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Date: Sat, 20 Apr 1996 07:22:13 -0500
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>>> Item number 6767, dated 96/04/18 23:37:07 -- ALL
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 1996 23:37:07 GMT
Reply-To: Interreligious Foundation <ifco@igc.apc.org>
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Interreligious Foundation <ifco@igc.apc.org> Organization: For Community Organisation
Subject: Provocations against Cuba

Terrorist provocations against Cuba

A selection of items retrieved from news sources, 1992-96
By Ruch Wayne Millar, Saksatoon, Canada, 18 April 1996

In an attempt to try to understand why Cuba shot down the two Cessnas at such an inopportune time, I did some research. The following excerpts from online news services, radio reports, magazines and other sources illuminate the reasons for their actions. I'm sure there were many more instances to add to the list.


Seven anti-Castro Cubans armed with automatic weapons landed in Cuba on October 15, killing one local resident and attempting to steal a vehicle before Cuban authorities arrested them. The seven, captured after a shootout with security forces, left for Cuba from a third country in order to avoid violating the US Neutrality Law, which prohibits launching armed operations from the US. They are members of the Miami-based Democratic National Unity Party (PUND), which claimed responsibility for their action. [Weekly News Update on the Americas, 10/23/94]


Havana --The most detailed report to date on the US Central Intelligence Agency's plotting with Mafia bosses to assassinate Cuban president Fidel Castro, has just come to light in Washington. The report, covering the period of the early 60s, was declassified last week and passed on to public archives. The document gives detailed information on the CIA execution action capability program, described as a preparedness plan for carrying out assassination actions whenever deemed necessary. The report documents plans for using poisoned cigars and ball point pens for murdering the Cuban leader. It quotes statements from William Harvey, the CIA officer in charge of coordinating the assassination plans, suggesting the involvement of the highest level of the US government. [Cubanews from Radio Havana Cuba November 18, 1993 via radiohc@tinored.cu]


An alleged assassination attempt was made on the life of Fidel Castro last April, according to the magazine Vanity Fair. The attempts on April 21 involved five men with machine guns who surrounded his car and opened fire as the vehicle left his home in suburban Havana. A Cuban identified as "Marta" learned this information from family members in the Cuban government. She was quoted as saying Castro's security squad, riding in the car behind his, killed the would-be assassins. Castro's chauffeur was wounded in the arm. The article also said a rumour circulated at the same time, a a conference of Cuban exiles in Havana, that the Cuban leader had been assassinated or died of natural causes. On the last day of the conference April 24, Castro met with the exiles. [AP 02/07/95 posted on CUBA-L]


A house-to-house vitamin distribution program has quelled an epidemic that sickened more than 50,000 Cubans, but the cause of the malady remains a mystery. Bjorn Thylefors, head a a World Health Organization investigation team, said [Sept. 29] a combination of an unknown poison and poor nutrition in Cuba apparently was to blame. [Globe & Mail 10//30/93 from Ap]


Termed by Secretary of state Warren Christopher as "an uncivilized act" the integrity of Cuban air space does not also require a defense to those who pardoned the plotters of the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976 [?] or fired a missile on and Iranian passenger plane over the Persian Gulf. Uncivilized acts are indeed a 37-year relentless campaign of terror, sabotage, assassination, disease, starvation and genocide conducted by a major power over a peaceful people. [Cuban-American national alliance statement April 25 (?) 1996 posted by igc:lmartin in web:reg.cuba]. Orlando Bosch, and the brothers Ignacior and Guillermo Novo Sampol were convicted and later absolved in Venezuela for blowing up a Cuban passenger jet in 1975 [?], killing all 73 people on board. [NYT 11/28/93 from Reuter, part of longer article linking Cuban exiles with Kennedy assassination]


Nine Cuban-American arrested by the U.S. Coast Guard last week in the Florida keys with a boat full of guns and explosives were indicted on may 26 by a federal grand jury for violating U.S. weapons laws. The accused are members of the anti-Castro paramilitary group Alpha 66. [UPI 5/27/93 via NY transfer]


On November 6, 1993 Canadian newspapers, particularly those from Montreal, ran disturbing headlines: Alpha 66, an anti-Cuban group from Miami. announced that starting on November 27, tourists travelling to Cuba would be attacked by Alpha 66 members operating in Cuba. In the following months, travel wholesalers in Montreal also receive death threats. [Granma 1/4/1995] "Adding insult to injury is the fact that in this same week the anti- Castro terrorist group Alpha 66 announced that it now considered tourists in Cuba as justifiable targets for kidnappings and assassinations. Since Canadian tourists make up the largest single group of tourists in Cubaa ... it is clear that we constitute the largest probable target." [John Kirk, Globe & Mail, 11/10/1993]


According to an article in the Jan. 23 edition of the daily Jersey Journal, Tony Bryant, the new leader of the Cuban exile group Commandos L, has "warned international tourists to stay away" from Cuba, saying "We're going to attack them." Last October, Commandos L sprayed the hotel Melia at the Varadero beach tourist resort with gunfire in what bryant told his audience was meant as a message to tourists. [summary of jersey Journal (NJ) article posted on NY transfer; date lost- 1994?]


The anti-Castro paramilitary group Alpha 66 announced in Florida that several of its commandos attacked a tourist hotel on the northern coast of Cuba on Mar. 11, marking the start of a campaign against the island's tourist industry. According to Alpha 66, no one was hurt in the attack from the commandos' small boat offshore or by the fire returned by Cuban security forces. "All the Cuban tourist centres are military objectives for Alpha 66," said the group's military chief, Humberto Perez. Perez said the attack was launched from a base located outside the US, though it was coordinated in Miami; US legislation prohibits the launching of armed attacks from US territory against nations that are not at war with the US. [ED-LP 4/1/94 from AFP] Alpha 66 had threatened to begin attacks against foreign tourists in Cuba beginning Nov. 27 [Weekly News Update on the Americas #218, April 3, 1994]


At a Mar. 31 press conference in the Miami area, US representatives Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, both Florida Republicans of Cuban-American origin, blasted the Pentagon's recent decision to prohibit flights to the migrant camps at the US Guantanamo naval base in Cuba by the Anti-Castro organization "Brothers to the Rescue." According to a letter from Under-Secretary of Defense H. Allen Holmes to Ros-Lehtinen, the group was banned from Guantanamo because the Cuban government formally complained to the US Interests Section in Havana that on Nov. 10, 1994, two of its planes tried to distribute leaflets not only over the camps on the US base, but also within Cuban territory. [reference lost; probably Weekly News Update, April 1994; index sent for]


On Oct. 15, seven anti-Castro Cubans armed with automatic rifles landed illegally at Caibarien on Cuba's north central shore; they attempted to steal a vehicle, killed a local resident who was fishing, and were arrested several hours later after a shootout with Cuban authorities and a local guard. Three of the seven were slightly injured in the shootout. Cuban state-run media reported that the infiltrators were dressed in camouflage and armed with AK, M-16 and R-15 assault rifles, as well as pistols, military supplies and "enemy propaganda." [In] Miami on Oct. 17, Sergio Gonzalez Rosquete of the Florida-based anti-Castro Democratic National Unity Party (PUND) said his organization was responsible for the action. ... On Oct. 18 Gonzalez explained that the commandos had departed on their mission from a third Caribbean country [likely the Bahamas] in order to avoid violating the US Neutrality Law, which prohibits launching armed actions from US territory against foreign countries. [El Nuevo Herald 10/17/94, 10/18/94, 10/19/94, quotes retranslated from Spanish; Reuter 10/17/94; El Diario-La Prensa 10/19/94 from EFE; Radio Havana Cuba 10/17/94]


Havana - Cuba has warned that the release of Leonel Macias who murdered Cuban navy officer and hijacked a vessel to the United States last August is equivalent to condoning terrorism. ... Leonel Macias assassinated Cuban navy officer Roberto Aguilar in Mariel Bay last August 8th and hijacked a vessel, later picking up 24 passengers. Foreign Ministry official Rafael Dausa told Cuban Radio Rebelde that Cuba presented a video, and eye witness statements concerning the murder and statements to the effect that Macias himself admitted shooting the Cuban navy officer, US courts, however, did not take this evidence into consideration. Three witnesses belonging to the same navy squadron as Macias, said the hijacker pulled out a gun and shot the only other armed member of the crew. Macias immediately pointed the gun at the three unarmed witnesses and ordered them to throw themselves overboard. Their statements were aired live on national TV in Cuba. [Radio Havana Cuba April 19, 1995]


On Apr. 17, an INS appeals court granted political asylum to Leonel Macias Gonzalez, accused by the Cuban government of assaulting a government boat and murdering a Cuban naval official last Aug. 8. The 19-year old Cuban initially received asylum in February, but the US government had appealed the measure. [ED-LP 4/20/95 from AP]


Spokesmen of the "Antonio Maceo" Brigade, a moderate [Cuban] emigrant group ... said "paramilitary organizations" are preparing a caravan of vessels and airplanes with the purpose of violating the jurisdictional borders and the sovereignty of Cuba. According to the group, Raul Sanchez, one of the "flotilla" ringleaders, is a well-known terrorist who has been under federal investigations and in the 80s was put in jail for several months for these activities. [Written Sep 4, 1995 by igc:cubaseccion (the Cuban Interest Section in Washington) in web:reg.cuba]


Seven anti-Castro Cubans armed with automatic weapons landed in Cuba on October 15, killing one local resident and attempting to steal a vehicle before Cuban authorities arrested them. The seven, captured after a shootout with security forces, left for Cuba from a third country in order to avoid violating the US Neutrality Law, which prohibits launching armed operations from the US. They are members of the Miami-based Democratic National Unity Party (PUND), which claimed responsibility for their action. [Weekly News Update on the Americas, 10/23/94]


Two anti-Castro Cuban paramilitary leaders were arrested on June 2 in Miami on charges that they sought to buy a Stinger missile and other advanced weapons from an undercover US federal agent posing as a corrupt army sergeant. The two, Rodolfo Frometa and Fausto Marimon, are prominent members of Commandos F-4, a group that split off from another anti-Castro paramilitary organization, Alpha 66, earlier this spring. ... Frometa and marimon were among seven Alpha 66 members taken into custody after Coast guard officials found a cache of weapons, ammunition and money in their 18-foot boat, as they were en route to Cuba to carry out a military action. [New York Times 6/4/1994]


On Nov. 2, FBI agents arrested three men from another rightwing terrorist organization in southern Florida as they attempted to firebomb a warehouse full of humanitarian aid collected by Cuban American seeking an end to the embargo. [Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) Press Release 11/17/94] The aid was shipped to Cuba with the Pastors for Peace Friendshipment caravan .... [Radio Havana Cuba 11/17/94; IFCO Press Release 11/17/94]


On Dec. 20, a federal judge in Miami sentenced two anti-Castro Cuban emigre paramilitary leaders for attempting to buy high- powered weapons from an undercover federal agent. The two, Rodolfo Frometa and Fausto Marimon, were arrested on June 2 and convicted in September. Leaders of the paramilitary group Commandos F-4, Frometa and Marimon planned to use the explosives, grenades, anti-tank missiles and other weapons for attacks on tourist spots in Cuba. Frometa was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, while Marimon got one year of prison and two of conditional liberty. [El Diario-La Prensa 12/21/94 from Notimex]


The New York offices of El Diario-La Prensa were bombed after the paper ran an editorial endorsing exile visits. The wording of the cover story in New Republic implicated wealthy Cuban exile leader Jorge Mas Canosa, dubbed by the magazine as "Clinton's Miami Mobster". [New Republic March 1995]


A chronology posted by the Cuban Interest Section in Washington on the APC computer networks February 26, 1996, itemized 10 violations of Cuban air space from 1994 to 1996 alone: May 15, May 25, May 29, Nov 10 of 1994; April 4, July 13 of 1995; and Jan. 9 and 13 of 1996. Notification of almost all these incidents were sent by diplomatic note to the United States Interest Section in Havana soon after their occurrence. [Copy available from the editor]


On Jan. 4, a federal judge denied bail to two of three Cuban- American accused of stockpiling an arsenal of weapons and masterminding a plan to invade Cuba and spark an armed rebellion against the government there. Rene Cruz, his son--also named Rene Cruz--and Rafael Garcia were arrested on Dec. 16 by FBI agents who raided the warehouse of Remarc International, a ... business in Huntington Beach owned by the older Cruz. The three face charges of conspiracy to violate the Neutrality Act; they could face up to eight years in prison if convicted. At the warehouse federal agents seized three MAC-90 "sniper" rifles, 18 AK-47 assault rifles, a number of hand grenades and 14,000 rounds of ammunition, plus bullet-proof vests, radio equipment, maps of Cuba, air navigation maps, night vision glasses, and plans in Spanish detailing an invasion of Cuba. [Reuter 1/4/96; New York Times 12/26/95 from AP; Diario Las Americas (Miami) 1/6/96 from AFP]


On March 7, 1996, CBC Radio reported that "Havana accuses pilots with Brothers to the Rescue of firing on civilians in Cuba, setting fire to crops, spreading chemical defoliants on Cuban soil and dropping propaganda leaflets." CBC also reported that Brothers to the Rescue had dropped an explosive device over Cuba, but did not cite details.


A Cuban security official said in a television documentary shown on Nov. 26 that two Cuban counterrevolutionaries and three US gangsters fired shots in US president John F. Kennedy's assassination and that his killing was part of a wide-ranging conspiracy.

... It was the first time Cuba has presented a theory on the Kennedy killing.[Washington Post 11/28/93 from Reuter] ...

The three part series was primarily dedicated to the CIA's efforts to assassinate Cuban president Fidel Castro; the Kennedy affair only figured in the final episode. [El Diario-La Prensa 11/25/93 from Reuter]. Directed by Marco Antonio Cury of Brazil, the film drew on Cuban and American film archives as well as interviews with Cuban security officials and former agents of the CIA. It included interviews with two Cuban intelligence officers who were described as having infiltrated the CIA in the 1960s and who were said to have known people named as part of the plot. The ... documentary said that the conspiracy was fed by frustration among Cuban counter-revolutionaries and organized crime over Kennedy's Cuba policy, and that disgruntled members of the US establishment had played a role. [NYT 11/28/93 from Reuter from Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater New York November 28, 1993]


excerpt of an interview with Noam Chomsky CBC "Morningside", March 12, 1996

... [T]he front page story right now is Palestinian terrorism .... [F]or years our client state Israel has been intercepting ferry boats and other boats in international waters, say ferry boats going from Cyprus to Lebanon, sinking them, shooting down ... killing people in the water, kidnapping people and putting them into Israeli jails. ... But that's not considered terrorism. [For] 30 years or so, the sort of official line in the United States is that we have to defend ourselves against Cuba because it's an outpost of Soviet imperialism threatening us. ... November 1989 the Berlin Wall collapses, okay, no more Soviet threat. What happens to U.S. policy towards Cuba? Well, it becomes harsher .... That's because the threat of the Russian empire is gone. Well, the media reacted to that without batting an eyelash. It turns out all those years it wasn't that we were afraid of the Soviet threat, it was that we have such love for democracy that we therefore have to carry out a terrorist war against Cuba and embargo it and strangle it [G]oing back to the beginning, the U.S. officially determined ... to overthrow the government of Cuba, at a time when Castro was anti-Communist; there were no Russians around. But he was showing some signs of independence. Now the U.S. planes were attacking Cuba from Florida within months after Castro's takeover and a few months later, March 1960, a formal decision was made to overthrow the government. Now since that time the United states has, first of all, invaded Cuba, but then carried on extraordinary terrorist attacks against it for years. Probably Cuba was the target of more international terrorism than probably the rest of the world combined, up until Nicaragua in the 1980s.