Press Advisory: María Victoria Garcia, survivor of the tugboat “13 de marzo” massacre, a crime that remains unpunished, dies in Miami

Press Advisory

María Victoria Garcia, survivor of the tugboat “13 de marzo” massacre, a crime that remains unpunished, dies in Miami

Center for a Free Cuba. Washington DC, January 5, 2024. The death in Miami of María Victoria Garcia, 58, reopens the wound of the “13 de marzo” tugboat massacre, perpetrated by the Cuban dictatorship almost thirty years ago, on July 13, 1994.

The Center for a Free Cuba regrets the passing of María Victoria who, despite the strong repression suffered after the massacre, did not remain silent and denounced how the powerful jets of water used by the regime’s gunboats tore many children from the arms of their mothers, and sank them into the sea.

Her 10-year-old son, Juan Mario Gutiérrez García, was one of the victims who died during the incident, along with 13 other relatives of the Garcías, a fact that never allowed her to return to a normal life, and that marked her physically and psychologically forever. “I told the colonel that it had not been an accident, that they sank us,” she said in a statement to Voces de Cuba nine years ago recounting what happened.

Juan Mario Gutiérrez García

Her father, Jorge García, carried out an exhaustive investigation of the events inside Cuba and after going into exile in 1999 published it in a book. His book has been a valuable document to demonstrate that the Castro regime sank the tugboat “13 de Marzo” premeditatedly and that he knew about their escape plans before they got on the tugboat.

The Sinking of the 13 de marzo tugboat by Jorge A. Garcia

“María Victoria García Suárez’s heart resisted the deep pain of losing her little son from her arms, and also witnessing the death of many people, and a large number of them were her relatives. The incident is not an isolated case, the Castro regime has used this method of sinking boats trying to escape from the Island numerous times, the last known incident occurred in Bahía Honda on October 29, 2022. We pray for the eternal rest of her soul,” said Janisset Rivero, program officer of the Center for a Free Cuba.