Date: Wed, 28 Feb 1996 15:12:07 CST
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Steve Martinot <marto@ocf.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject: Cuba Shootdown: Censored Facts

Some additional items about the Cuba situation

By Steve Martinot. 28 February, 1996.

  1. We heard, here in the US, that the "human rights" conference organized by the dissidents had been called off because of Cuban government harassment. This was a lie. The conference occurred. It was attended by some travelers from the US, and the dissident organizers were chaperoned by officials from the US Interest Section. The fact that the US press claimed it had been cancelled is the interesting part.
  2. There seems to have been a number of policy changes recently by Washington with respect to Cuba. After a period of easing its aggressive stance, and opening some dialogue with the Cubans, Washington seems to be returning to its reptilian hostility. Two friendshipments to Cuba, organized by the Pastors for Peace, were stopped and confiscated at the border to Mexico. And the US seems to have changed its mind about stopping the Miami counter-revolutionaries from doing their border crossings. Many flights have violated Cuban airspace since the beginning of January. And Operation Rescate, the organization in charge of these last flights, is the organization that opened fire from a boat on a Cuban hotel last year.
  3. There is no doubt that the planes were shot down in Cuban waters. The US Coast Guard asked permission of the Cuban government to enter their territorial waters to search for the wreckage, which the Cubans were already in the process of retrieving.

    Question: why has the US decided to backtrack on its policy changes at this particular moment? Is something more serious afoot?

  4. This leads to a slightly conjectural point, which might be the most critical. It concerns the double defector, Juan Pablo Roque, the man who defected four years ago to the US in a Mig, and is now back in Cuba. Operation Rescate is now saying he was a Cuban agent all along. Let us suppose they are right. Then the Cubans have called in an agent, which means cancelling the enormous amount of time and effort invested in him. Why would they do that now? What is it that is going on with respect to the US that would require them to make such an important move?
  5. I think it is time for us to pay close attention, and to raise some more serious opposition to US Cuba policy.

Steve Martinot