OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - Several memorials will take place on Wednesday to honor the deaths of the four members of Brothers to the Rescue who died 25 years ago.

On Wednesday morning, community members brought flowers to a memorial at Opa-Locka Executive Airport.

On Feb. 24, 1996, Armando Alejandre Jr., Carlos Costa, Mario de la Peña and Pablo Morales were flying a humanitarian mission to help Cuban rafters when the Cuban Air Force opened fire on the two planes, killing the men and then celebrating their deaths.

“‘Cause 25 years have gone by and still the crime remains with total impunity, and there has been no justice for the families or for the community,” said Mothers and Women Against Repression President Sylvia Iriondo.

Family and friends of the victims believe the attack was ordered by Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl Castro.

“Twenty-five years, it’s a quarter of a century since Armando, Carlos, Mario and Pablo were murdered by the Air Force of Cuba,” said Brothers to the Rescue founder José Basulto.

Four palm trees also stand at the airport to memorialize the men.

“They’re here with us,” Basulto said. “They’re those palms that you see there, they’re those monuments and they’re our memories that are here in our hearts.”

It’s events like these that families, friends, community members and activists say they will continue to do every year to keep their memory alive.


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