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TAKE THAT, BERNIE: Trump Extends National Emergency On Cuba

By  Hank BerrienDailyWire.com
U.S. President Donald Trump points to the audience after signing an executive order entitled Establishment of a White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative during a National Day of Prayer ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Thursday, May 3, 2018.
Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Tuesday, President Trump issued a notice that the national emergency with respect to Cuba that was first instituted on March 1, 1996, almost exactly 34 years before, was being extended, as the Cuban government “has not demonstrated that it will refrain from the use of excessive force against United States vessels or aircraft that may engage in memorial activities or peaceful protest north of Cuba.”

Trump cited the initial 1996 proclamation, which was triggered by the “February 24, 1996, destruction by the Cuban government of two unarmed United States-registered civilian aircraft in international airspace north of Cuba.” The notice pointed out that the national emergency was expanded in 2004 and modified in 2016 and 2018.

On February 24, 1996, two of the Brothers to the Rescue Cessna aircraft were shot down by the Cuban Air Force. Brothers to the Rescue assisted Cuban emigrant rafters fleeing from the country.

Four pilots, Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Jr., Mario de la Peña, and Pablo Morales, were killed. Both aircraft were outside Cuban airspace. The Brothers of the Rescue missions had reportedly dropped leaflets out of Cuban airspace that would be blown into Cuba. The ICAO report stated that the Commander of the Anti-Aircraft Defense of the Air Force of Cuba authorized pilots to shoot down any further flights whether or not they had entered Cuban airspace.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported:

While the two aircraft were still north of the 24th parallel, the Cuban Air Force ordered the scrambling of two military aircraft, a MiG-29 and a MiG-23, operating under the control of a military station on Cuban soil. The MiGs were carrying artillery, short-range missiles, bombs, and rockets, and they were flown by members of the FAC.  Extracts from the radio communications between the MiG-29 and the military control tower in Havana detail what transpired next:

MIG-29: OK, the objective is in sight; the objective is in sight. It is a small airplane. Copied; small airplane in sight.

MIG-29: OK, we have it in sight, we have it in sight.

MIG-29: The objective is in sight.

Military Control: Go ahead.

MIG-29: The objective is in sight.

Military Control: Airplane in sight.

MIG-29: Is it coming again?

MIG-29: It is a small airplane, a small airplane.

MIG-29: It is white; white.

Military Control: Color and registration of the airplane?

Military Control: Buddy.

MIG-29: Hey, the registration as well?

Military Control: What type and color?

MiG-29: It is white and blue.

MIG-29: White and blue, at low altitude, a small airplane.

MIG-29: Give me instructions.

MIG-29: Instructions!

MIG-29: Hey, give me authorization . . .

MIG-29: If we overfly it, things are going to get complicated. Let’s overfly it. There are some vessels coming that way, so I’m going to overfly it.

MIG-29: Talk to me; talk to me.

MIG-29: I’ve got a lock; I’ve got a lock.

MIG-29: We’re locked on. Give us the authorization.

MIG-29: It’s a Cessna 337. That one, that one. Hell, give us the authorization.

Military Control: Fire.

MIG-29: Hell, give us the authorization! We got it!

Military Control: Authorized to destroy.

MIG-29: We copy. We copy.

Military Control: Authorized to destroy.

MIG-29: Understood; I had already received it. Leave us alone for a minute.

Military Control: Don’t lose him.

MIG-29: First shot.

MIG-29: We blew his balls off! We blew his balls off!

MIG-29: Wait; look and see where he went down.

MIG-29: Yes! Yes! S***, we hit him! Jesus!

MIG-29: Mark the place where we took him down.

MIG-29: We’re on top of him. He won’t give us any more f***ing trouble.

Military Control: Congratulations to the pair of you.

MIG-29: Mark the place.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concluded, “The fact that weapons of war and combat-trained pilots were used against unarmed civilians shows not only how disproportionate the use of force was, but also the intent to end the lives of those individuals. It is claimed the extracts from the radio communications between the MiG-29 pilots and the military control tower indicate that they acted from a superior position and showed malice and scorn toward the human dignity of the victims.”

In 2014, the daughter of the pilot Armando Alejandre, Jr. appeared on Fox News and blasted the Obama Administration for its warming of relations with Cuba, Marlene Alejandre-Triana added, “I would never go to Cuba until everyone in Cuba is free as I am free in this country to say what I feel about what happened yesterday, to the press. To anyone, without the fear of being put in jail, beaten, have my family in danger. I would never go there.”

Asked by Cavuto if the warming of relations with Cuba was what the Obama administration stated was a step in getting there, she answered, “Raul Castro himself said yesterday that nothing was going to change and they conceded nothing.”

Trump’s notice on Tuesday read:

On March 1, 1996, by Proclamation 6867, a national emergency was declared to address the disturbance or threatened disturbance of international relations caused by the February 24, 1996, destruction by the Cuban government of two unarmed United States-registered civilian aircraft in international airspace north of Cuba.  On February 26, 2004, by Proclamation 7757, the national emergency was expanded to deny monetary and material support to the Cuban government.  On February 24, 2016, by Proclamation 9398, and on February 22, 2018, by Proclamation 9699, the national emergency was further modified based on continued disturbances or threatened disturbances of the international relations of the United States related to Cuba.  The Cuban government has not demonstrated that it will refrain from the use of excessive force against United States vessels or aircraft that may engage in memorial activities or peaceful protest north of Cuba.

In addition, the unauthorized entry of any United States-registered vessel into Cuban territorial waters continues to be detrimental to the foreign policy of the United States because such entry could facilitate a mass migration from Cuba.  It continues to be United States policy that a mass migration from Cuba would endanger the security of the United States by posing a disturbance or threatened disturbance of the international relations of the United States.  Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing the national emergency with respect to Cuba and the emergency authority relating to the regulation of the anchorage and movement of vessels set out in Proclamation 6867, as amended by Proclamation 7757, Proclamation 9398, and Proclamation 9699.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

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