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Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 00:08:19 -0500 (CDT)
From: rich@pencil.math.missouri.edu (Rich Winkel)
Organization: PACH
Subject: Cuba-US Court: US Naval Base violations
Article: 70841
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.21535.19990725121544@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

/** reg.carib: 262.0 **/
** Topic: Pt8 Cuba -US Court. Naval Base viol **
** Written 5:31 PM Jul 22, 1999 by jclancy@pop.pegasus.com.au in cdp:reg.carib **
from: jclancy@peg.apc.org
subject:Pt8 Cuba-US Court. Naval base violations
Continuous violations from the naval base

Naval base violations

Pt. 8, Cuba -US Court
22 July 1999

THE illegal status of the U.S. naval base on Cuban territory in the east of the island was no obstacle to that military enclave being utilized for 30 years (from the '60s to early '90s) for a whole gamut of attacks on the island's sovereignty, adding up to 13,498 in total.

Rifle shots, the launching of objects, verbal offense and obscene gestures, among other acts, are on the list of 5236 acts of provocation mounted by U.S. marines on the Border Brigade guarding Cuban territory. In his presentation of evidence to the court, Colonel Luis M. Garca Cu±arro, a witness called by lawyers representing the plaintiffs, described these deeds as systematic and deliberate.

In his report, Garca Cu±arro offered a wealth of data on the matter. He recounted how, in the '60s, ships and aircraft carried out training exercises with live ammunition, and the consequent dangers represented by these. During the so-called October Missile Crisis there were 5800 men under arms on the base.

He likewise presented as evidence a document declassified during the trial arising from President John Kennedy's assassination. Outlining a plan for military intervention in Cuba, it was put before the Joint Chiefs of Staff for their consideration. This was the "select document on Cuba," which contains a whole catalogue of pretexts that could be utilized by the United States to this end.

According to the plan, there was to be a well-coordinated series of acts of self-aggression, including the sabotage of a U.S. warship in the base's port, which even took into account the potential number of victims.

Garca recalled the deaths of young Cuban soldier Ramn Lpez Pe±a in 1965 and Luis Ramrez Lpez, aged 19, one year later, as a direct result of those acts of aggression. Taking the total of all the violations (8262), it is calculated that an injurious act was effected every 36 hours on average.

The harassment of workers who had worked in the enclave for years was also denounced. That harassment was followed by mass dismissals by the base authorities in 1964. According to information given to the court by Justo Luis Noriega, who acted as head of the Border Battalion from 1962-64, the Revolution directed half a million pesos to cover those workers' wages and subsequently relocated them in other jobs.

Division General Sixto Batista Santana, who was Chief of Staff of the Border Brigade in the first half of 1966, explained the series of measures adopted by the Revolution to protect the lives of Brigade members, and to alleviate the psychological tensions resulting from their constant humiliation by the marines. Moreover, it was necessary to ensure that the situation didn't provoke a response that would serve as an example of provocation toward the United States.

During that session of evidence on violations mounted from the Guantßnamo Naval Base, a 40-minute documentary faithfully recounting the history of acts of provocation perpetrated by marines up until the early '90s, was shown to the court.

Focal point for subversion since 1959

That enclave - established 100 years ago via the confusingly drafted 1903 Agreement, which granted the above-mentioned base to the United States "for as long as it is needed," was converted into a focal point for subversion in 1959, as David Concepcin P‰rez, head of the Border Battalion from 1961 to 1963, testified to the court.

In addition to detailing the tons of munitions taken from the base to help the armed bands "rapidly eliminated in Oriente (province)," Concepcin P‰rez denounced the torture and murder of Caimanera fisherman Rodolfo Rosell Salas in May 1962.

Orlando la O Estrada - head of the Ministry of the Interior in Guantßnamo from 1959 to 1984 - offered an exhaustive testimony on the torture and murder in 1961 of Rub‰n Lpez Sabariego, who worked as a freight truck driver on the base.

Married with nine children, Lpez Sabariego's body was discovered on territory belonging to the base by other Cuban workers and returned to his family after two weeks. One of his daughters, Evang‰lica Lpez, told the court of the multiple signs of torture found by pathologists on his body.

Andr‰s Noel Lardue testified how he was seriously wounded in one arm and the lung by bullets fired by two marines in 1964; Berto Bel‰n, a Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces photographer, showed injuries occasioned by a marine with a telescopic rifle, likewise in 1964; and base worker Manuel Prieto Gmez recounted how he was detained and maltreated there for a number of days in 1961.

Orlando la O also testified on munitions taken out of the base for various targets, including leaders of the Revolution, and referred to what was known as the Patty-Candela case, aimed at the assassination of then Commander Ra”l Castro, in 1961, for which those involved had 30-millimeter machine guns, mortars, two 37-millimeter cannons, submachine guns, rifles, rockets and grenades.

He noted that he worked on 23 cases proceeding from the naval base in 10 years; 20 agents were neutralized and a further 153 were screened and controlled.

"During all those years," David Concepcin P‰rez declared, "not one provocation from the Guantßnamo Naval Base that could serve as a bridgehead for the United States to unleash a direct aggression against our country was ever accepted."

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