Date: Sat, 12 Sep 98 12:04:57 CDT
From: "Workers World" <email@example.com>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Arrests reveal splits in U.S. Cuba policy
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Sept. 10, 1998
issue of Workers World newspaper
Arrests reveal splits in U.S. Cuba policy
By Scott Scheffer, in Workers World,
10 September 1998
Seven people were indicted in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug.
25 on charges that they had tried to assassinate Cuban
President Fidel Castro when he was on an official visit to
Venezuela in October 1997.
One of the seven, Jose Antonio Llama, is a member of the
28-person directorate of the Cuban American National
Foundation, a right-wing Cuban organization based in Miami.
Since its 1981 founding, CANF, posing as a peaceful
political group, has been an instrument of U.S. hostility
toward revolutionary Cuba.
Four of the indicted were arrested in October on a boat
owned by Llama, in international waters off Puerto Rico.
They had called the U.S. Coast Guard for help. When two 50-
caliber rifles were discovered, one of the four blurted out
that they were planning to kill Castro--almost as if they
weren't expecting harsh punishment.
After the indictments, CANF issued a statement of denial,
saying "violence is not the answer to the Cuban crisis."
CANF defending itself from a U.S. legal attack is a new
twist. The indictment is such a departure from the usual
U.S. tactics toward Cuba that the headline of an August 26
Time article read, "Wasn't he [Fidel Castro] supposed to be
It is widely known that the U.S. government itself has
tried to kill Castro many times. The Associated Press
pointed out on Aug. 25: "In the mid 1970s, a Senate
committee documented eight instances in which U.S. agencies
attempted to assassinate Castro. The Cuban leader has said
the figure is closer to 25."
Armed Cuban counter-revolutionaries have had "secret"
camps in Florida for decades while U.S. law enforcement
agencies ignored their presence.
The pressure U.S. authorities are putting on CANF and
other Cuban right-wing elements does not mean the U.S.
ruling class feels different about trying to destroy
socialism in Cuba. It means there are disagreements within
the U.S. ruling class--and between the U.S. government and
reactionary Cuban organizations--over tactics.
Also, many big U.S. businesses feel the continuing U.S.
blockade against Cuba has run its course, and that they're
missing out on profit opportunities.
The media tout CANF as the "powerful Cuba lobby that
influences U.S. policy." Indeed, Jorge Mas Canosa, the
organization's founder who died last year, visited the White
House often during the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton
As candidates, all three presidents courted his support,
ratcheting up their anti-communist rhetoric in Florida
The current developments, however, puts the relationship
in its proper perspective. It is the U.S. ruling class that
calls the shots--just as the U.S. government began and
bankrolled the terrorist assassination tactics in the first
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