14ymedio, Havana, 4 December 2022 — Yeni Meizoso Fabelo, the mother of one of those who died in the sinking of a boat in Bahía Honda, on October 27, has come out to deny the official version, despite the pressure received by the Government. “Do you know why they say it? Because that son of mine is now dead,” were her harsh words in a message posted on networks in which she demanded “that they no longer tell lies.”
Meizoso Fabelo begins her moving story by referring to her son, Yerandy García, as “the one killed by the Border Guard Troops,” about whom “they told a string of lies.” The mother’s position contrasts with the official who blames the migrants for the incident. The woman explained that the agents first broke the motors of the boat and then hit them on the side.
Since the first testimonies came to light, State Security has harassed and pressured survivors to change the initial version of the ramming of the boat in which seven migrants died, including a two-year-old girl, while trying to leave the Island. “They don’t want to see the truth or they don’t want you to tell the truth,” added Garcia’s mother, whom the regime accuses of having organized the group that was on board the boat.
“I need them to continue investigating so that they see that this is a lie and that Yerandy never in his life looked for people for the group, to leave, because he happened to be at my house that morning,” she continued recounting in a video shared by journalist Mario Pentón. The woman insisted that the Government maintains the version against her son because he is dead, otherwise he could refute it.
“I ask that they analyze that and go there to see how deep it is. At no time did that boat leave the place, that boat, when its engines broke, it could not move from there and they pushed it aside,” she insisted, accusing the Border Guard ship of ramming the migrants.
The Government attributes the responsibility to Héctor Meizoso, who lost three relatives, for organizing the group. In addition, the authorities insist that García was a coast guide for the illegal boats, like Michel Arronte Sánchez, who is in custody. But the border guards do not appear on the list of culprits.
The Home Office investigation concluded that the collision was “virtually unavoidable” because “the boat had already gotten into [the path of the Border Guard patrol] from a sharp turn.” Víctor Álvarez Valle, an agency specialist, described the event as “a human trafficking operation organized from the United States by sanctioned persons” in Cuba.
The official reconstruction of the events indicates that the boat had 26 people on board and 13 15-gallon fuel tanks, although it was initially designed for six passengers. 150 meters from the coast of Bahía Honda, with a swell of 0.5 to 1.5 meters in height, the border guards collided with the boat.
The authorities affirm that the boat was illuminated as on all occasions, but its driver, shouting “the Griffin is coming!”, turned sharply to avoid the encounter, hitting the seabed. The Government assures that “there were no invasive or aggressive actions” and that it was, instead, the weight of the boat and the movement that caused it to collapse.
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