if gullible man. But a fool who can see the whole picture (I'm thinking of Val Prieto in particular) is still more surefooted and clearheaded than a pseudo-academic who can't see beyond his nose.

Mambi_Watch said...

[Reply on my blog]

Thanks for the attention Mr. Tellechea.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Always happy to oblige. As I've said previously, I have not given up on you yet.

Vana said...

As far as I know, us Cubans were the only ones known as Mambises, during the war of independence, so Mambi Watch means, Watching Cubans, and that is what Mr Costa Rican enjoys doing, he sits there just like a spider waiting for us to make a mistake, so he can announce it in all it's glory, and revel in it, while rubbing it on our noses, think I got his number.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


You most certainly do. I think he must have a Cuban wife; it would be one way to explain his interest in all things Cuban. Or perhaps a Cuban ex-wife. That would explain it even better.

Vana said...

A Cuban ex wife, I think you are right, she dumped his ass...lol now he bleeds and hates us, one and all, ah the power of women...LOL

Mambi_Watch said...

I'm just pointing out blatant hypocrisies and lies. Like any honest person would do. And, with lots of facts.

Agustin Farinas said...

Vana and Manuel,
whether he is Costa Rican, Cuban, Ukrainian, Argentine or Mongolian is inmaterial and irrelevant. What he is, in my opinion, is an apologist for the regime in Cuba and his opinions on anything that is opposed to that regime, are disgraceful and unforgiving. They clearly betray where his head is at and is not with those who oppose that regime. He is always finding fault with anyone who does anything against or criticizes that evil regime. His last posting on his Mambo Watch Blog is a case in point. He should have sticked to the incident about the sinking of the tugboat, but no, he had to balance it with the mention of the Vincennes ship incident in the Persian Gulf to show that this happens everywhere, as if those Cubans children that were murdered were somehow guilty of stealing the boat and deserving of their horrible fate. He also wote that "some Cubans" care about this murder and comdemn it while others are not so caring and the implication is that they remained indifferent. As if any decent moral person no matter what nationality they are , could remain indifferent to that barbarous criminal behavior. In his twisted logic, they stole the boat and that is illegal, ergo, they deserved whatever fate befell them. Truly fascinating how the mind of these apologists works. Then he comments that history will judge people by their actions. Truly amazing.

Ver un crimen y no condenarlo es como si tu fueras parte de ese crimen tambien.

Mambi_Watch said...

Mr. Farinas,

I do not believe that "ergo, they deserved whatever fate befell them."

The mention of the stealing of the Tugboat is part of the Amnesty International quote. I did not say it. Yet, I support its mention because it describes the disproportionate use of force on the part of the Cuban government.

I personally accept the view that the incident was a massacre. I am also more inclined to agree with the Inter-American Commission's report that it was a "premeditated" act.

In these cases, the government that is held largely responsible must be urged to fully and impartially investigate the incident and meet the highest standards of inquiry. The Cuban government has not met those standards.

And in the case of the US warship and the Iran Air flight in 1988, the SAME RULES APPLY.

Why mention it?

Not only did I recently find out about it this month (connected to my research on RARDE), but it marks a similar tone to the many examples of crimes by the government, and how powerless people become in the face of such acts.

No doubt that both events are different, but observe the reactions. The families of the people killed by the Vincennes were powerless to receive justice by the US, just as Cubans by their own government.

The US has not apologized despite the facts of their utter negligence, and neither has the Cuban government despite the compelling eyewitness accounts of the Tugboat survivors.

Governments have great power over citizens, especially when they commit great crimes against them. They can easily dismiss the charges, and have people acquiesce.

Both incidents have fueled already heightened tensions between conflicting groups: Iranians and American military; Cuban exiles and the Cuban government.

Whether these events become solidified as integral parts of the collective memory of specific groups is beyond my confidence to say so.

Thus I said "some". It neither describes a majority or minority. As I stated before, the Cuban-American community is a complex and changing force, that I cannot really say for certain, except when I have actual evidence.

I do not minimize the horrible nature of the event by saying "some". The facts alone about the case describe the atrocity, but rather I wonder about the extent to which the Tugboat Massacre truly belongs to the ever-changing identity of the Cuban exile.

If you are certain that it does belong to the essential nature of being an "exile" than I would like to know why.

I'm always open to consider that point of view.

Agustin Farinas said...

Mambi Watch,
I quote you: "If you are certain that it does belong to the essential nature of being an "exile" then I would like to know why."
Why? The answer is very simple, sir. It is because I am Cuban and I am horrified that Cubans can commit such a horrible crime against other defenseless Cubans, specially children and women. If this is the behavior of the "new man" they have created, then I tremble for the future of my country of birth that has spawned such savage beasts and murderers. Not even Batista had the audacity and the gall to do something like this. Where do these animals come from? What sick ideology can justify a massacre of this magnitude? We are talking about children, some of them not older than toddlers, for Christ's sake! What difference do you see between these cold blooded murderers and nazis? I don't see any. Do you find that analogy too strong? I don't.
What does it matter if the children were drowned by hoses or gassed? Can you find it in your heart to put yourself in these mother's and father's places if you have children of your own, to see your son or daughter being drowned by some cold blooded murderer brandishing a hose to sweep your child off that boat and you being helpless, and unable to do anything to save them and see them drown before your very eyes.?
As an Cuban exile I can relate to it because the govt. and ideology I despise with all my heart, is the one that has committed this horrible crime. It only proves to me how right my cause is and how evil is the enemy we are facing, that would stoop so low as to murder defenseless women and children just to prove a point and make an example of them. And that my dear Sir, is enough for me.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


In war, mistakes will happen. Not only will non-combatants be killed accidentally on occassion, but just as likely one's allies or indeed one's own soldiers. It is the nature of war.

It is quite another thing for a government to fire intentionally and indiscriminately at its own people.

A regime that kills even one baby to recover a tugboat has valued human life beneath a tugboat: a boat that ferries garbage is more important to it than the children and babies who are Cuba's future.

When Castro's henchmen started blasting the decks with their water cannons the parents lifted up their babies to show Castro's goons in the belief that they would desist, because they assumed, erroneously, that they too were sentient human beings. They were not. They were not even animals but the shells of humans from whom heart and conscience had been excised. Agustín is right. This is the pattern for the "New Man" that Castro claims to have created in "Che" Guevara's image: an efficient and remorseless killing machine which does not stop even at drowning babies.

It is this supreme evil that must be fought, not political labels. You can be a communist or a socialist and still condemn Castroism, that is, if you are a communist or a socialist who abhors killing babies because of politics.

Vana said...

Agustin and Manuel:
My hat is off to both of you, your comments are so true, it humbles me, thank you for using the words that fail me, you are both so right, a goverment that kills humans, and makes tugboats more important than people, is a goverment that should not exist on the face of the earth, the 13 de Marzo incident is something that still saddens me, moves my heart and soul, makes me cry like a baby, as I do now, ah the impotence of it all.

Mambi_Watch said...

Mr. Farinas,

Your beliefs alone, as strong as they may be, are not sufficient for me or any honest person to accept as representative of a larger group.

I myself cannot say that my beliefs alone represent the beliefs of a larger population.

Furthermore, your generalizations about Cubans based on the horrendous acts of the aggressors on the Tugboat massacre is foolish.

Dare I characterize a larger society based on the criminal actions of a few?

Those who have justified this atrocity are those who speak under the influence of great power. Its the power of the government that allows them to justify the act and hide behind its official defense.

It has nothing to do with ideology.

There's a greater psychology involved here and its stems from the reeactions to power, such as conformism and obedience. This has nothing to do with inherent bellicose beliefs. Such errors are attributed to the Nazis, radical Muslims, and those of he Cuban government.

You are under a false belief.

What point was the Cuban government trying to prove with this massacre?

After this incident, Cuban emigration increased. The action has seen no results, but condemnation.

In my opinion, the massacre, like other atrocities, was committed under some kind of lunacy or madness that sometimes grips men. Just at it occurred with the Vincennes in 1988.

With all due respect, I think your reasons are way off the mark.

Mambi_Watch said...

Mr. Tellechea,

Your ignorance of the facts behind the 1988 shootdown of the Iran Air flight reveal your callous indifference to those innocent lives lost.

The flight was on its regular flight path and did nothing to cause a hostility, the Vincennes made a horrific error that ended the lives of nearly 300 people, 66 who were children.

I urge you to look at the facts of the case.

About the massacre, you are wrong to assume what the real intentions were of those who committed the crime. Your generalizations are more suited for a work of fiction.

This is reality, the framework you describe is based on a false attribution that cannot explain the realities in Cuba.

People of all societies obey the orders of their governments, but they do so because of social forces, not inherent values.

People are not robots, they doubt their society and have questions. And they dissent.

But, you must reach out and reveal truths (with facts).

If you describe them as "efficient and remorseless killing machine[s]", then you convince yourself that there is no hope for them, and thus they must be met with force.

The consequences are nothing but perpetual conflict.

Is that what you desire?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Exactly my point. The U.S. attack on the Iran Air flight during the Gulf War was an error. A "horrific error," as you say, but an error. The Tugboat Massacre was no error. It was deliberate and calculated, not an accident of war. I am glad you finally see the distinction. It confirms what I said earlier, that you are not beyond correction.

If you dedicated your talent for polemics to a good cause, what might you not hope to achieve? But as long as you place your talent in the service of an ignoble cause, you can never hope to be anything but wrong.

Agustin Farinas said...

Mr. Farinas,

“Your beliefs alone, as strong as they may be, are not sufficient for me or any honest person to accept as representative of a larger group”.

Mr. Mambi watch,
I never claimed to be representative of any group or any collective. I was merely expressing my own personal opinion as a Cuban exile. So this is a moot point.
“I myself cannot say that my beliefs alone represent the beliefs of a larger population.”
I hope for the sake of our community if you belong to it ( something I doubt) , that you are in the minority.

“Furthermore, your generalizations about Cubans based on the horrendous acts of the aggressors on the Tugboat massacre is foolish”.

Cubans have been trained and indoctrinated to disregard and interpret any opinion that differs from theirs, as counterrevolutionary and pro-imperialist, that is to say, traitorous and deserving of severe punishment.

“Dare I characterize a larger society based on the criminal actions of a few?”

Yes, when that society is a totalitarian society and one has to conform to the official policy or else. I am sure there were some decent Nazis who were appalled by the killing of Jews, but they were never heard from because of the inability to express any opinions contrary to the official government policy of killing Jews. It is that way in a totalitarian society sir, or don’t you know.? Please forgive me, I forgot you probably never lived under one.

“Those who have justified this atrocity are those who speak under the influence of great power. Its the power of the government that allows them to justify the act and hide behind its official defense.”

“It has nothing to do with ideology.”

It has everything to do with ideology, dear sir. Communism is the most inhuman system ever devised by man to enslave man. In all versions of it including the tropical one. If you do not understand this, you are beyond any help. The sequel of such a system is 100 million dead in several countries were this scourge has reared its ugly and despicable head, and is the living proof of what I say. May I remind you of the Killing Fields of Cambodia and its 3 million dead,including women and children, the mass man-created famines in China, the 20 million that perished in the Gulag in the old USSR, those were all the result of a perverted and evil ideology. The Nazi concentration camps were also the result of the same perversion and evil ideology.

“There's a greater psychology involved here and its stems from the reeactions to power, such as conformism and obedience. This has nothing to do with inherent bellicose beliefs. Such errors are attributed to the Nazis, radical Muslims, and those of the Cuban government.

You are under a false belief”.

Am I, really? Who is under a false belief here, attributing good intentions but bad practices to this repressive regime?
Mr. Mambi, in this life nothing is a lie or truth, it all depends on the color of the glass one is looking through. If you were at the receiving end of the repression, I am sure you would be singing a different tune, but as fate would have it, you are not. So count yourself very lucky.

“What point was the Cuban government trying to prove with this massacre?”

The same thing they were trying to prove in 2003 when they executed 3 men for stealing a boat for the only desire of fleeing from Cuba. To set an example for others who might have been thinking of fleeing themselves. Castro himself implied it in a speech. Where else in the world is the penalty for stealing a boat the death penalty by shooting, I ask you? Castro himself attacked a military garrison where several soldiers were killed without any provocation, and yet he received 15 years in jail of which he only served 18 months and was pardoned. No such luck for these men who were executed with a mock trial in less than a week without any rights as we know them for a trial where your life is at stake. And you still ask what were they trying to prove?

“After this incident, Cuban emigration increased. The action has seen no results, but condemnation.

In my opinion, the massacre, like other atrocities, was committed under some kind of lunacy or madness that sometimes grips men. Just at it occurred with the Vincennes in 1988”.

You are mixing apples and oranges here, Mr. Mambi, shame on you. The two cases are not related but is very convenient for your argument to let these executioners of the hook by linking the two. One was in a war zone the other one was not. It took place in a sunny day in Havana's harbor, not in war zone.

“With all due respect, I think your reasons are way off the mark”.

With all due respect, you are entitled to your opinion and so do I. That is the advantage of living in a free society where one can have a different opinion and dissent. If you were in Cuba, I doubt your opinion will be taken into account unless it conformed to the official government line. In fact, I am willing to bet you would be spending a few days in the shade with no access to the outside world, courtesy of their so called State Security repressive forces. Take it from one who did it for the same reason.

Mambi_Watch said...

Mr. Tellechea,

You continue to describe the 1988 shootdown of a civilian aircraft as an "accident of war".

This is false.

The ship Vincennes had entered Iranian waters which it had no reason to. The ship's goal was defense, not offense. The US role was not as aggressor in the Iran-Iraq War.

It fired on a civilian aircraft that was following its rightful and regular path to Dubai, it did not cause any action to name it suspicious.

Like the Tugboat Massacre, the Iran Air shootdown was the result of great errors of judgment that caused a massive slaughter.

While I accept that the confrontation between the Cuban tugboats was premeditated, I DO NOT accept the theory that the act of homicide was premeditated.

Some Iranians believe that the US fired deliberately on the Iran Air flight. Just as some exiles believe the Cuban government intended to kill women and children.

I do not accept these theories.

Read the facts:

Mambi_Watch said...

Mr. Farinas,

There's much misunderstanding.

The moot point you suggest was based on my question of what constitutes the "essential nature of being an 'EXILE'". The quotations referred to the original intent of a Cuban exile collective identity that accepted the Tugboat massacre as an essential trait.

I did not ask for YOUR belief, but rather evidence that refers to the collective identity.

I agree with the fact that the Cuban population receives lessons of indoctrination about "counter-revolutionaries", but the lessons don't say to kill them. The difference with what occurred during Nazism was that there was an aggressive campaign against the official outcasts of society. In Cuba, such a campaign does not exist.

I agree that in Cuba "one has to conform to the official policy or else", but the official policy is not to eliminate the "counter-revolutionaries."

But, it is more accurate to say that the negative propaganda aimed at "traitors" of the state can and has resulted in unintentional, serious harm and injury to this sector of the population.

These are social phenomena that have occurred in many societies, but belong more to lessons of social hysteria instead of personal ideology.

For example, one can have no personal opinions whatsoever towards a group but still commit horrendous crimes towards them if they are heavily coerced by a stronger group. There have been experiments done on these issues. Like the Standford Prison experiment or the Milgram experiments on obedience.

Nothing to do with personal ideology.

Also, I have never attributed good intentions to the actions of those involved with the Tugboat Massacre. Show me where I have written this.

I examined what occurred (by the facts available), and can only surmise about the intentions, but I see no point to do so. The actions are what matter in this case. No real point to guess what the intentions were.

To guess (with little evidence) would only mean to rely on one's own biases.

Which is why I think your beliefs are not sufficient to convince anyone in this case. You are too reliant on your own bias, instead of examining the facts of the case, which are incomplete.

You cite a 2003 incident where three Cubans were killed to "set an example for others who might have been thinking of fleeing themselves." The incident involved the hijacking and kidnap of several people. While I believe the execution of these men was unjustified, I do not believe they were executed to stop people from fleeing, but instead were killed from feelings of heightened and furious retribution for those held hostage.

Examine the facts carefully.

The 1988 shootdown of the Iran Air flight was NOT in a war zone. This is FALSE. Please check the facts.

The truth reveals itself if you examine the facts carefully and honestly. You have a certain responsibility to do so in a free society.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Is this your version of moral equivalence? You give the same benefit of the doubt to a tyranny as you do to a democracy? I suppose that Americans should be glad that you don't think worse of them. Cuban-Americans, however, are right to condemn you for suggesting that a tyrant who has killed between 100,000-200,000 of their countrymen did so as "the result of great errors of judgment" and not as an intentional and deliberate act. I suppose that all his other killings were also due to mere errors of judgment.

Agustin Farinas said...

Mambi Watch said:

"While I accept that the confrontation between the Cuban tugboats was premeditated, I DO NOT accept the theory that the act of homicide was premeditated."

So the confrontation was premeditated but the murder of women and children was not, is that your reasoning?
Are we supposed to believe that twisted reasoning? I think not. If the confrontation was premeditated then whatever derived from it was also premeditated. How were they supposed to stop those people from fleeing, by asking and pleading with them not to? Perhaps just use a little force but not too much? What then if they still refused to stop? This sir, was not an error in judgement but simply cold blooded murder. No amount of apologia or comparison with other incidents can erase that fact. But you believe what you want. Thank God, that is your right in a free society.
You have displayed always an extraordinary zeal to condemn an find faults with all exiles who fight against that odious regime, while bending backwards at every turn to find excuses for their criminal behaviour. If you are Cuban, you are in the wrong place to argue in their favor, because the right place where you should be is on the other side of the Florida straits. There I hope you find yourself at the receiving end of one of those "errors in judgement" you speak of, and perhaps at that moment of truth you will change your tune, although by then it will probably be too late for you.

As Solzhenitsyn said: "When you hear the ominous words "hands behind your back, now", those in the West who doubt us now will know what we mean, and not before."