María Victoria García, Survivor of the Sinking of the Tugboat "13 de Marzo," Passes Away

She lost her ten-year-old son in that tragedy caused by the regime.

María Victoria García, Survivor of the Sinking of the Tugboat "13 de Marzo," Passes Away

María Victoria García, a Cuban mother who survived the tragic sinking of the tugboat “13 de marzo” at the hands of the Castro regime, passed away in the city of Miami at the age of 58.

The violent event occurred on July 13, 1994, when 72 Cubans took control of the vessel, hoping to immigrate to the United States. Despite the presence of children on board, the communist authorities gave the order to sink the ship, which resulted in the death of 41 people.

María Victoria lost her ten-year-old son, Juan Mario Gutiérrez García, and 13 other relatives in the sinking. She never stopped denouncing the brutal act in which powerful jets of water used by the regime’s gunboats tore many children from their mothers’ arms and sank them in the sea. In total, 10 minors lost their lives that day.

The death of the survivor was confirmed through a statement issued by the Center for a Free Cuba. In the text, this organization remembered the contribution of María Victoria’s father through an exhaustive investigation of events that occurred within the Island before he went into exile in 1999.

His book provided a key testimony that proved the Castro regime deliberately sank the “13 de marzo”, in addition to the fact that the communist authorities were aware of the escape plans long before the tugboat set sail.

Despite persistent reports in international media, the regime maintained a shameful silence about the events and did not judge or condemn any of the participants in the massacre. Furthermore, the late dictator Fidel Castro always maintained the version of an accidental collision after an official stance was taken.

Some of the 31 survivors have revealed that the crews of the tugboats Polargo 2 and Polargo 5 intentionally rammed the vessel and refused to provide assistance to the people in the water.

The Center for a Free Cuba recalled that on August 5 of that same year, the then leader of the Island described the aggression as a “truly patriotic effort,” words that only demonstrated the impunity of the communist authorities in the case.

This organization expressed its condolences to the family of María Victoria García and expressed its wish for her soul to rest in peace. Meanwhile, the fight for justice and freedom in Cuba continues, keeping alive the memory of the victims of the tragic event.