The Cuban nation never imagined that in 1976 one of the worst terrorist acts in the western hemisphere would take place, the Barbados Crime. It is a fact that the pages of our history hold with deep regret. Seventy-three people, including the crew, were flying on the U.S.-made DC-8, which was bound for Jamaica from Barbados to Havana.
Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, perpetrators of the horrendous murder, remained unpunished until the last days of their lives. They prepared all conditions in Caracas, Venezuela, and always counted on the support of the CIA.
Wilfredo Felo Perez and Miguel Espinosa Cabrera, pilot and co-pilot respectively of the aircraft, were in charge of returning to our homeland, among other passengers, the twenty-four members of the Cuban youth fencing team, who had just won all the gold medals in the Central American and Caribbean Championship, an unprecedented achievement in the history of this sport.
A crime which cut short dreams and projects
However, they were unable to share their happiness with their loved ones. Dozens of families were left with an irreparable mourning. Throughout these forty-five years we have known dissimilar stories, children who relate how they remember their parents, stories of unfinished love that were cut short by this misfortune. So many dreams and projects in the earthly realm were left unfulfilled.
This event showed how much a people can suffer for the mere fact of walking an independent and sovereign path, the one we chose to take since 1959.
But Cuba does not forget because as our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro said at the burial of the victims of the Barbados Crime ¨(…) ¨ our athletes sacrificed in the prime of their lives and faculties will be eternal champions in our hearts. Our crew members, our heroic air workers and all the self-sacrificing compatriots cowardly sacrificed that day, will live eternally in the memory, affection and admiration of our people (…) ¨.