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February 2011
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    Exiles march in support of Cuban dissidents

    Posted on Thursday, 02.24.11

    Exiles march in support of Cuban dissidents

    About 3,000 people crowded a stretch of Southwest Eighth Street in
    Little Havana Thursday to mark the 15th anniversary of the shoot-down of
    four Brothers to the Rescue fliers and call for the release of political
    prisoners in Cuba.

    Waving Cuban flags and placards with the image of Cuban dissident
    Orlando Zapata Tamayo -- who died a year ago following a hunger strike
    -- marchers called for "Liberty for political prisoners" and a "Free
    Cuba." Among the marchers were numerous community activists and
    political leaders, including Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and
    Congressional Reps. David Rivera and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

    The march on Calle Ocho, between Southwest 4th and 13th Avenues, was
    expected to continue through late afternoon.

    The fliers being honored are: Armando Alejandre Jr., Carlos Alberto
    Costa, Mario de la Pena and Pablo Morales . They were shot down by Cuban
    MiGs on Feb. 24, 1996, while flying near Cuba. A vigil also is scheduled
    to take place Thursday evening in Hialeah.

    On Thursday, Congressman David Rivera called for the indictment of Fidel
    and Raul Castro.

    "Fifteen years ago, Raul Castro gave the order that brought down the
    Brothers to the Rescue planes, and he faced no consequences. For the
    last 14 months he and his brother have held an American citizen, Alan
    Gross, hostage for distributing humanitarian assistance on the island.
    Instead of being penalized for repeated attacks on American citizens and
    residents, the Castro brothers have most recently been rewarded through
    unilateral concessions from the Obama administration in the form of
    relaxed restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba,'' Rivera said in
    a prepared statement..

    "The Obama administration needs to do more, beginning with revoking the
    recent concessions given to the Castro dictatorship and indicting the
    Castro brothers for their murderous role in the Brothers to the Rescue
    shootdown. This will send a clear message that acts of terror and
    repression are not acceptable or tolerable,"

    Rivera said.

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