Dear Senator Martinez,
On February 24, 1996, the Cuban Air Force shot and destroyed two small, unarmed airplanes belonging to the not-for-profit organization Brothers to the Rescue over international waters in the Florida Straits. The four men onboard, three of them United States citizens, were killed instantly. They had been flying on a humanitarian mission in search of Cuban rafters adrift at sea.
Carlos Costa and Mario M. de la Peña were young, U.S.-born Americans. Armando Alejandre, Jr. was a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam veteran who served his adopted country, the United States, with distinction. Pablo Morales had been a Cuban rafter who risked his life in the perilous crossing to the United States and was rescued by the same organization he later joined, Brothers to the Rescue.
Senator Martinez, I urge you to support the criminal indictments of all the Cuban military, intelligence, and government officials involved in the planning and execution of this crime. To this day, only one person has been brought to justice for this crime in a court of law, and that person -- Cuban spy Gerardo Hernandez -- is currently seeking the appeal of his conviction for conspiracy to commit murder.
Please encourage our justice system to seek the indictments of the responsible parties to ensure that justice is done. The men who died -- all of whom were in the prime of their lives and felt a humanitarian calling to help those in need -- cannot die in vain.
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