Havana was peaceful on the morning of April 1st, 1980; until around 4:45PM, when a bus with people on board crashed against the fence of the Peruvian embassy.It wasn't the first time someone tried to force their way into diplomatic headquarters in Havana, but this time, the crossfire caused by the Cuban guards that secured the area resulted in the death of a military man, Pedro Ortiz, who was shot and consequently, he lost his life. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately asked the Peruvian authorities to hand over those they falsely accuse as responsible, a request that was never complied with, considering the existing refugee agreements between Peru and Cuba. It was not consider to return anyone who had entered the embassy with the purpose of asking for asylum.When the Peruvian authorities refused to comply with the demand, the Cuban government announced they would withdraw the custody that protected the embassy.The media made an announcement: "The headquarters of the Peruvian embassy are now open to anyone who wants to leave the country," a statement made by Fidel Castro as part of his speech.On that very same day, there were more than 500 people inside the premises, and before they even cordoned off the area, more than 10,000 Cubans had entered in a time span of 72 hours.The government was quick to take extreme measures in a desperate attempt to stop the waves of people from coming in, people who gradually became aware of the offer and wanted to take up on it. There were thousands making their way into the capital through various means of transportation, some even walked from remote corners of the island. The Mariel Boatlift was the outcome of this unusual event that occurred in our continent, through which more than 125,000 people left to the United States before it was too late.As a solution to the thousands of refugees inside the headquarters, the Cuban government announced that anyone interested in traveling abroad could do so if that was their wish, but prior to this, we were to leave the embassy with a safe conduct after carrying out the corresponding procedures.The safe-conduct, emitted by the Ministry of the Interior of Cuba, granted you certain rights, as leaving for Peru if that country received you, to leave to any other country if you gathered the conditions and to wait in the tranquility of your home until your situation was resolved.More than 700 Cubans arrived in Peru that year, they were housed in the Tupac Amaru Park, a few were granted asylum in several countries such as like Spain, Canada, Costa Rica, Belgium, Sweden and Venezuela, but the vast majority were sent off to the United States on the Mariel Boatlift, which later became known as the largest exodus in the shortest time span in the history of our Americas, a massive concoction that perversely mixed a group of alleged asylum seekers with ex-convicts, ex-criminals and the mentally ill, all this, without showing any concern for the already civilized countries of our planet. There was a group of stragglers who were unable to leave Cuba along with another small bunch, made up of relevant people in the Cuban society, who were condemned without a previous trial to several years of uncertainty.They were segregated, persecuted, humiliated, harassed, pestered and punished unfairly, these people were ostracized and banned from leaving the country for several years without an official warrant, thus violating the commitments disclosed in the safe-conduct. I belonged to that unprotected group..........
Binding Type: Paperback
Author: Berenguer, Carlos
Publisher: Independently Published
Size: 9.00h x 6.00w x 1.26d