Primavera Negra Memorial and Remembrance
These poor words, cobbled together hastily cannot do justice to the subject of this post. Justice is the keyword here, for there are many in Cuba who seek it and have yet to find it. As promised on the entry for February 17th, here is the story of one man, one family, caught up in the terrible turbulence, the storm of "castrianism," as our friend Asha Nair of the "Castrianism-The Religion of Hate" blog so well puts it, at the beginning of that storm of hate, which continues unabated. His mother did not want him forgotten. We also neither want him forgotten nor the victims of the Black Spring of Cuba four years ago; let us also not forget good people like Dr. Biscet, Guillermo Farinas, and so many others, unjustly imprisoned-or worse-whose names and stories would fill blog-volumes. We of the Band of Bloggers united in remembrance of the Black Spring hope you will acquaint yourself with the names and stories of the victims and remember them. And we hope you will add your voice as well as your actions to the task of ending the nightmare which has brought many Black Springs to Cuba since 1959.
The Quirogas never had the honor and privilege of knowing Robert Otis Fuller. But we had-indeed, still do-the honor of calling the Fuller family our neighbors for many years. Since 1962, to be exact. I still remember the first thing I heard about the Fullers, from my mother, not long after we moved into their neighborhood. My mother, spotting Robert's mother across the street said, to the best recollection of this aging mind, "Ah, there is Mrs. Fuller...her son was shot by castro." Shot by castro. To this day, those words make me shiver.
Allow this document, documenting the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Fuller family on Bobby's behalf, to tell the story. It does so succinctly, through the cold, hard facts. A suit filed against a cold, hard, brutal terrorist government. The source document can be found at the www.cuban-exile.com site, together with Bobby's photograph featured next to the Primavera Negra banner. Look for Document 256.
IN THE CIRCUIT OF THE 11TH
JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA
GENERAL JURISDICTION DIVISION
CASE NO. 02-12475
LYNITA FULLER CASKEY, as
Personal Representative of the
Estate of ROBERT OTIS FULLER,
Deceased, on behalf of Lynita Fuller
Caskey, surviving daughter, and The
Estate of Robert Otis Fuller.
THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA
Plaintiff, LYNITA FULLER CASKEY, as Personal Representative of the Estate of ROBERT OTIS FULLER ("BOBBY FULLER") Deceased, on behalf of Lynita Fuller Caskey, surviving daughter, and The Estate of Robert Otis Fuller, through undersigned counsel, hereby sues the Defendant, THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA ("CUBA") and alleges as follows:
1. This is an action for damages in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of this Court.
2. Plaintiff, LYNITA FULLER CASKEY is, and at all times material hereto was a national of the United States of America and a resident of South Florida.
3. Defendant, CUBA is, and at all times material hereto was, a foreign sovereign state as defined by the terms and provisions of 28 U.S.C. 1603.
4. At all times material hereto, Plaintiff LYNITA FULLER CASKEY, was, is and/or will be duly appointed Personal Representative of the Estate of ROBERT OTIS FULLER, Deceased, and the proper party to bring this action.
5. This court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this cause pursuant to the terms of 28U.S.C. 1330 and 1331 as Plaintiff's claims are brought pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, 28 U.S.C. 1602, et seq.
6. Defendant CUBA is subject to suit in a court of competent jurisdiction in any state court in the United States pursuant to the provisions of 28U.S.C. 1605.
7. Congress has crafted an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, through the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"). Under 28 U.S.C. 1605(7), the sovereign immunity of a foreign state is waived when a U.S. national Plaintiff seeks money damages in United States courts for acts of extrajudicial killing for which the foreign state is responsible.
8. The substantive cause of action is based upon the Civil Liability for Acts of State Sponsored Terrorism, 28U.S.C.A. 1605. Said statute creates a cause of action against agents of a foreign state that act under the conditions specified in section 1605(a)(7) of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
9. An additional substantive claims lies in the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991. Said Act establishes a civil action for recovery of damages from an individual who, under actual or apparent authority of a foreign nation, engages in torture or extrajudicial killing.
10. A foreign nation is liable for damages to the individual's legal representative, or to any person who may be a claimant in an action for wrongful death. For purposes of this Act, the term "extrajudicial killing" means a deliberate killing not authorized by a previous
judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. See 28U.S.C. 1605(e)(1).
11. Summary executions are considered "extrajudicial killing" within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. 1350. See Lafontant v. Aristide, 844 F.Supp.128(E.D.N.Y.1994)(dicta).
12. Defendant, Cuba is designated to be a state sponsor of terrorism under the terms and provisions of 56(j) of Export Administration Act of 1979, 50U.S.C. 2405(j).
FACTS OF THE CASE
13. In 1903, Jennie M. Fuller, (paternal grandmother of Plaintiff), moved to Holguin, Cuba with her family from Massachusetts. Her father, Alvin Jewett purchased and develop certain land and held other assets and personal properties in Holguin, Cuba including but not limited to:
Plantation at Holguin, Cuba consisting of approximately 120 caballerias of land and improvements thereof-(approximately 4,000 acres of land)
A saw mill, equipment, livestock (cattle) crops,
A sugar cane business and other personal property.
The family owned and operated a saw mill, they raised crops, cattle and grew sugar cane on the island.
14. Jennie M. (Jewett) Fuller, (paternal grandmother of Plaintiff), married William Otis Fuller in 1925, (both United States citizens) and had seven children, including the Plaintiff's father, Robert Otis Fuller all of which were born in Cuba. Bobby Fuller was born on May 11, 1934 in Santiago de Cuba.
15. The Fuller family assets and properties located in Holguin, Cuba were jointly owned by Plaintiff's paternal grandparents, Jennie M. Fuller and William Otis Fuller, her husband, and by Plaintiff's paternal uncle, Miles Chester Jewett.
16. On July 21, 1940, the family formed a corporation called Cia. Agricola De Lewiston, S.A., a Cuban Corporation. All assets were assigned to Cia. Agricola De Lewiston, S.A., which was created for the specific purpose of carrying on and/or conducting the family business in Cuba. The Cuban Corporation conducted business in Cuba continuously from July 21, 1940 until August of 1959.
17. In January of 1959, Fidel Castro and his 26th of July Communist revolutionary rebel army movement took power over Cuba and began to radically alter the economy and social structure of the island.
18. By May of 1959 the Castro government restricted or set forth the maximum limits of land ownerships allowed for individuals and corporate entities. All additional or excess (privately owned) land was expropriated or confiscated by the government. Shortly thereafter, all lands were nationalized and became "state owned" properties.
19. In August of 1959, the Castro Government ordered that the Fuller family corporation be dissolved.
20. By September 3, 1959, the family corporation, Cia Agricola De Lewiston, S.A. was formally dissolved pursuant to orders of the Castro government at which time the family distributed the corporate assets among its stockholders as follows:
Mr. & Mrs. William Otis Fuller 68.994 caballerias of land/ 2,287.97 acres
Mr. & Mrs. Miles Chester Jewett 58.730 caballerias of land/ 1,947.60 acres.
(1 caballeria equals 33.162 acres)
21. By December of 1959, the Cuban Communist Revolution was in full force and the survival of existing businesses and institutions were threatened. Due to the foregoing, the late William Otis Fuller returned to the U.S. while Jennie M. Fuller, his wife remained in Cuba to look over and protect the Fuller family land and their assets.
22. As of February of 1960, the Fuller's land, property, and saw mill including all of it's improvements, livestock, personal belongings and other items of personal value situated on the property, were intervened, and/or confiscated by the Castro Government.
23. Subsequently thereafter, the Plaintiff's father, Bobby Fuller, ventured to Cuba in an effort to protect his family's land, businesses and other interests.
24. On October 15, 1960, Bobby Fuller (ex-U.S. Marine) along with another American and two Cuban nationals, were captured and arrested by Castro agents who charged them with counter-revolutionary activities. By 4:00 P.M. on the same day, Bobby Fuller and the three others were placed in a sham trial held in Santiago de Cuba. They were all convicted within a few hours followed by an immediate appeal which took less than fifteen minutes. Sentences were instantaneously imposed and upheld as follows:
The two Cuban Nationals were sentenced to imprisonment.
The two Americans were sentenced to death by firing squad.
[For the sentences of remainder of the invasion force, see document 0118]
25. By 4:20 A.M.-October 16, 1960, less than twenty four hours after his capture and arrest, agents of the Castro Government in San Juan Hill, acting under orders of the Castro Government, led Bobby Fuller to a firing squad where he was shot and killed after being tortured by having his blood drained from his body. Thereafter, his body was thrown into an unmarked mass grave in an unknown location
COUNT 1-WRONGFUL DEATH
26. Plaintiff re-alleges and reasserts paragraphs 1 through 26 as if fully set forth herein.
27. On October 16, 1960, Defendant, CUBA intentionally, unlawfully, and with complete disregard for human life, tortured and executed ROBERT OTIS FULLER.
28. Defendant, CUBA caused the deliberate and wrongful death of ROBERT OTIS FULLER by directing and participating in the torture and execution of the deceased.
29. As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant's actions, Lynita Fuller Caskey, as surviving daughter and Estate of Robert Otis Fuller have suffered the following damages:
a. Lynita Fuller Caskey, as surviving daughter, has lost the support and services of the Decedent, Robert Otis Fuller in the past with interest and will continue to suffer such losses in the future, and;
b. Lynita Fuller Caskey, as surviving daughter, has suffered the loss of the father's love companionship and protection in the past will continue to suffer such a loss in the future.
c. Lynita Fuller Caskey, as surviving daughter, has suffered severe mental pain and anguish in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
d. The Estate of Robert Otis Fuller lost net accumulations and sustained economic losses, and;
e. The Estate of Robert Otis Fuller also seeks compensation for the pain and suffering of Robert Otis Fuller prior to his death.
f. Any and all other damages to which Plaintiff may be entitled.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, LYNITA FULLER CASKEY demands judgment against THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA for compensatory damages, plus interest and costs.
COUNT II-PUNITIVE DAMAGES.
30. Plaintiff realleges and reasserts paragraph 1 through 26 as if fully set forth herein.
31. The extreme and outrageous acts of CUBA, the Defendant, in intentionally torturing and executing the deceased, ROBERT OTIS FULLER constitute willful and/or wanton
32. Pursuant to 28U.S.C. 1606, Plaintiff, Lynita Fuller Caskey is entitled to recover punitive damages from Defendant, CUBA for this extreme and outrageous conduct.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA for punitive damages.
JOHN S. GAEBE & ASSOCIATES, P.A.
Counsel for Plaintiff
2950 S.W. 27th Avenue
Miami, FL 33133
Phone (305) 445-3800
Fax (305) 448-5800
RASCO REININGER, PEREZ
& ESQUENAZI, P.L.
Counsel for Plaintiff
283 Catalonia Avenue, 2nd Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Phone (305) 476-7100
Fax (305) 476-7102
JOHN S. GAEBE, ESQ.
Fla Bar No. 304824
ALFONSO PEREZ, ESQ.
Fla. Bar No. 220620
Do not let the Fuller surname fool you. These good-no, great people- were and are Cuban to the core. The family had New England roots, but eight Fuller children, Bobby among them, were born in Cuba. The Fullers and Jewetts adopted Cuba, and Cuba adopted them. As American as apple pie, yet as Cuban as "arroz con frijoles negros" - rice-n-black beans.
Now that you are acquainted with the tragedy of the Fullers, representative of many such tragedies played out in Cuba since 1959, you may ask if there was any justice done. Yes, there was some justice done. Bear in mind it is incomplete, at least in this world. The verdict of the court against the criminal government of fidel castro cannot bring back Robert Otis Fuller nor the many who were, like him, viciously murdered.
This article from the Miami Herald explains it well - wish it displayed better, but it comes from a photocopy. Father - rightfully so - gave the original to the family.
Note that the Fullers who should have lived to see this day come to pass sadly did not...
The Quirogas received this keepsake when we came to pay our respects to the Fullers in their family home, after Bobby's mother passed away. We well remember her, still strong in her eighties and into her nineties, looking after her yard and her lovingly-tended plants, wielding a machete with dexterity, slicing off weeds and too-tall blades of grass. She too, and Mr. Fuller, her husband, must not be forgotten. They were victims of the vicious, inhuman weed which should have been cut off and cut out of the soul of Cuba before it could take root. Have no fear - the inhuman weed will soon be cut off; the wheat separated from the chaff. The chaff shall be burned...
I think this is a beautiful tribute to Jennie Fuller from her loving family. She did not want her son forgotten; let us pray that even in a small way, this post will help accomplish that. And also keep the many victims of terrorist state murder, the long-suffering political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in the minds of all who read this and see the videos, hear the audio messages, examine the graphics and read the texts contributed by the other bloggers for the Primavera Negra campaign. May this all lead to the quicker demise of that criminal regime! How much longer must it be endured?
The City of Miami has done its bit to ensure Bobby Fuller indeed is not forgotten, designating SW 19th Avenue "Bobby Fuller Way - - the image comes from the Cuban Information Archives site.
We do not forget, Mrs. Fuller. We keep you, Bobby, all the Fuller family in our prayers often. Some measure of justice has been accomplished, but the full cup of justice must still be forced down the throat of the perpetrators. It would be most satisfying to see the criminals responsible in these settings...
(Trial of adolf eichmann, Jerusalem 1961 - Yad Vashem photo archives image 1572/11)
Isn't it time to bring these genocidal criminals to justice, before they cheat the hangman?? We wait. But as we wait, there will be no forgetting the Bobby Fullers, the Biscets, the Farinases, the Seventy-Five, the thousands more who have died and endured torture and unjust imprisonment at the hands of the nazi-like acolytes of castrianism, 1959-2007.