«Cuba Archive has received reports of a considerable number of deaths or uncanny “accidents” of detractors of the Cuban regime —in Cuba and in several countries— surrounded by mysterious circumstances. (…) There are also a number of credible first-hand reports of seeming attempts against the lives of human rights’ defenders in Cuba, many perpetrated with vehicles. (…) A decisive pattern emerges from the known cases, some summarized herein, that defies odds and points strongly to state-sponsored killings or attempted killings.»
Also see our Alert on the suspicious deaths of dissidents Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepera:
Cuba: Investigate death of dissident leader Oswaldo Payá, 7/31/2012
«That the international community has not held Cuba’s government accountable for even its more evident and egregious human rights’ violations has only emboldened it further. As long as it enjoys sustained impunity and is legitimized by the civilized world, it will continue to employ terror and violence to silence its detractors.» See call to action.»
Article 216 of Cuba’s Penal Code forbids Cuba’s citizens from leaving the island without prior government authorization and penalizes attempts to do so with years of prison. Cuban authorities have killed many unarmed civilians, including children, for attempting to escape. It is feared that many who are presumed lost at sea may actually have been killed by the Cuban Border Guard.
“Barbed wire, high fences, mine fields, watch towers with armed sharpshooters firing at unarmed civilians… the tropical version of the Berlin Wall prevents escapees from Communist Cuba from reaching U.S. territory at the naval base in Guantánamo…”