Sergio Perodín

* 1956  

  • "I was already persecuted by the State Security, I felt harassed and I decided to leave to the United States. We went out on a boat called tug 13 de Marzo. The Cuban State Security had discovered us without us knowing it, and prepared an attack against us. When we left the coast of Cuba, we received a violent attack by three boats of the Government, where they spouted very strong jets of water, taking the lives of several people in the very same place of the bay of Havana. There the boats made us a fence, they moved us away from the coasts of Cuba where no land was visible, and there they began the attack and the sinking of the tugboat of March 13 hitting the ship in different places until the ship broke into the half. One of the boats that attacked us kind of climbed on top of the tugboat and forced it to sink, while there was no way... that many of us who were on the tugboat would come out afloat. I guess about 30 or 40 people went with the boat to the bottom without being able to leave."

  • “I have never thought about returning to Cuba, really... never. I have there all my family, I have there my brothers, my mother, all my family in Cuba. But no... I never went back to Cuba, and it never even passed through my mind to return to Cuba, because they have hurt me so much.”

  • "So that's how the days went by and on another occasion they came back, he spoke again with the governor Fidel Castro about what we were planning to do. He told him... because they already had more data... it seems that the State Security already had more data of the group that we were going to leave. So according to him, they informed Fidel Castro that many children were going to go. And he said that the order he had given was that everyone should be exterminated, so that he was not interested in children or anyone else. That the boat could not leave Cuba. And then that was the main order that led the assassins who participated in the attack to behave so violent against us and to kill so many people, because 37 people died in that attack."

  • "Later they drove us... as at seven o'clock at night ... they took us to the organs of the State Security of Villa Marista, where we remained closed up without even seeing the sun, under heavy pressure, during one month I didn’t see the sun. They were taking us a lot to the interrogations, every two or three hours they took us out to interrogation and then they put us back in the cells. So, I endured that month, and after that month they called us together and told us that we were going to be taken to our homes, that we were going to wait for the trial, because we were accused of murder. The killers were accusing us of murder. Then they took us home. With the help of some neighbors and friends, I was able to make a boat, a raft, and I was able to escape from Cuba six days or seven days after being out of prison. There, the US Coast Guard intercepted me and took me to Guantánamo, where I stayed for five and a half months, and then I managed to be taken to the United States."

  • "We sank with the ship but we were able to get out afloat... some twenty or thirty-something people. The three boats of the Cuban Government began to swirl around creating a huge bubble of water to eliminate those who were surviving in the water. That's how several people died. Between them my wife and the oldest child of mine. There, some of us could endure such a violent aggression for 40 or 50 minutes until the killers decided to stop the attack and pick up those who were surviving at sea. They put us on their boats and took us away from that place. We did not know where we were located, but there was no coast at sight. There they kept us from five in the morning until eleven thirty in the morning, when they took us to the coasts of Cuba, where the army was already waiting for us, and they put us in jails and interrogated us, and took us to the organs of Cuban State Security. When we arrived at the place where they took us... it was a military base of the Cuban Government, they took us on different boats. When we arrived there, we did not know how many people had died because they had picked us up in three or four boats. I asked the general who was waiting for the people when they got off the boats, because they took it militarily, I asked for my family and the answer that the murderer gave me was that if we did not see them in the group, that they had been eaten by the sharks."

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Miami, USA, 17.04.2018

    (audio)
    délka: 48:47
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

I wouldn’t even remotely think about returning to Cuba, as they have hurt me so much

Sergio Perodín
Sergio Perodín
zdroj: Post Bellum

Sergio Perodín was born in 1956. He comes from a family of humble workers. He also had a life as a worker in the Cuban Transportation Company, in the employees’ food section. It was at the beginning of the 1990s, when he began to feel pressure from State Security, which was suspecting that he was collaborating with Human Rights Organizations, and for this reason, they began to persecute him. As all this kind of accusations was completely false and Sergio Perodín did not feel comfortable under constant surveillance, he decided to plan an attempt to leave Cuba through the sea. Thanks to his friends he became part of a group of several people who began to meet with the intention of embarking on a ship and leaving to the United States. The boat that was chosen for that purpose was the Tugboat March 13. Once the preparations were finished, the third attempt to embark went well and the 72 people went to the sea, including Sergio Perodín with his wife and their two children, who were by then seven and eleven years old. However, the State Security had managed to infiltrate the group and it turned out as one of the worst attacks by the Cuban authorities against the Cuban people. The March 13 Tugboat was attacked by firefighting boats, which fired strong jets of water, causing damage to the vessel. Subsequently, the March 13 Tugboat was surrounded by three government boats, which sank it, leaving dozens of people drowned in the sea, including several children, while one of them was their eldest son. Also, the wife of Sergio Perodín died when his ship sank. Sergio Perodín managed to save his youngest son. Once picked up from the sea, they were transferred to a prison and after a little more than a month they put him under surveillance in house arrest. Sergio Perodín tried to escape once again, this time on a raft that was located by the US Coast Guard, after which he and his youngest son spent five months at the Guantánamo base. After five months, they were finally able to go to the United States, where Sergio Perodín managed to establish a new family and live a life far from the island that caused him so much pain.