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500 Gather To Honor Pilots Killed By Cuba

Tue., Feb. 25, 1997

Eva Barbas broke down sobbing Monday as a group of airplanes took off for an aerial memorial to her son and three other pilots who were shot down at sea by Cuban MiG fighters one year ago.

“Until I see Cuba free, like Pablito wanted, I will not rest,” said Barbas, whose son, Pablo Morales, was one of four men killed on Feb. 24, 1996.

About 500 people gathered at the Opa-Locka Airport near Miami for the memorial to the members of Brothers to the Rescue, a Cuban exile group formed to search for rafters in the 90 miles of open water between Cuba and Florida.

Six Brothers planes took off on a flight near Cuba’s international boundary. They returned safely around 6 p.m. after saying a prayer, dropping flowers and shooting two flares to symbolize the two downed Cessnas.

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