[Congressional Record Volume 140, Number 100 (Wednesday, July 27, 1994)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E]
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[Congressional Record: July 27, 1994]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

                       MORE ON ATROCITIES IN CUBA


                               speech of

                        HON. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, July 26, 1994

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
February 11, 1994, and June 10, 1994, the gentleman from Florida [Mr. 
Diaz-Balart] is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the 
minority leader.
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Madam Speaker, Members, first, it is my 
understanding that 12 Cuban-Americans were arrested earlier today 
during a protest in front of the Cuban Mission here in Washington, DC. 
The names of those arrested that I have at this time for apparently an 
accusation of civil disobedience are former U.S. Ambassador to the 
United Nations Human Rights Commission Armando Valladares and his wife 
Marta; Mr. Jay Fernandez, distinguished member of this community; Mr. 
Luis Haza of the National Symphony Orchestra; and Mr. Jesus Permuy, a 
distinguished member of the community that I am honored to represent in 
this Congress.
  There are others. I do not have their names as of yet. I also do not 
know yet the details of what occurred today, but I certainly share the 
deep anger at the brutality of the Cuban dictatorship that motivated 
the Cuban-Americans who were today arrested here in Washington, DC.
  Madam Speaker, I spoke on this floor twice last week on a brutal 
massacre perpetrated by the Cuban dictatorship less than 2 weeks ago, 
and spoke about the details as I knew them then concerning that 
massacre. I have more details today.
  I also spoke last week about the fact that I really do not understand 
the reasons for the lack of attention given by much of the national and 
international media to the massacre of July 13 and really to similar 
incidents which occur all too often in that country only 90 miles away 
from the shores of the United States.
  We read often about horrendous, unacceptable conduct taking place 
elsewhere in our hemisphere. For example, just few days ago I was 
reading the New York Times and Washington Post and some of the wire 
services, also the Miami Herald, which I read, and I was told that the 
Today Show, one of the morning network news programs, mentioned a 
massacre that had taken place at a similar time frame to the massacre 
of July 13, and the massacre of those 12 people in Haiti was, as I 
said, covered by the media that I have just referred to.
  I say recently in the New York Times and in other newspapers coverage 
of some deaths that occurred by accident in Panama, unfortunately. I 
also saw coverage of the horrendous tragedy in much media, both written 
and television and radio, of the unacceptable and brutal tragedy that 
occurred in Argentina. I was told that again the morning news program 
on television, the Today Show on NBC News, had substantial coverage of 
that tragedy, and other media.
  But with regard to Cuba, I must say, and I would assume that the 
American people who are watching on C-SPAN would agree, that you do not 
hear much about what happens in Cuba. It is as though massacres can 
occur and unarmed citizens can be shot down, can be cut down with 
bullets, and yet you do not hear about it in much of our national 
  For example, not just the July 13 massacre, but last summer, a year 
ago, our State Department issued a statement denouncing and condemning 
the practice of the Cuban dictatorship of throwing hand grenades and 
firing upon swimmers who try to reach the Guantanamo base, the U.S. 
naval base in Guantanamo, in the eastern part of Cuba. And the fact 
that there were eyewitnesses to numerous instances of hand 
grenades having been thrown at swimmers, and the swimmers' lifeless 
bodies being subsequently picked up and put on the boats, the Cuban 
vessels, government vessels, with fishhooks.

  Yet I ask the American people watching on C-SPAN, where was the 
national and international coverage of that event? Could you imagine if 
the Haitian dictatorship would throw hand grenades at citizens trying 
to flee Haiti and who were actually swimming, and then would pick them 
up with fishhooks, would we not be seeing that in the national media?
  Also last summer, in two towns in Cuba, there were armed attacks by 
the thugs of the dictatorship upon the unarmed people of Cuba that we 
found out about, and yet I did not see, and I ask, who saw covered on 
our national media, those attacks by the Cuban dictatorship?
  In recent months, within the last 6 weeks, two vessels full of 
refugees, despite having been shot at by the thugs of the Cuban 
dictatorship, managed to arrive on the shores of Florida. I ask what 
coverage did those incidents receive?
  And had those incidents been not from Cuba, but from, again, Haiti or 
other dictatorships outside of this hemisphere, would we not have heard 
about them? That is the question that I ask tonight.
  This spring, more than 100 people burst into the Belgium Embassy in 
Havana. As I recall, there were more than 30 children among them. And, 
again, the lack of coverage of that incident and of the fact that in 
the German Embassy and in the Chilean Consulate similar incidents 
occurred just weeks ago, I ask, again, why is it that those events are 
not given the proper coverage?
  If they were simply isolated events, if they were insignificant 
events, I would perhaps try to understand why there is no coverage. I 
do not think it would be acceptable, but I think I would try to 
understand why there is no coverage.
  If the events were from 10,000 miles away, it would be unacceptable 
not to cover them. Yet, perhaps one could say, well, they are 10,000 
miles away, they are so far from our shores, there might be a rationale 
to not covering the tragedies such as the ones I have mentioned. it 
would be unacceptable not to cover them if they were 10,000 miles away. 
But they are not 10,000 miles away. They are 90 miles from the shores 
of the United States of America.
  If they were isolated in that they occurred just in these instances 
that I mentioned and never before nor after, well, perhaps it could be 
said that they were so isolated that that is why they did not receive 
coverage. It would be unacceptable not to cover those incidents, even 
if they were extraordinarily isolated. But that could be perhaps some 
sort of rationale. But those incidents are typical ones that commonly 
  I remember on this floor seeing a young boy, speaking to a young boy, 
who was here as a guest of my colleague, the gentlewoman from Florida 
[Ms. Ros-Lehtinen], and the boy was 10 years old and told me that he 
had come in a little boat from Cuba, and for hours in the night while 
the boat was seeking to reach the shores of freedom, a helicopter of 
the Cuban armed forces was looking out for the boat to sink it, this 
little boy would tell me, with large bags full of sand that this 
helicopter would throw at the boat in order to sink it. The little boy 
said that since it was nighttime, they did not see us, they did not 
sink us.
  ``They saw our wake,'' I remember he told me. But they did not see 
us, and we managed to make it. So it happens all the time. The 
genocidal conduct of this brutal dictatorship just 90 miles from our 
shores occurs all the time. And the lack of coverage of that genocidal 
conduct by our national press and media occurs all the time. And yet it 
seems as though the only time that Cuba is mentioned by much of our 
national media is to say: TV Marti is jammed.
  I am sure many of the folks listening, watching tonight on C-SPAN 
have seen those reports. I have read editorials in many newspapers and 
have seen many stories in the networks on the fact that Castro jams 
Television Marti and thus editorializing much of that media and 
newspapers say: We should get rid of that effort to inform with news 
and information, to send news and information to the Cuban people, 
because Castro seems to be able to jam much of the time Television 
Marti. That I have seen covered.
  Oh, yes, we hear about Television Marti in editorialized versions of 
the story. We hear that TV Marti should not continue because Castro 
seems to jam TV Marti, instead of, if we are going to hear 
editorializing on that story, TV Marti seems to be jammed so we have 
even more of a reason to make it better and to get through the jamming. 
TV Marti seems to be jammed often so we have an obligation to listen to 
the report of that independent panel that this Congress set up just 1 
year ago, in a totally unbiased and detached manner, which went through 
in a detailed fashion, studied this issue, studied what Radio and TV 
Marti do and came out with a report saying that not only should they be 
continued but to improve the technological ability. And we can improve 
within the existing budget the technological ability of Television 
Marti to get through Castro's jamming and to reach the Cuban people, 
because a substantial amount of the population of Cuba is extremely 
desirous to receive Television Marti, like over 70 or even 80 percent 
of the Cuban people listen on a daily basis to Radio Marti.
  But that is not the editorializing that we hear about in the coverage 
on TV Marti. Inevitably the editorializing on Television Marti is 
because a foreign dictator seems to be jamming our broadcasts of 
Television Marti, that thus we should end those broadcasts.
  Imagine during the cold war, when the Russians sought to jam Radio 
Free Europe and sought to jam Radio Liberty, if the media, if much of 
the media in a systematic fashion would tell the American people, we 
should end our broadcasts because the Russians seem to be jamming or 
want to jam our broadcasts. That is not what would have been proper, as 
it is not proper now to try to editorialize with regard to that program 
which is so important for the our mission of getting news and 
information to the people of Cuba and for facilitating a transition to 
democracy in Cuba.
  And there are other things that we read about Cuba, because Cuba is 
reported. For example, efforts to try to incite and encourage illegal 
tourism to Cuba by the American people.
  There is a ban on tourist travel to Cuba as there is a ban on tourist 
travel to Libya, and there is a ban on tourist travel to Iraq, and 
there is ban on tourist travel to North Korea. Those are terrorist 
states. And for a very good reason, we have established a policy that 
we do not want to see our tourists and our tourists dollars go to help 
those terrorist regimes. But it is not uncommon to see, for example, 
look at this, I read this in the Washington Post, July 20, 1 week after 
the massacre, by the way, of July 13, this article on food, food in 
Cuba, entitled ``Cuba, a Slow Reawakening.''

  When I first saw this, I thought, good, there is coverage now. I saw 
a story on Cuba a week after the massacre, and, I thought, it has taken 
them a week but finally they will have a story on the massacre, 
finally. I see, no, a slow reawakening of tastes. If you ever want to 
see a ``let them eat cake'' story, the ultimate ``let them eat cake'' 
story, look at this food section in the Washington local newspaper, 
Washington Post of the 20th of July.
  This writer who wrote this story on the food in Cuba states, ``the 
crumbling edges of pastel buildings were softened by the night. I felt 
like Sara Brown in `Guys and Dolls,' down for a lark with Sky 
  And then this writer goes on talking about the food that only the 
tourists and the Communist hierarchy can go and have, by the way, 
describing these wonderful restaurants in Havana. ``But in old Havana 
there are hopes that things will get better as tourists are attracted 
to the city as they were in the past. The government is betting its 
money on it.''
  Listen to this:

       The amount of fat in the Cuban diet has been reduced in 
     recent years, and there is greater emphasis on fruits and 
     vegetables, by necessity as well as by choice.
       The Floridita restaurant a few blocks away was a favorite 
     Hemingway hangout. While you sip, strolling musicians 
     serenade with songs from the 1950s and before. The 
     Floridita's grilled tarragon chicken with French fries was 
     delicious. The lobster bisque was fine.

  This writer continues to go on describing the food in the restaurants 
of Havana. ``There was something about Errol Flynn and Ava Gardner in 
the restaurant. I mopped up every drop of the juice of my meat,'' this 
writer continues.

       Later, in the well-appointed grill room of the Hotel 
     Sevilla, I sipped a Cuba Libre and snacked on fried 
     plantains. The student waiter served my camarones al ajillo, 
     soft music played.

  Now, in here, in this wonderful review of Havana restaurants, there 
is absolutely no mention of the fact that the Cuba people cannot enter 
these restaurants, that only tourists and Communist hierarchy, with 
dollars, can enter these restaurants. The ultimate example of lack of 
sensitivity, as I called it before, the ultimate ``let them eat cake'' 
example of journalism about a country that due to the destruction 
brought upon it by a regime that does not permit its people to enter 
those restaurants, that imposes a tourism apartheid, wants to attract 
American tourism, and articles like this, articles like this are 
seeking simply to evade, to encourage American citizens to break our 
law and to go to these restaurants that the Cuban people are not able 
to to go to.
  That we read about Cuba, but we do not hear about those things that I 
mentioned before, the tragedy after tragedy, after tragedy.
  I yield to the gentleman from California [Mr. Dornan].
  Mr. DORNAN. I raced over here the other night to join you last week 
at the back-to-back 5 minutes and just missed joining you on the floor, 
because I am amazed that not through conspiracy but through like-minded 
thinking, journalists who would otherwise claim that their credo is 
fairness and openness, seeing to the self-censoring of themselves from 
talking about the ongoing history of atrocities in Cuba. The date that 
you were the first one to bring to my attention, because I could not 
find it anywhere in the printed media, July 13, this old tugboat that 
was escaping, followed by Castro's navy so to speak.

  They waited until it was outside the 7-mile limit, and then they 
circled it, creating a maelstrom and use high-powered fire hoses to 
blow women and children off the decks, 40 dead. And you got up and 
updated it all, coming from south Florida, on the death toll. And what 
has happened to the 30 or so survivors and is that an accurate figure?
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. I have gotten updates on facts with regard to what 
occurred. Nothing of what you referred to last week is untrue. It is 
all true. There are more facts coming out.
  And what is really shocking, not only, of course, is the brutal 
conduct that you just referred to, but, for example, after, in Miami, 
before boarding Air Force One, after having been asked about the 
massacre that had occurred just a few days before, the President of the 
United States, and I will read, condemns the massacre as an example of 
Cuban brutality and he states, ``I deplore it as an example of Cuban 
brutality, another example of the brutal nature of the Cuban regime.''
  The President of the United States says this, and it is still not 
covered. It is still not covered. And then the Pope issues his 
condolences, expresses his condolences to the survivors of the 
massacre, for, obviously, the loss of their family and friends, and I 
have not seen that in the major networks or media.
  Then last Friday, after, by the way, another attempt to kill TV 
Marti, something that is covered, that we do hear, to kill TV Marti, 
because of jamming, not because the program is not good, not because it 
is biased; no, no, independent report after independent report says 
that it is good programming, that it is fair programming, that it is 
programming that cannot be condemned. Yet, time after time, we hear it 
should be killed.
  However, based on an amendment in the Senate to do just that, there 
was such an uproar among the Senators with regard to this massacre and 
the lack of sensitivity of the timing, just 1 week after the massacre, 
trying to do something that in effect would help Castro, because if 
Castro spends tons of oil to jam Television Marti, obviously it is not 
in his interest. TV Marti is not in his interest. He does not like TV 
  The Senate, pursuant to that total lack of sensitivity, especially of 
timing, 1 week after the massacre, passes overwhelmingly an amendment 
by Senators Mac, Dole, Graham, and others condemning the tragedy of 
July 13, requesting that the President instruct our permanent 
representative to the United Nations to seek a condemnation of the 
massacre by the Security Council of the United Nations, and also to 
seek an international investigation of the massacre. This is by the 
Senate of the United States. I also did not see a report anywhere.
  Mr. DORNAN. Madam Speaker, if the gentleman will continue to yield, I 
would ask him if he will see if he concurs with me in making a 
suggestion to the media. They know this lesson well, but maybe if 
somebody brings it up on the floor of this distinguished legislative 
Chamber they will see a way to get back into the story.
  A few days before the at-sea massacre by Castro's people there was a 
massacre of 12 males in Haiti. We sent people from the Embassy out to 
photograph the bodies. They were all dumped together. Twelve certainly 
constitutes a massacre. There were seven people massacred on St. 
Valentine's Day in 1929, and that was called, properly, a massacre. It 
was headlines for months, the St. Valentine's Day massacre. Twelve is a 

  Forty, involving women and children being blown into the sea to 
drown, that is a massacre. Here is what the media can do, the title of 
a reprise story: ``The Story of Two Massacres: What Happens When the 
Visual Media Does Not Have Film,'' and then show that when film is 
available, as it was in Haiti, of the 12 bodies of the young men who 
were brutally killed, but there is no film of this atrocity at sea, you 
do a comparison of ``Is a story a story unless someone photographs 
  We do not have photographs of the mass starvation in Sudan, where 
Moslems and Christians were killing one another in south Sudan, but now 
that the refugees flee from Rwanda into Zaire, and we have horrible 
film from Goma, suddenly it is a massive story. We were told over and 
over that until the BBC filmed the starvation in Ethiopia 9 years ago, 
that that was not a story.
  Here is my suggestion to the sight, sound, and motion television 
networks and CNN. They could easily do what they do when they set their 
mind to it: show a map of Cuba, put a little dotted line going out to a 
7-mile limit, then show a picture, ``This is the type of boat that was 
escaping, and on this boat there were about 75 people,'' and these 
facts will all start to come out more and more over the next few months 
as some of the women get out clandestine word to people in your 
district and in your community in southern Florida, say ``And here is 
what took place.''
  You do it with animation. You show a larger boat and say, ``Here is a 
satellite photograph of one of the Cuban-type fire boats, and here is 
what these fire hoses can do,'' and if they wanted to they can set up a 
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. They do not need to do that. Let me tell you why: We 
have photographs of the two dozen children.
  Mr. DORNAN. Oh, my gosh, their bodies?
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. We have family pictures. No, not after they died. 
They are at the bottom of the water. They have refused to go get the 
bodies and they have refused to get those bodies so their family can 
give them a burial.
  No, they refused that, but the families, those ladies whose taped 
voices I heard, and who have willingly spoken on video to foreign 
journalists in Cuba, they have the family pictures of the two dozen 
children that died. So we can show, if we want, the family pictures.
  Mr. DORNAN. Let us write a letter to Rick Caplan, charter FOB, Friend 
of Bill's. Let us write a letter to him. He does the evening news at 
ABC, used to be a producer of Prime Time. Let us write a letter to 
Peter Jennings. Let us write a letter to Sam Donaldson. More than 
anything, let us write a letter to Ted Koppel. They brag they reach 
more people than any other news outlet in American history.
  Madam Speaker, the gentleman and I and our colleague, the gentleman 
from New Jersey [Mr. Menendez], on the other side of the aisle, let us 
pick this as a massacre that we will not let die, because of the 
children and women involved.
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. We will not, we will not let it die.
  Mr. DORNAN. How horrible it is to drown at sea, and for all we know 
they suffered shark attack; these are shark-infested waters, let us 
keep this alive. Let us each week one of us at least do a 5-minute, and 
one of those who have interests in Florida, and let us contact one of 
the networks, and I will personally call Ted Koppel, ask him, let us do 
an analysis of two massacres, and ask if there is a Rwanda factor here 
now: That unless people die in the tens of thousands, it is no longer a 
story. Thank you again for bringing the truth out.

  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from California 
for his concern, and for the fact that he has already spoken, and I 
have seen him speak on this floor, with regard to this massacre.
  I reiterate, as I have in the past, that this I will not let die, 
because they have gone too far. They started the first of January of 
1959, they started killing people that same day, to terrorize the 
population, but this massacre of over two dozen small children in the 
dead of night at 3 a.m. in the morning, and by the way, more facts, as 
I stated before, have come out.
  Mr. DORNAN. May I put in one footnote, if the gentleman will yield 
  Mr. DORNAN. The media is obsessed with following the line of those 
doves in this House who finally have found a conflict that they are 
looking forward to: Military force in Haiti. I want to reiterate what I 
have said on this House floor before: That there are thugs in Haiti who 
have serial killer first-degree murder backgrounds, from Tons-Tons 
Macoutes, former types who are now sergeants, all the way up to the 
Prime Minister; good evidence of drug running and killing, but not 
general Cedras. I am not making a case for him, but all of our 
intelligence agencies are on record as saying there is no 
circumstantial, let alone hard-core, evidence tying him to any murders, 
any torture murders, or any people who survived torture. There is 
nothing tying him to drug running.
  Now maybe he should go. He is obviously an obstinate man, and he has 
people like the chief of police, Francois Michel, who do have ugly 
backgrounds, but not Cedras. But Castro, and I think I told you this 
once, he is now gone to the great embassy in the sky, but the U.S. 
Ambassador to Cuba who was there when Castro was a senior in law 
school, running for the student body president, told me that he 
personally executed his opponent who was running ahead of him for, like 
some American colleges, it was not for student body president, it was 
for presidency of the student union, that he executed him when he was 
brought out a side exit of a movie theater, gunned him down between two 
  I went over to the State Department after I heard that, I learned 
that at John Fisher's American Security Council seminar, the summer of 
1974. I went to the State Department and said, ``Is this true,'' once I 
became a Congressman 2 years later. ``Oh, everybody in the State 
Department believes that is probably a true story.''
  Here is the story that I have gone over with you, you have confirmed 
it to me because I said it on the House floor before you and Ileana 
came here to give us your own personal experience.
  That Castro, in the 1960's, in the 1970's and the 1980's would say, 
to pick a name of someone who made it out, ``How is Armando Valladares 
doing?'' This is a man whose name had not passed his lips in maybe 5 
years. The man is now in, say, his 20th year of imprisonment.
  ``Oh, not too well, we don't expect him to survive the year. He's 
stark naked, in a blackened-out cell, his own fecal material is still 
in the cell most of the time. Yeah, he's really doing poorly.''
  And Castro would say, ``Good. Keep it up.'' And maybe bring up this 
man's name, not just men, women, 5 years later. The man is diabolical. 
To see Diane Sawyer, it is too harsh to say she was fawning over him, 
and plenty of male journalists have done this, too, just to get some 
exclusive interview with him. To see journalists acting like this man 
is anything but a first-degree murderer, a serial killer and a thug who 
personally gave orders to torture people and kept them in prison for a 
quarter of a century, revisiting their cases occasionally, so he could 
feel their pain, it reminds me of Adolf Hitler killing 5,000 people 
after the plot 50 years ago on July 20, then having film taken, still 
and motion picture film, of them hanging, some of them, naked from 
piano wire on meat hooks, then for some sadistic reason that normal 
people cannot understand, laughing while he watches them hung over and 
over again.
  Where is the line between Adolph Hitler, except by degree of numbers 
murdered, and Castro who would let people be tortured for years, live 
in total darkness naked like animals and revisit their cases 
occasionally? That is why thugs under him would feel that they have 
some right of power to blow women and children off the deck of a ship 
in the dead of night to drown in the ocean. So keep it up, Lincoln.
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. It was a direct order.
  Mr. DORNAN. A direct order. Let me get beyond the 7-mile, kill and 
bring back a few survivors to make an example?
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. It was a direct order, and we have the names.
  There was a tip to the Minister of the Interior, General Colome 
Ibarra, that 70-plus refugees were planning to leave that morning, 
within a few days, the morning of the 13th of July. Castro personally 
ordered to his Interior Ministry that an example be made of this group 
because things were getting out of hand.
  ``So don't use the Navy'' was the order. ``Use those three new Dutch 
fire-fighting vessels that we have with those very potent hoses. Blow 
them off the deck, then ram the boat and sink it. But after they're out 
of the bay,'' where there are no witnesses.
  Colome Ibarra, the Minister of the Interior now states that Castro 
personally gave the order, which is very interesting, as though Colome 
Ibarra is thinking of a potential trial in the future because there 
cannot be a statute of limitations for this. Colome Ibarra perhaps 
thinking about that trial in the future says that the order was 
personally given by the commander in chief.
  The three Dutch fire-fighting vessels were named Polargo, the Polargo 
2, which had a Ministry of the Interior official on it giving orders, 
named David. The Polargo 3, whose Ministry of the Interior official was 
Aristides, we do not have a last name. And the Polargo 5.
  Mr. DORNAN. Does Polargo mean anything in English?
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Just names. Vessels 2, 3, and 5. The Polargo 5 was 
under instructions of the man in charge of the mission. Jesus Martinez, 
known as Jesusito. Jesus Martinez was very frustrated, because just a 
few weeks before when a vessel full of refugees reached Florida, they 
had tied up an Interior Ministry official who was on board, and that 
was Jesusito. So imagine how full of vengeance this man was and how 
happy he was to have an opportunity to comply with the order to make an 
example given by his commander in chief.
  This man Jesus Martinez was on the Polargo 5, that Dutch vessel, the 
largest and most potent of the fire-fighting vessels that rammed the 
old tugboat until it managed to break it in half, crack its hull, and 
it sank to the depths.
  This information in a very, very well-researched article was brought 
to our attention by a Cuban writer and journalist who has been 
described time and time again by the media as a moderate. Very 
interesting. This is a ``moderate'' Cuban exile leader who lives in 
Spain, Carlos Alberto Montaner, who with his many contacts within Cuba 
has been able to confirm the facts as I relayed them.
  I want to commend at this point a county commissioner from my county, 
from Dade County, Mr. Pedro Reboredo, who published in yesterday's 
Washington Post an ad, because obviously he found out that there is no 
other way of getting this news. ``Let me tell you about an ongoing 
tragedy.'' That is in the Washington Post of yesterday, with the facts 
of the massacre. This was paid for by county commissioner Pedro 
  Mr. DORNAN. Put that in the record, Lincoln.
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. I will.
  Mr. DORNAN. Did you also have, because I heard you mention 
restaurants when I came in the Chamber.
  Did you put in this article on Castro's entrepreneurial blockade 
about closing down successful restaurants?
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. I will put that in, certainly.
  I want to state just a few days before Commissioner Reboredo's 
article, advertisement that was paid for in the Washington Post, the 
Washington Post on page A22 ran under the headline, and this is the 
size that it ran it in, page A22, ``For the Record,'' reprinting, and 
this is the size of the headline ``Murder at Sea,'' a July 19 editorial 
from the Miami Herald. Interestingly enough, for the record, for some 
reason the Washington Post wanted to be on the record that it has 
published something with regard to this massacre.
  To my knowledge, all that has been published in the Washington Post 
is this ``For the Record,'' July 22, a reprinting of an editorial of 
the Miami Herald with regard to the barbarism of the crime of July 13.
  As I stated, facts are coming out continuously about the massacre. 
But there are many other stories that need to be talked about, many 
other facts that need to be reported about Castro's Cuba that we do not 
hear about.
  There is a fugitive from justice who is the de facto minister of 
finance in Cuba, Mr. Robert Vesco. Ever since 1972, Robert Vesco has 
been a fugitive from American justice under indictment. He is, as I 
have stated, a de facto minister of finance and crime for Castro. But 
we do not see that often reported, even though I think it should be.
  How about the fact that those restaurants which we saw critiqued in 
that food section, what I call the let-them-eat-cake section, we do not 
hear about the fact that those restaurants are dollar-only restaurants 
that the Cuban people do not have access to. I read, for example, a 
recent cable, that the President-elect of Panama has stated that it is 
a shame that Castro has not been invited by President Clinton to the 
hemispheric summit in December in the United States of democratically 
elected Presidents. I think it is, by the way, commendable of President 
Clinton that he has not asked either Cedras nor Castro to his summit 
that he has convened of democratically elected leaders here in the 
United States in December.

  The President-elect of Panama, who was just here a few days ago, 
said, however, that that was incorrect, that he should have been 
invited, that Castro should have been invited. But we do not hear 
perhaps why the President-elect of Panama is saying that. We do not 
hear about Gerardo Gonzalez, for example, a top official in the 
President-elect's party. His son is another fugitive. This Gerardo 
Gonzalez' son killed an American GI in Panama. And where is he today? 
In Cuba, as another, like Robert Vesco, fugitive from American law.
  Castro's Cuba is not only a haven for fugitives from American law, it 
is a money-laundering haven, a tax-evasion haven, a drug-trafficking 
haven, and perhaps that is why corrupt leaders in Mexico and Spain and 
Colombia and other places seem to go out of their way, bend over 
backwards to please Castro. Just a few days after the massacre of July 
13, he was invited once again to Colombia to a meeting of Caribbean 
  The reality of the matter is that not even a massacre like July 13, 
perhaps because of the fact that it is such a convenient haven for the 
kinds of things we were talking about, not even a massacre like that 
prevents Castro from being reinvited to forums like that that took 
place in Colombia.
  But the gentleman from California talked about, for example, drug 
trafficking. It has been reported widely that the Haitian regime, 
members of the Haitian dictatorship have engaged in drug trafficking. A 
draft indictment of the U.S. Attorney for the southern district of 
Florida was leaked to the press some months ago implicating Raul Castro 
and other members of the dictatorship directly in drug trafficking. 
What happened to that draft indictment? Why is the press not asking 
about what the status is of the draft indictment? Why has this draft 
indictment simply evaporated into space?
  What is amazing to me is that despite this undeclared censorship with 
regard to the tragedy of Cuba and the horrors of Castro's Cuba and the 
anti-American dedication of Castro's dictatorship, despite that, 
despite the fact that we do not hear about that in the press, we only 
seem to hear about TV Marti being jammed, that is the only time Cuba 
seems to be covered by the national media, the American people in poll 
after poll after poll by a more than 2 to 1 margin continue to support 
sanctions against Castro. They perceive, they feel that he is an anti-
American thug, murderer, drug trafficker. The American people know. The 
American people have an extraordinary sense of perception and an 
extraordinarily sense of justice, and they know who our enemies are, 
and they know that the United States, the people of the United States 
and freedom loving people everywhere in the world have no more 
dedicated enemy than the tyrant who is only 90 miles away from our 

  But that support for sanctions against Castro, as I say, is due to 
extraordinary perception and an innate sense of justice of the American 
people. How much more could be done and would be demanded by the 
American people if they were informed of what is going on continuously 
in Castro's Cuba?
  Just recently, for example, and there are constant examples of lack 
of sensitivity with regard to the tragedy of Cuba, the Canadian 
Government, for example, just announced recently a resumption of aid to 
the Castro dictatorship. I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister. It was 
a strong letter. I did not mean it to be insulting. I do not think it 
was, but I said what I thought. The Ambassador to the United States 
from Canada answered my letter, and he answered it very respectfully, 
and I will answer his letter.
  I thank the distinguished Ambassador for his letter. But let me give 
an example of why it is so important and I am going to continue 
speaking about what I consider the lack of responsibility of much of 
the national press and media with regard to what is happening just 90 
miles from our shores. The Canadian Ambassador answers me on behalf of 
the Prime Minister and he tells me, explains to me from his vantage 
point about what the Canadian Government is doing with regard to Cuba, 
and then he states in this letter from the Canadian Ambassador to the 
United States, ``The Cuban government does not have a record of such 
practices as forced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings.'' This 
is a letter from the distinguished Canadian Ambassador to the United 
  The extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances began on January 
1, 1959. In that month of January 1959, three third cousins of mine, 
and their names are Torcuato, Domingo, and Miguel Olea Gros, those are 
their last names, were shot without trial by Raul Castro. Like the Olea 
Gros brothers there have been thousands and thousands and thousands of 
victims of this dictatorship 90 miles from our shores. Those refugees 
seeking freedom on July 13, I would ask the distinguished Ambassador 
from Canada, what trial did they receive before they were brought to 
their deaths at 7 miles from the coast of Havana, including two dozen 
or so children? How were those deaths judicial?
  I am certain that the Ambassador from Canada, as I have stated, is a 
distinguished gentleman who means well, and that is why I make so much 
emphasis on the need for information, because even the Ambassador to 
the United States from Canada, after 35 years of daily crimes by the 
regime, states in writing, in justifying his government's resumption of 
aid to the Cuban dictatorship, that there are no extrajudicial killings 
in Cuba. So there is a grave responsibility on the shoulders of those 
whose mission it is to inform the international community about what is 
happening, and they are failing in that responsibility.
  Mr. BURTON of Indiana. Madam Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. I yield to the gentleman from Indiana.
  Mr. BURTON of Indiana. Madam Speaker, I would just like to point out 
that one of my heroes, and a good friend of yours, and a good friend of 
mine, Armando Valladares, who spent 25 years-plus in a Cuban prison, 
and who was tortured, and I think Representative Dornan alluded to it a 
few minutes ago, was arrested today because he was protesting before 
the Cuban mission about the horrible atrocity that took place, to which 
you have been alluding. I think it is really unforgivable that this 
country would put a man of that caliber, who was our U.N. Ambassador to 
the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, put him in jail for showing his 
outrage at what Castro's Cuba has been doing.
  In addition, I would like to make one brief comment, and I do not 
want to interrupt your train of thought because you are doing such a 
fine job, but that is we hear a lot about Haiti, and there are a lot of 
problems with Haiti. There is even talk of invasion. Yet we have had 
problems, as you said, for 35 years that have been going on in Cuba, 
and we have let them go on and on, the atrocities go on year in and 
year out, and a real animal and a tyrant is down there. And many times 
we look the other way.
  So I would just like to say to my colleague, as long as he is and I 
am in the Congress, I think the vast majority of our constituents will 
be made aware of these horrible things, and we will try to do 
everything we can to stop this from going on.
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. I thank the gentleman from Indiana, who is one of 
the great leaders in this Congress in favor of human rights everywhere 
in the world, and who has made his voice be heard often with regard to 
the tragedy 90 miles away from our shores. I thank the gentleman once 
  I think it is important to focus in on what needs to be done with 
regard to the tragedy of July 13. The U.S. Senate spoke very clearly 
last Friday and requested formally and officially that President 
Clinton instruct our permanent representative to the United Nations to 
seek a condemnation of the massacre of July 13, of those over 40 
innocent refugees and two dozen children, and to seek an international 
investigation exactly of the details of that massacre, and also to 
request of the Cuban dictatorship to cease its harassment of the 
survivors of the massacre, the men which are in detention or in prison 
in Cuba for the crime of trying to leave their country.

  Madam Speaker, today is one of the darkest days in the history of 
Cuba. It is July 26. This was the day that Castro sought to make a name 
for himself in 1953 by attacking the second largest military barracks 
in the country.
  There is an extraordinarily good article today in the Spanish-
language version of the Miami Herald from a Cuban, perhaps, certainly 
one of the best known, if not the most brilliant of the Cuban poets, 
Gaston Baquero, who is a black man, has suffered racial discrimination 
and written about it, and who I admire extraordinarily, not only for 
his talent, but for above all else his humanity. Baquero published an 
article today sizing up this date, July 26. He says, ``Forty-one years 
gives one a perspective that is sufficient to judge a historical 
event.'' He says, ``It's very dangerous when a society at some point 
applauds an attack on a military barracks. When a society applauds an 
attack on a military barracks it becomes a suicidal society,'' he says, 
``because that military barracks is part of the guarantee of private 
property, and order and all of the other things that are required for 
  One of the so-called heroes he talks about, perhaps the most famous 
of the women who accompanied Castro in his so-called revolutionary 
feat, was Haydee Santamaria. He identifies, Baquero identifies Haydee 
Santamaria as the image, mother, sister, matriarch of the so-called 
revolution of Castro.
  Back on a similar date such as this 26 July, in 1980, after having 
seen what Castro was doing to those who were seeking to leave by the 
well-known Mariel port, that so-called acts of repudiation which he had 
already managed to perfect by then, get mobs to go to people's homes 
and spit on the people who are leaving or they have signed a document 
or dissented in some way, get the children, classmates of many of the 
children at that home, to spit on their classmates, insult the family 
and classmates.
  When Haydee Santamaria, again, the mother, sister, matriarch image of 
the Castro revolution saw what he was already doing in 1980, on this 
date, that year, she by the way had described the following: She had 
said, she had declared, when all other alternatives fail, Haydee 
Santamaria had declared the only solution, political solution, that 
remains is suicide, and so she, in a dignified fashion, committed 
suicide on a day like today, 26 July, 1980, and Baquero ends his 
historical analysis of 26 July, after referring to that incident of 
Haydee Santamaria, in the following fashion: If Fidel Castro were loyal 
to the memory of his first idol, Eduardo Chibas, who by the way had 
committed suicide. He was a very well-known political figure, and he 
committed suicide in Cuba in 1951; Fidel Castro would offer this 26th 
of July to his tortured people, would offer on this 26th of July to his 
tortured people the only serious, adequate, and just action that he has 
at his grasp, to blow his brains out. Why not imitate his idol Hitler 
when all is lost for him, his idol who Castro stole that phrase from 
``History will absolve me,'' when Castro was arrested in 1953; he stole 
Hitler's phrase at the end of Mein Kampf, ``History will absolve me.'' 
Why not imitate his idol Hitler who he stole that joke from, ``History 
will absolve me''?
  It would be the perfect closing to the door that was opened by Castro 
when he attacked that military barracks on July 26, 1953; that suicide 
would be the final period on the bloody page, in his bloody page.
  Never again another 26th of July. Never again.
  [The articles follow:]

                 [From the Miami Herald, July 19, 1994]

                             Murder at Sea

       Has our hemisphere grown so used to the Cuban regime's 
     savagery that it cannot summon a cry of outrage for the 
     nearly 40 Cuban refugees sent to their watery deaths by Fidel 
     Castro's government? The ``prudent'' silence over Cuba's 
     murderous sinking of a tugboat loaded with escapees is 
     without justification.
       Would this complicitous silence greet the murder of 
     innocent men, women and children fleeing other places? The 
     murdered refugees' only crime was to make a desperate attempt 
     to flee Cuba. Soon after the group of 72 began their escape 
     aboard a decrepit tug, Cuban fire-fighting boats attacked 
     them. According to eyewitnesses, the refugees signaled their 
     readiness to surrender and to return to port. The escapees 
     even held up some of the small children for the attackers to 
     see, screaming that more than 20 children were on board.
       Such pleas did not deter Castro's men, who turned potent 
     fore hoses on the refugee vessel, sweeping passengers 
     overboard. The pursuit craft then rammed the tugboat 
     repeatedly, capsizing it. Tragically, all of the children 
     hiding in the tug's hold apparently died. The adult survivors 
     are in jail. Where on earth is a mute world's conscience.
       Countries with substantial investments in Cuba--Spain, 
     Mexico and a few others--have a special obligation to 
     denounce this crime perpetrated by Cuba's government against 
     the unarmed refugees. Like investors in the South Africa of 
     apartheid, Cuba's foreign business partners ought to feel 
     particularly ashamed of the actions of the regime that their 
     capital is helping to sustain.

       Amendment adopted on 7/22/94 to H.R. 4603, the Commerce, 
     State, Justice Appropriations bill--by Senators Mack, Dole, 
     Graham, and others--sense of the Senate condemning the 
     sinking of the 13th of March by the Government of Cuba.
       (A) Findings--
       (1) There are credible reports that on July 15, 1994 Cuban 
     government vessels fired high-pressure water hoses, 
     repeatedly rammed and deliberately sunk the ``13th of 
     March'', a tugboat carrying 72 unarmed Cuban citizens.
       (2) About forty of the men, women, and children passengers 
     on the 13th of March drowned as a result of Cuban government 
     actions, including most or all of the twenty children aboard.
       (3) The President of the United States ``deplored'' the 
     sinking of the 13th of March as ``another example of the 
     brutal nature of the Cuban regime.''
       (4) All of the men who survived the sinking of the 13th of 
     March have been imprisoned by the Cuban government.
       (5) The freedom to emigrate is an internationally 
     recognized human right and freedom's fundamental guarantor of 
     last resort.
       (6) The Cuban government, by jamming TV and Radio Marti, 
     denies the Cuban people the right to free access to 
     information, including information about this tragedy.
       (B) It is the Sense of the Senate to--
       (1) condemn the Cuban government for deliberately sinking 
     the 13th of March, causing the deaths of about 40 Cuban 
     citizens, including about twenty children;
       (2) urge the President to direct the U.S. Permanent 
     Representative to the United Nations to seek a resolution in 
     the United Nations Security Council that
       (a) condemns the sinking of the 13th of March;
       (b) provides for a full internationally supervised 
     investigation of the incident and;
       (c) urges the Cuban government to release from prison and 
     cease intimidation measures against all survivors of the 
     sinking of the 13th of March.

               [From the Washington Post, July 25, 1994]

                Let Me Tell You About an Ongoing Tragedy

      (Paid political advertisement submitted by Pedro Reboredo, 
             Commissioner, District No. 6, Dade County, FL)

       It is a disturbing sight to see in the network news--almost 
     every night at dinner time--images of Haitians fleeing their 
     country, in some cases being rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard, 
     and in others drowning in the high seas. You feel sorry for 
     them. I know I do, but there is another tragedy that you have 
     not seen reported in the news or newspapers. It happened in 
     the early hours of July 13, when boats belonging to the Cuban 
     government attacked and sank a tug boat carrying more than 70 
     women, men and children who were trying to escape the island 
     and reach the Florida coast. Only 30 survived; the remaining 
     41 human beings, most women and children, went down with the 
     boat * * *.
       We learned of this major tragedy when the Cuban government 
     issued a short statement saying that a group of irresponsible 
     individuals stole a boat in the port of Havana and it 
     accidentally sank 7 miles off the coast. Then, we heard the 
     truth. A young mother, Maria Victoria Garcia, survived, but 
     she does not want to live anymore. She lost her husband, two 
     brothers and a ten year old son, who was holding on to her 
     leg, but was washed out by the whirlpool created by the boat 
     as it was sinking.
       Maria Victoria is in Havana. She speaks in detail about how 
     they were chased by Cuban military boats that used high 
     pressure hoses to stop the tug boat; how the water pressure 
     made children and women fly off the boat; and how the wooden 
     ship was rammed several times while the Cuban officials were 
     cursing in response to the women's pleas who cried trying to 
     save the children.
       You may ask why am I spending thousands to tell a story 
     that should have been front page news. I am doing it because 
     I believe that you should be aware of what is happening only 
     ninety miles away from our shores; also because the United 
     States has been good to me. The people of this country gave 
     me shelter when I too came as a refugee. You, gave me the 
     opportunity to work, to raise my daughters in a free land. 
     You granted me the honor of becoming an American citizen and 
     be elected to several positions in South Florida.
       Even though it is important to be aware of what is 
     happening half a world away from this country, I also believe 
     that the American people should learn about what is going on 
     close to your own borders. I know that this is a country that 
     responds to human suffering, and I want you to realize the 
     tragedy of the Cuban people--of those remaining in the land 
     where I was born.
       My people do not expect you to invade Cuba. They just want 
     to feel that they are not alone, that the cries of those 
     Cuban children, and many others, will not go unanswered or 
     unheard by the world, and especially by the United States: 
     The beacon of hope for those who seek life, liberty and the 
     pursuit of happiness.

           Clinton Says Cuban Refugee Boat Sinking ``Brutal''

       Miami, July 18.--President Clinton on Monday condemned as 
     ``an example of Cuban brutality'' the sinking of a tugboat 
     off the island after it was stolen by a group of Cubans 
     trying to leave the island.
       ``I deplore it as an example of Cuban brutality, another 
     example of the brutal nature of the Cuban regime,'' Clinton 
     told reporters during a visit to Miami.
       Cuban authorities said Saturday that some people were 
     missing after the tugboat sank after a collision with a 
     government vessel that was trying to intercept it before dawn 
     Wednesday seven miles (12 km) north of Havana.
       A Cuban Interior Ministry statement said 31 people had been 
       A survivor of the incident, Maria Victoria Garcia Suarez, 
     told foreign reporters in Cuba she believed some 70 to 73 
     people were originally on board when the vessel left Havana 
     port. This would mean about 40 people had probably drowned.
       Garcia said the stolen boat was pursued and surrounded by 
     other tugboats, which used hoses to spray it with water. It 
     began taking on water after being struck in the right side 
     and began to sink, she said.