Nineteen-years later -- justice awaits.
Now, more than ever, as President Obama (in a deal with dictator Raul Castro) recently commuted the life sentence of a Cuban spy, Gerardo Hernandez, who had been convicted for murder conspiracy in this act of terrorism.
Hernandez received a hero's welcome by Castro's regime, while the families of the American victims were denied justice.
Meanwhile, senior Cuban military officials remain indicted in U.S. federal courts and the Castros continue to boast about their ultimate responsibility.
From the final judgment by Senior U.S. District Judge Lawrence King in the civil lawsuit against the Castro regime and the Cuban Air Force (FAR):
"The government of Cuba, on February 24th 1996, in outrageous contempt for international law and basic human rights, murdered four human beings in international airspace over the Florida Straits. The victims were Brothers to the Rescue pilots, flying two civilian unarmed planes on a routine humanitarian mission, searching for rafters in the waters between Cuba and the Florida Keys.
As the civilian planes flew over international waters, a Russian built MiG 29 of the Cuban Air Force, without warning, reason, or provocation blasted the defenseless planes out of the sky with sophisticated air-to-air missiles in two separate attacks. The pilots and their aircraft disintegrated in the mid-air explosions following the impact of the missiles. The destruction was so complete that the four bodies were never recovered."
As regards the criminal case:
"In August 2003, a federal grand jury returned the indictment against General Ruben Martinez Puente, who at the time headed the Cuban Air Force, and fighter pilots Lorenzo Alberto Perez-Perez and Francisco Perez-Perez. The defendants were charged with four counts of murder, one count of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals and two counts of destruction of aircraft."
In a recent article in Politico, U.S. Rep James McGovern (D-MA) unwittingly revealed that Cuban dictator Raul Castro told him he ordered the murder of these Americans:
"'I gave the order. I’m the one responsible,' [Castro] said."
Or just click below (or here) to listen to Cuban dictators Fidel and Raul Castro -- in their own words -- admitting they gave the order:
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