Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart Remembers Brothers to the Rescue Pilots on 20th Anniversary of Shoot Down

Feb 24, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement on the 20th anniversary of the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down.

“Today, we mark the twentieth anniversary of the day that the Castro regime murdered three Americans and one U.S. resident.

“The Castro regime has not been held accountable for its crimes.  Disgracefully, just a few days before this solemn anniversary, President Obama announced his plan to travel to Cuba to visit with Raul Castro, the very man who ordered the murder of these innocent men.  And further, in one of many shameful concessions to the Castro dictatorship, President Obama allowed Gerardo Hernandez, the only person imprisoned for the crime, to return to Cuba rather than finish serving two life sentences.  Meanwhile, three Cuban military operatives have remained under indictment in U.S. federal courts since 2003 for murder, conspiracy, and destruction of aircraft.  General Ruben Martinez Puente, then head the Cuban Air Force, and brother fighter pilots Lorenzo Alberto Perez-Perez and Francisco Perez-Perez must be brought to justice for their direct role in these crimes. It is shameful that President Obama did not at least demand these men were brought to justice as a precondition to normalization.

“On this solemn anniversary, we mourn the loss of Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre Jr., Mario de la Peña, and Pablo Morales and celebrate their courage.  My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those brave heroes whose lives were taken by an outrageous and cowardly act of terrorism twenty years ago.”