The Cuba Archive project (www.cubaarchive.org) has already begun the heavy lifting by attempting to document the loss of life attributable to revolutionary zealotry. The project, based in Chatham, N.J., covers the period from May 1952 — when the constitutional government fell to Gen. Fulgencio Batista — to the present. It has so far verified the names of 11310 victims of the Castro regime and the circumstances of their deaths [through 2016]. Archive researchers meticulously insist on confirming stories of official murder from two independent sources.
Cuba Archive President Maria Werlau says the total number of victims could be higher by a factor of 10. Project Vice President Armando Lago, a Harvard-trained economist, has spent years studying the cost of the revolution and he estimates that almost 78,000 innocents may have died trying to flee the dictatorship. Another 5,300 are known to have lost their lives fighting communism in the Escambray Mountains (mostly peasant farmers and their children) and at the Bay of Pigs. An estimated 14,000 Cubans were killed in Fidel’s revolutionary adventures abroad, most notably his dispatch of 50,000 soldiers to Angola in the 1980s to help the Soviet-backed regime fight off the Unita insurgency.
Cuba Archive finds that some 5,600 Cubans have died in front of firing squads and another 1,200 in “extrajudicial assassinations.” Che Guevara was a gleeful executioner at the infamous La Cabana Fortress in 1959 where, under his orders, at least 151 Cubans were lined up and shot. Children have not been spared. Of the 94 minors whose deaths have been documented by Cuba Archive, 22 died by firing squad and 32 in extrajudicial assassinations.