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Brothers to the Rescue Commemoration Activities
By Cuban Democratic Directorate



Around the world human rights activists, students, and movements in solidarity with Cuba’s civic movement organized acts of remembrance in honor of four civic activists murdered by the Cuban government in an act of state terrorism: Armando Alejandre, Jr., Mario de la Peña, Carlos Costa, and Pablo Morales. Brothers to the Rescue, a civic organization founded in 1991 to save the lives of fleeing rafters, had two planes shot down by Cuban MiGs on the afternoon of February 24, 2006. Ten years later a new generation of civic activists from around the world honored their sacrifice and affirmed their example of service to others through acts of remembrance:



On Friday, February 24 at 12 noon CADAL organized a gathering at their headquarters to pay homage to the four pilots of “Brothers to the Rescue” who died 10 years ago, alter their planes had been shotdown by Cuban MiGs. A 15 minute video “Fallen Brothers” was shown about the lives of these men. Following the documentary, Guillermo Lares, an Argentine and pilot of “Brothers to the Rescue” based in Miami spoke to the audience in a conference call.


Dominican Republic

The Dominican branch of the International Youth Committee for Democracy in Cuba (IYCDC) organized a vigil in remembrance of the victims of the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down and the victims of Castro’s acts of repudiation.


Costa Rica

The Costa Rican Committee in Solidarity with Democracy in Cuba commemorated the 10th Anniversary of the brutal shoot down of the Brothers to the Rescue planes by the Cuban government. At 6:00pm they realized a religious activity and held a teach-in afterwards with a video presentation of what happened on February 24, 1996.



The Ibero-American Association for Liberty [Asociación Iberoamericana por la Libertad (AIL)] joined in the condemnation of this crime of which the Castro regime is responsible and expressed their solidarity with the families of the victims. They affirmed their commitment to liberty and a non-violent transition to democracy in Cuba that takes into account all the actors that comprise Cuban society.


In the United States:


Princeton University

Students passed out flyers describing what happened on February 24th, 1996, and then gathered at the Frist Campus Center where they held a 7-minute moment of silence that coincided with the times the Brothers to the Rescue planes were shot down.




Carnegie Mellon University
Students gathered to hold a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the shootdown. 
The Tartan, Carnegie’s campus newspaper published an article about the activity: “Students commemorate Cuban crash”: http://thetartan.org/2006/2/27/news/shootoutmemorial
Harvard University

CAUSA congregated on the steps of Memorial Church in Harvard Yard and held a 7-minute, candlelight moment of silence in honor of our four fallen brothers. Following the moment of silence and prayers offered by members, four roses were placed on the steps of the church to represent the four victims.


University of Pennsylvania

Members of the Cuban American Undergraduate Student Association (CAUSA) showed solidarity and support for the pilots who were unjustly shot down by wearing blue-colored clothing and also by distributing informational pamphlets to promote awareness and educate those at the Penn community that may not be familiar with this important anniversary. These commemorations took place on Friday, February 24, 2006, from 11am to 2pm on 36th Street and Locust Walk. 


Georgetown University

Students met around the Statue of Mary on Copley Lawn at 8pm on February 23rd, to remember the lives of the four pilots who were shot down. They observed several minutes of silence and prayed for the victims. Participants in this event were from various student groups on campus, including the Cuban American Student Association and Knights of Columbus. Brian Nafarrete, a Knight of Columbus said: "What an honor it must be, to be able to die for those you love and care about most. May they rest in peace."


Seton Hall University

On Friday, February 24th, 15 members of SHUCAS (Seton Hall Union of Cuban American Students) gathered around "The Green" at the center of campus, and held 3 candles for the Brothers to the Rescue pilots who were shot down. They also showed an informative slide show about the shoot down victims.


University of Florida

Students held a vigil at a highly trafficked campus location to raise awareness about the brothers to the rescue shoot down. They read information about what happened and observed moments of silence in memory of the victims.


Miami, Florida

Dozens of students and community leaders met at Florida International University’s main fountain to remember the victims of the brothers to the Rescue shoot down. They observed 7 minutes of silence in memory of the pilots who were assassinated.


Santa Ana, California

Candlelight Prayer vigil on February 24 at 7:30pm for Brothers to the Rescue and the Persecuted Church in Africa and Cuba.


Tampa, Florida

La Casa Cuba payed homage to the Armando, Carlos, Mario and Pablo at the "Brothers to the Rescue" Corner monument located in West Tampa at Dale Mabry Highway and Columbus Drive on February 24 at 5:30pm.


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Directorio Democrático Cubano Cuban Democratic Directorate


Directorio Democrático Cubano
P.O. Box 110235
Hialeah, Florida 33011
Tel. 305-220-2713

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