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Posted February 20, 2005 by mattlawrence in Cuba Human Rights

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A dramatic three-day memorial to victims of Fidel Castro’s regime ends at
4:30 p.m today. A cross represents each of the 10,300 known victims of
Castro’s regime.

Posted on Sun, Feb. 20, 2005

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Juan Carlos Massuet went to Tamiami Park on Saturday to walk in a somber
field of 10,300 white Styrofoam crosses—each one bearing the name of
someone who died at the hands of Fidel Castro’s regime—and to recall
the life of one very special fallen friend.

An American friend.

‘‘He worked for the CIA and went underground in Cuba,’’ Massuet, 69, said
of William Patten, a man he knew in the early 1960s. ``Seven times he
infiltrated Cuba.’‘

Patten once had donated blood to him after Massuet, then a private pilot
in Camaguey, Cuba, was injured in a crash-landing. But during his last
mission inside Cuba, Patten was caught and executed, Massuet said.

The T-shirt Massuet wore Saturday bore Patten’s picture, and the words
``Llevo tu sangre dentro de m. Fidel lo fusilo.’‘

I carry your blood inside me. Fidel shot him.

Such were the memories stirred by a temporary memorial that will stand
near the Miami-Dade County Fair grounds until 4:30 p.m. today. The
crosses, lined up in perfect lateral and diagonal rows in the fashion of
Arlington National Cemetery, were erected by Memorial Cubano, a group
dedicated to maintaining the memory of Castro’s victims since he seized
power in 1959.

‘‘Most of these crosses, their families have never been able to pray or
put a flower’’ at a grave site, said Eileen Goudi, director of Mar Por
Cuba, an exile human rights group that helped arranged the weekend
memorial, which began Friday.

In the center of the rows of mock three-foot-high headstones stood a large
cross nearly 20 feet high—the Cross of the Unknown Decedent—
representing victims whose time and manner of death are not entirely clear.

A series of speakers Saturday evening shared personal remembrances of
those who did not survive Castro’s revolution, with about 1,500 people who
stood among the crosses, most holding candles, some standing in the
distance to be next to a special individual’s marker.

But even those who had not lost an immediate family member came to pay
homage among the crosses.

‘‘For me,’’ said Marta Tamargo, who gave birth to her son Leopoldo in
Havana just as Castro was consolidating power, ``they all are relatives.’


  1. Follow up post #1 added on February 20, 2005 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    ‘‘He worked for the CIA and went underground in Cuba,’’ Massuet, 69, said of William Patten, a man he knew in the early 1960s. ``Seven times he infiltrated Cuba.’‘

    Is this the best person the organizers could have mentioned at this memorial? It is well known that the CIA tried to kill Castro several times. It does not appear that William Patten was an innocent victim. He knew the risks involved…seven times!

    Where is the depth to this story? The mention of 10,000+ deaths without any history or references to back up that number?

    MemorialCubano.org and MarPorCuba.org are built, maintained and/or hosted by [url=http://www.NetForCuba.org]http://www.NetForCuba.org[/url] . Are there any ties from NetForCuba.org to USAID?

    Is this a humanitarian story or political propaganda? I’m asking these questions because the journalist did not.

    Of course I am saddened by any stories of human rights violations in Cuba but I also demand some research and depth by a journalist writing a story.

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on February 21, 2005 by jesusp with 246 total posts

    To add to the publisher’ questions, I would like to know if the names of the Cubans that took part in the Bay of Pigs invasion are among the 10,000+?
    Human rights violations are one thing, being killed as part of an invading force or as a foreign agent being infiltrated, is a totally different issue.

  3. Follow up post #3 added on February 21, 2005 by Dana Garrett with 252 total posts

    >>’‘He worked for the CIA and went underground in Cuba,’’ Massuet, 69, said of William Patten, a man he knew in the early 1960s. ``Seven times he infiltrated Cuba.’‘<<

    Given the numerous and confirmed crimes the USA government has perpetrated against the Cuban government since the early 1960s, memorials for fallen CIA agents would be equivalent to a group erecting memorials to members of Al Qaeda that the USA has killed in its war on terror.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on February 16, 2009 by Margaret Patten

    I am William Patten’s daughter. My father died when I was only 3 year old. I almost don’t remember him. I want to know if every one who now is willing to critic all these men now is ready to fight against a dictator. Bay of Pig was no an invasion or a terrorist act. It was the only option that found a group of MEN to fight for one’s country.
    All what there are servant with his parents and within a family do not know the pain that we inside have the children of the people who was executed by firing squad. And yes, every year I am going to the Cuban Memorial to take to flowers to the cross of my father, because it is the only site that has left me.
    It is well sad to realize that always we are arranged to criticize, but almost never we are arranged to give our life reason why we create. That misfortune that MEN in Cuba were finished. It seems that he is but easy to be rafter who to be imprisoned politician and

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