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Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 06:10:00 -0600
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>>> Item number 8293, dated 96/02/27 20:24:07 -- ALL
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 1996 20:24:07 GMT
Reply-To: Stan Ivester <ivester@utkvx.utcc.utk.edu>
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Stan Ivester <ivester@utkvx.utcc.utk.edu>
Organization: UT Press
Subject: Cuba, the U.S., and Terrorism: A Little Background

Cuba 1959 to 1980s: The Unforgivable Revolution

From a chapter in Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II, by William Blum, (Common Courage Press, 1995)

During the next decade [the 1970s], while the CIA continued to pour money into the exile community, more than 100 serious "incidents" took place in the United States for which Omega 7 and other groups claimed responsibility. (Within the [intelligence] community, the distinction between a terrorist and a non-terrorist group is not especially precise; there is much overlapping identity and frequent creation of new names.) There occurred repeated bombings of the Soviet UN Mission, its Washington Embassy, its automobiles, a Soviet ship docked in New Jersey, the offices of the Soviet airline Aeroflot, with a number of Russians injured from these attacks; several bombings of the Cuban UN Mission and its Interests Section in Washington, many attacks upon Cuban diplomats, including at least one murder; a bomb discovered at New York's Academy of Music in 1976 shortly before a celebration of the Cuban Revolution was to begin; a bombing two years later of the Lincoln Center after the Cuban ballet had performed.

The single most violent act of this period was the blowing up of a Cubana Airlines plane shortly after it took off from Barbados on 6 October 1976, which took the lives of 73 people including the entire Cuban championship fencing team. CIA documents later revealed that on 22 June, a CIA officer abroad had cabled a report to Agency headquarters that he had learned from a source that a Cuban exile group planned to bomb a Cubana airliner flying between Panama and Havana. The group's leader was a baby doctor named Orlando Bosch. After the plane crashed in the sea in October, it was Bosch's network of exiles that claimed responsibility. The cable showed that the CIA had the means to penetrate the Bosch organization, but there's no indication in any of the documents that the Agency undertook any special monitoring of Bosch and his group because of their plans, or that the CIA warned Havana.

In 1983, while Orlando Bosch sat in a Venezuelan prison charged with masterminding the plane bombing, the City Commission of Miami proclaimed a "Dr. Orlando Bosch Day." In 1968, Bosch had been convicted of a bazooka attack on a Polish ship in Miami.

Cuban exiles themselves have often come in for harsh treatment. Those who have visited Cuba for any reason whatever, or publicly suggested, however timidly, a rapprochement with the homeland, they too have been the victims of bombings and shootings in Florida and New Jersey. American groups advocating a resumption of diplomatic relations or an end to the embargo have been similarly attacked, as have travel agencies handling trips to Cuba and a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey which shipped medicines to the island. Dissent in Miami has been effectively silenced, while the police, city officials, and the media look the other way, when not actually demonstrating support for the exiles' campaign of intimidation. In Miami and elsewhere, the CIA--ostensibly to uncover Castro agents--has employed exiles to spy on their countrymen, to keep files on them, as well as on Americans who associate with them.

Although there has always been the extreme lunatic fringe in the Cuban exile community (as opposed to the normal lunatic fringe) insisting that Washington has sold out their cause, over the years there has been only the occasional arrest and conviction of an exile for a terrorist attack in the United States, so occasional that the exiles can only assume that Washington's heart is not wholly in it. The exile groups and their key members are well known to the authorities, for the anti-Castroites have not excessively shied away from publicity. At least as late as the early 1980s, they were training openly in southern Florida and southern California; pictures of them flaunting their weapons appeared in the press. The CIA, with its countless contacts-cum-informers amongst the exiles, could fill in many of the missing pieces for the FBI and the police, if it wished to.