Cuba blocks US Interests Section with monument to victims of terror

Campaign News | Tuesday, 7 February 2006

Black flags of mourning obscure the US propaganda sign

Havana 07 Feb: Cuba has unveiled a large new monument outside the US mission in Havana

The monument to 138 victims of US terrorism blocks the view of scrolling illuminated messages - some of them about human rights - displayed on the building by American diplomats.

It consists of 138 black flags with a white star.

Havana says it symbolises the more than 3,400 people that have died as the result of violent acts against Cuba since its 1959 revolution.

The monument was unveiled during a ceremony to honour victims of US-sponsored violence against Cuba.

"They are white stars over a black background, representing the light of a people that are in pain and mourning for their children and families," said professor Carlos Alberto Cremata, standing next to President Castro.

Fidel Castro had condemned the US messages as a "gross provocation"

Mr Cremata is the son of the co-pilot of a Cuban airliner which was bombed in 1976, killing all 73 people aboard.

After the flags were raised, Cubans began a 24-hour vigil in front of the US mission, holding posters with the faces of the dead.

The US mission in Havana began displaying the electronic messages in January.

President Castro described the scrolling messages as a gross provocation, and soon turned what had once been the car park of the building into a major construction site.

Huge cranes were brought in and teams of builders worked there non-stop.

But no-one would say what was being built - not even President Castro - until the monument was unveiled on Monday.

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