By RACHEL LA CORTE, Associated Press
Naples Daily News, Saturday, March 20, 1999
MIAMI - Walking alone on a Havana sidewalk, Danish student Joachim Lovschall was shot to death by a Cuban soldier for allegedly crossing into a Cuban military area.
Now, just days before the second anniversary of his death, his father traveled from Denmark to Miami to ask for help in pressuring Cuba to give his son justice and to arrest the guard who killed him.
Christian Lovschall joined Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Florida, and John Suarez with the Free Cuba Foundation in a news conference Friday to speak against Cuba's handling of the death, and to ask for international pressure for a trial.
"He was shot at close range without any provocation, and there has been nothing done by the Cuban dictatorship to try to bring anybody to justice since then," Diaz-Balart said.
Since his son's death, Lovschall has contacted Amnesty International, but said that his son's case must get the attention of the European Union if any action is to be taken.
"I cannot get my son back, but I think I owe it to him to try to find out what happened and at least the people who were involved should be taken to court so we can have a hearing and find out what has really been going on," he said.
Joachim Lovschall was in Cuba to learn Spanish, the eighth language he was to become fluent in, his father said.
After attending a performance at a theater on March 28, 1997, Lovschall walked alone on a sidewalk behind the Cuban Ministry of Defense.
He crossed the street to another sidewalk that was considered a military area, even though it was not blocked off, fenced in or clearly marked, Lovschall said.
He said he believes his son was lured across the street by the guards, then shot so that they could rob him. He said that $100 that Joachim had on him was missing following the shooting.
Lovschall said he wasn't contacted by authorities until nine days after the shooting.
"It is not surprising that something like this would happen," Diaz-Balart said. "The Cuban dictatorship is used to acting like this with impunity each day against the Cuban people. What is different about this case is that they acted against a foreign young man."
In a note to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in December 1997, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it was not the guard's intention to kill, but to prevent a presumed act of aggression. Lovschall allegedly ignored warning shouts and a warning shot fired by the guard.
"What we don't understand is, why do you have to shoot to kill?" Lovschall asked. "When you're that close, you can stop a person in a lot of other ways. Also, we don't understand why they had to shoot twice."
The Danish government has protested the killing to Cuba.
On May 7, 1998, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered a note of protest to the Cuban representative in Copenhagen, asking whether the Cuban government had begun an investigation of the guard involved in the shooting.
The Cuban government, which expressed "its deepest reqrets" to the Danish government a few days after the killing, has not responded to the latest inquiry from Denmark.
The Danish government said in a letter to the Lovschalls that it has informed other EU countries about the death and that some of the countries have adopted a travel warning for Cuba.
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