The Massacre of Cuban-Chinese © 2003 ABIP
by Agustin Blazquez and Jaums Sutton
Barlovento is a marina development that flourished before 1959
near Jaimanita Beach northwest of Havana.
When Castro was in need of U.S. dollars to prop-up his regime
he converted that area into “Hemingway Marina” which became popular
among rich and famous foreigners, including yachting Americans,
all of whom find dubious amusements and business deals while spending
the coveted U.S. dollars, to this day, oblivious that the blood
of innocent civilians taint the waters.
This is the area where U.S. fugitive Robert Vesco lived in luxury
on his stolen U.S. dollars until he fell out of favor with Castro
(perhaps because he ran out of dollars). He was put in jail under
the pretext of some shady pharmaceutical deals with a visiting
relative of the late president Richard Nixon who worked for one
the powerful pharmaceutical companies in the U.S.
But today, Armando Lago, a Ph. D. in Economics from Harvard University,
continues working on his book “CUBA: The Human Cost of Social
Revolutions. The Black Book of Cuban Communism,” documenting the
deaths caused by Castro’s regime from 1959 to the present. According
to Dr. Lago’s ongoing research, the total currently ranges between
90,827 and 102,722 deaths (much higher than the 3,000 attributed
to Chile’s Augusto Pinochet).
Every one of the deaths Castro has caused deserves to be documented
and presented to the world for its review. But, unfortunately,
very few are known to the American public because of the bias
and censorship of the U.S. media and academia.
One of the individual incidents has been known only to the Cuban
exile community and due to the lack of documentation seemed to
be at risk of becoming mere folklore. Dr. Alberto Fibla in his
1996 book in Spanish “Barbarie” (Barbarism) describes this incident
on page 36 for the first time. Dr. Fibla, was in prison in Cuba
from 1962 to 1988 for opposing Castro’s tyranny.
But, in the course of his exhaustive research, Dr. Lago finally
uncovered the documentation of that incident. It was thanks to
former political prisoner Ela Castro. When about to be released
from prison a fellow inmate gave her a copy of the court sentencing
documents of the survivors for her to smuggle out. Ela Castro
was then able to smuggle the document out of Cuba when she came
to exile in the U.S.
As Dr. Lago worked on a chapter of his book that deals with the
crimes perpetrated by Castro’s regime against unarmed civilians
who attempt to escape Cuba in boats or makeshift rafts, he decided
that now that the credentials are available the story should be
told immediately, rather than wait for the release of his book.
So he shared the details of the story with me, complete with the
names of the victims.
So now, for the first time, the complete story.
On January 15, 1962, the Cuban Coast Guard, following Castro’s
standing orders, massacred a group of 29 civilians whose terrible
crime, so damaging to Castro’s revolution, was wanting to leave
Cuba for the U.S. Among them were eight Cuban-Chinese from the
town of Bauta and the neighborhood of Marianao, near that rich-man’s-paradise
renamed “Hemingway Marina.”
On that winter night, the group went aboard the 31-foot rented
boat “Pretexto” (Pretext) anchored at the marina.
But Castro’s Gestapo-type State Security (SS) was already very
well prepared and because of its pervasive web of informants,
knew of their plans well in advance and had time to organize a
dramatic ambush, rather than peacefully apprehending the participants.
Castro’s rule-by-fear depends on bloody spectacles as a deterrent
lesson to repress others.
As the boat began to head out of the marina in Channel No. 1,
the main deep-water channel, it was abruptly halted by a heavy
steel chain that had been strung across the channel.
The refugees looked ahead and saw a Cuban Navy vessel anchored
at the entrance of the channel that opened fire on them with 30-caliber
machine guns. And from one side, more machine gun fire began,
completing a multisided attack.
Since the “Pretexto” was unarmed, it was unable to defend itself.
The result of this cowardly and unjustified attack against 29
unarmed civilians was five dead, including three Cuban-Chinese.
According to the court documents Dr. Lago received, the 24 survivors
of this crime were sentenced to 20 years in prison in the Judicial
Docket (Causa) No. 60 of 1962 by the Revolutionary Tribunal of
La Cabana Fortress. This episode came to be known in the Cuban-exile
community as “The Chinese Massacre at Barlovento.”
The names of the five assassinated by Castro’s forces can now
be given; they are: Amalia-Cora Corzo, Fernando Gil Garcia, both
from the Marianao neighborhood and Cuban-Chinese Lee Suey Chuy,
Guan Xi Lui and Yak Yim Pan, all from the town of Bauta.
In addition to Dr. Fibla’s book mention, the second source for
Dr. Lago’s report is the Revolutionary Tribunal of the Revolutionary
District of Havana; the Judge was Vicente Alvarez Crespo in Judicial
Docket (Causa) No. 60 of 1962, July 4, 1962, pp 1-2.
This case at Barlovento Marina – now the bloody waters of the
“Hemingway Marina” - was not the first or the last incident in
the sad history. There are many more cases. Among the most infamous
cases are at the Canimar River in the province of Matanzas on
July 6, 1980 where 11 unarmed civilians died and the July 13,
1994 sinking of the "13 of March” tugboat outside the waters of
the Bay of Havana in which 41 unharmed civilians (men and women)
lost their lives along with 12 innocent children.
Dr. Lago, in his incoming book, will document these and other
cases. Hopefully this book will not be ignored by the U.S. media
and academia as they did with “THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM: Crimes
Terror Repression” published in French in 1997 and translated
to English by Harvard University Press (October, 1999). But it
seems that while the Nazi crimes are still publicized to this
day, the crimes of the communists are being systematically ignored.
It is very revealing indeed of the U.S. media and academia, but
what can the purpose of their avoidance of the truth of Communism
be? After Castro falls and Cuba hopefully becomes a free and democratic
country, many of those guilty in this cover-up will have to answer.
The right to leave and return to any country is guaranteed by
the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. And Cuba is a
signatory of this document. But, as usual, Castro’s signature
means nothing since his regime has been systematically violating
this right and so many others since 1959.
© 2003 ABIP