Before we set out today, let us remember our four fallen brothers who gave their lives for freedom, justice and Cuba this last Saturday, February 24, 1996. Mario de la Pena, Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre and Pablo Morales will live in our hearts and minds. We ask Our Lady of Charity, patron mother of Cuba, to have mercy on us, who will have to learn to live without them. May She instill in us the gentleness and sense of justice of Mario, the dedication and humility of Pablo, the courage of Armando and the strength of character and discipline of Carlos, and the love of all four for Cuba. We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Having said this, I would like to thank you all for being here today. I would specially like to thank the families of the four fallen young men for their courage, faith and love. I also wish to thank my wife, children and grandchildren for the love and support they have provided in this most difficult moment. To the people of the United States and the international community we extend our gratitude for your solidarity. We also thank the press for their objective coverage of this tragedy.
We wish to clearly state before we set out for this flight to honor the memory of Pablo, Armando, Mario and Carlos, we wish to clearly state to our people inside and outside the island that THIS IS OUR STRUGGLE. The struggle of all Cubans for a free and democratic homeland. This is OUR STRUGGLE, and all Cubans are responsible for this.
We reaffirm an essential concept: The destiny of Cuba is the responsibility of all Cubans, no matter where he or she may be. We must stand together as a single people and a single nation.
And it is because of this, because we bear a sacred responsibility for Cuba's fate, that today we state these basic tenets which we as free Cubans have decided to pursue:
1. The brutal killing of our four young brothers over international waters was a direct result of the growing resistance to the Castro regime within Cuba and this regime's increasing inability to deal with it. The dictatorship sought to punish Brothers to the Rescue for its continued support for the Cuban resistance and specifically for the Cuban Council inside Cuba. The February 24 killings marked the culmination of a wave of repression by the dictatorship directed against the internal opposition that resulted in hundreds of arrests throughout Cuba. The martyrdom of these young men marks the beginning of a new alliance of all Cubans inside and outside the island in pursuit of freedom for our country.
2. We are grateful for the solidarity expressed by people from all around the world during these tragic moments, and in particular that shown by the generous American people. That is why today we reiterate that we do not want any American blood shed for Cuba. THIS IS OUR STRUGGLE! People of the United States we need your moral support, not your blood.
3. We stand firm in our conviction and belief in nonviolence. We resist the dictatorship, we will fight for our basic Human Rights, we will carry acts of civil disobedience, but never will we be the instigators of violence. Only through non violent means can we cleanse the Cuban nation from the hatred instilled by the dictatorship in cuban hearts. The nonviolent methods has proven to be the most effective and humanitarian means of resistance against Castro's totalitarian state.
4. Based on our faith in the nonviolent movement, on the repression unleashed by the Regime on the Cuban Council, the murder of our brothers over the Florida Straits and following the example set by Solidarity in the 1980's, we call upon our brethren inside the island to pursue a new means of organization that does not in any way imply a change in means. We are entering a new period of struggle against the dictatorship One which will consist of the organization of nonviolent clandestine cells throughout the island. We ask these cells to take as a first step top message on every wall in Cuba that "Mario Vive", "Carlos Vive", "Pablo Vive" and "Armando Vive". We likewise urge the already existing opposition organization not to deviate from their current public activities within Cuba, and to defend the small, internationally recognized space that they have earned with their dedication, sacrifice and intelligence.
5. To the Cuban exiled community around the world. We must not waver in our efforts to bring assistance and support to those who struggle through nonviolent means inside the island. It is there where our first priority lies. Support groups for the internal resistance must be created in the different exile communities. Likewise, we must undertake international initiatives aimed at supporting the internal resistance through the following means.
a) The creation of an international tribunal which will investigate and document the genocidal policies of the Castro dictatorship against its own people.
b) Seek international condemnation of the Castro regime as an outlaw state.
c) To seek multinational support for the Internal Nonviolent Resistance in their efforts to create a free and democratic republic within Cuban territory.
6. To Cuban mothers everywhere: You are the soul of our nation. Do not allow any more Cuban homes to suffer the loss of loved ones due to Castro's criminal regime. Join your voices of protest to the Nonviolent Resistance. You, like no other can move our people to struggle.
7. Finally, we send this message to the members of the Cuban Armed Forces: I, Jose Basulto, once a military man who has now renounced violence, wish to speak to you soldier to soldier, Cuban to Cuban. Two things unite us: hatred of war and love of Cuba. I know that the murderers who cowardly massacred Carlos, Mario, Armando and Pablo are neither representatives of the Cuban Armed forces or the Cuban people. The tyrant that rules Cuba loves war and hates Cuba. He seeks to provoke a war with the United States in order to justify his own abysmal failures and assure himself a place in History. For the love of Cuba, its identity and its sovereignty do not allow this to happen.
We ask you not to turn your arms on your brothers, not to commit acts of violence, not to betray the people from whence you come. Do not be instruments of Castro's final ire, which endangers the existence of Cuba.
8. Remember that international law does not expect you to abide to inmoral directives. Remember the historical precedents established at the Nuremberg and My Lai Tribunals and today in Serbia. Remember the German officers, that despite being ordered by Hitler to burn Paris, refused to do so. Remember the other German officers who risked their own lives in an attempt at preventing Hitler's destruction of Germany.
We call on you to use nonviolence as a way to save Cuba. Defend Cuba's right to live.
Finally, a message to the Cuban youth inside and outside the island: Of which Mario, Pablo, Armando and Carlos were a fine example. Remember them and dream and live and struggle as they did for in this manner their example shall not die.
We have suffered some difficult days. Perhaps we have been reminded that we cannot rest until our homeland is free.
For a Cuba with freedom and justice, freed at last from violence and evil.
We once again call upon our brothers to spread the message of hope throughout the walls of Cuba:
THIS IS OUR STRUGGLE!
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