This week four Republicans from South Florida–U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart, Carlos Giménez and María Elvira Salazar released the following joint statement regarding the 25th anniversary of the Brothers to the Rescue aircraft shoot down:
“Today, we mark twenty-five years since the brutal murder of four innocent and courageous humanitarians: Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre Jr., Mario de la Peña, and Pablo Morales. Our prayers are with the families and friends of these four martyrs who were taken from them by this cowardly and barbaric act of terrorism.
“The Castro regime must be held accountable for its crimes – specifically, Raúl Castro, who ordered this attack. In addition to Castro, the three individuals who were previously indicted by a U.S. federal court, General Rubén Martínez Puente, Lorenzo Alberto Pérez-Pérez, and Francisco Pérez-Pérez, must be brought to justice. This horrendous attack spurred Congress to codify sanctions against the Castro regime, ensuring that U.S. dollars do not enrich a murderous dictatorship that oppresses the Cuban people and threatens our national security interests abroad.
“We will not let the world forget the horror that occurred on February 24, 1996, nor will we remain silent while some individuals attempt to gloss over the true despotic nature of the Cuban dictatorship. The regime has shown repeatedly that it harbors no respect for human life, nor for basic human rights. As such, we remain committed to demand justice for the regime’s victims, including Carlos, Armando, Mario, and Pablo, so long as those responsible continue to walk the earth.
“Every year that passes serves as a reminder that this murderous, narco-trafficking, anti-American regime has not changed. We must stay the course and refuse to legitimize or fund the regime’s machinery of oppression. Instead, we must maintain the pressure and remain in strong solidarity with the Cuban people.”