Diana Ferreiro Hernandez
THE victims of the crime perpetuated off the coast of Barbados were honored October 6 in Havana’s Colón Cemetery, with floral wreaths sent by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro and President Raúl Castro.
Speaking for victims’ families, friends, colleagues and the Cuban people, Wilfredo Pérez - son of the pilot at the helm of Cuban Flight 455 on October 6, 1976 – called for the extradition of Luís Posada Carriles to Venezuela, to be tried for the crime which he has evaded for 37 years now, as well as for the release of the Cuban Five, convicted precisely for struggling against terrorism.
Among the 73 passengers aboard the aircraft were members of the Cuban national fencing team which had just won the Central American and Caribbean Championship held that year in Venezuela.
Thirty-seven years later, the pain is still visible in the faces of their mothers and the eyes of their children who grew up without a parent. The pain is felt by all. Fidel said it during the victims’ burial, days after the bombing.
"We cannot say that the pain is shared. The pain is multiplied. Millions of Cubans cry with the loved ones of the victims of this abominable crime. And when a forceful and powerful people cries, injustice trembles!"
The procession and ceremony were led by Esteban Lazo Hernández, president of the National Assembly of People’s Power and Lázara Mercedes LópezAcea, vice president of the Councils of State and secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Havana Provincial Committee.
Also present were Hero of the Republic René González, families of the Cuban Five imprisoned in the United States, members of the diplomatic corps, families of the victims, sports figures and workers from the Cuban Civil Aeronautics Institute.