Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 20:32:12 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Bill Koehnlein <>
Subject: Cuba Incident: A View from Miami
From: (Karen Wald , Periodista - APC)
Date: Sat, 02 Mar 96 08:42:58 EST 0

Cuba incident: a view from Miami

By Karen Wald, Havana. 2 March, 1996

Distributed by NY Transfer News Collective

Dear Karen:

Greetings from Miami, home of the screaming hyenas of reaction.

I read with interest the "US-Cuba Relations Shot Down" article posted to the New York Transfer News Collective.

From here, in case you weren't already aware of it, I can report that the media is taking the word of Gusanos al Rescate, the Cuban American National Foundation, and the US government as the unqestioned truth as well.

The following points brought up by the Cuban government have not been addressed in the sorry excuse for a newspaper here, nor in newscasts in South Florida:

  1. That the "sortie" in which the shoot-downs occurred was the second of that day, that the planes had been chased out earlier. Not once that I have seen, has anyone brought this up, nor have (surprise!) the government or exile groups volunteered as to whether or not this was true.
  2. That they had a flight plan filed to the Bahamas, and neither the US or Cuba had authorized a flight plan into Cuban-controlled airspace, toward Havana. This was mentioned only in the very first reports of the incident, and has since been dropped.
  3. That the Cuban government has no way to know the intentions of violating aircraft, whether or not weapons could be aboard, and who was aboard the aircraft. Jose Basulto has said repeatedly to the media that as a "free Cuban" citizen he has the "right" to fly over "his" airspace.
  4. That the US government has not revoked airman priveleges to these ego-maniacal morons for their repeated transgressions of aviation law, and who, had they been regular guys, would have suffered revocation of pilot priveleges or worse.
  5. That Jose Basulto has a long and extensive history with the CIA and assorted right-wing and reactionary Latin American and North American groups, including his involvement with the contras and the medical treatment of their wounded.

I don't know what kind of feedback you get from Miami, but I'll happily provide some regarding what the public is hearing here.

(name omitted until I can find out if it is ok with him)

Points 2 and 4 by the way are ones Alarcon emphasized a lot yesterday, since flying without a flight plan is not only illegal but endangers the lives of all other crew and passengers flying legally in the areas where these small planes go without logging a flight plan.

He also noted that it has been US policy and practice throughout Latin America, as announced by Tom Brokaw on an NBC news program Jan. 5, to SHOOT DOWN all unidentified small aircraft whether inflight or on the ground SUSPECTED of being involved in narcotics trade. The Pentagon reportedly allocated 120 million dollars for this operation. No one seems upset that the US is shooting down small civilian planes merely on suspicion that they may be flying dope.

He says the dope smugglers are elated with this latest series of events with Hermanos al Rescate -- now all they have to do to guarantee their safe entry and exit to and from the US is pretend they are anti-Castro Cubans.

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