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$58M for survivors – Congress okays award

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The families of three men killed when their planes were shot down by Cuban fighter jets in 1996 will donate a third of the money awarded to them by the federal government to charity, the Associated Press reported Oct. 14.

The three men, Armando Alejandre Jr., Carlos Costa and Mario de la Pena, along with non-U.S. citizen Pablo Morales, were aboard two planes patrolling the waters off Florida for Brothers to the Rescue, a Cuban-American group that searches the waters for people leaving Cuba.

A bill, already passed by both houses of Congress, will make it easier for the victim’s families to collect millions in court-ordered sanctions against Cuba for withdrawing from a federal lawsuit over the country’s responsibility for the shoot down.

The families will receive $58 million in Cuban funds from AT&T accounts frozen in the 1960s. In 1997, a judge awarded victims’ relatives $118 million in damages.

Families plan to use a portion of the money to establish a trust fund for Pablo Morales’ mother and create scholarships for the children of Cuban refugees.

For full story, got to AOL.

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