Special Address by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and president of the Councils of State and of Ministers, to party, state and government and Union of Young Communist leaders, representatives of grassroots and official organizations, officers and rank and file members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and from the Ministry of the Interior, and to relatives and surviving victims of the empire’s terrorist attacks on our country. April 15, 2005
" Year of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas".
We have sung the anthem and there is no way we can forget that today marks another anniversary of that surprise attack by US government airplanes painted with Cuban insignia. We therefore think it is fitting to remind ourselves by watching a video of the events of those days which signalled the beginning of the imperialist, mercenary attack; imperialist and mercenary because the two things came in the same convoy, one behind the other, hoping to win a beachhead which lasted no time at all, a classic case of a snowball in hell.
That is why we are here today. We would have been here anyway. One way or another, the people would have fought and would have defeated the invaders, but much of our country would have been destroyed and would have perished in such a confrontation.
Yesterday, I reminded you of what happened in Guatemala with that type of invasion: 200,000 victims and a snake state —that’s what I christened it yesterday— that’s the name I gave it yesterday: snake states. There are more than a few of them in this hemisphere and in Europe too.
We shall watch this respectfully, and with thoughts of gratitude and homage to those who on this date, fighting, getting over the surprise straight away, made it possible for us to be here today. (Applause)
(A documentary is shown.)
Dear fellow Cubans:
Yesterday we spoke of a strange theory, which emerged about 48 hours ago, that the story about Posada Carriles being in the United States was something the Cuban Intelligence had made up. That obliged me to demonstrate what really happened, how Posada Carriles got to the United States and who took him there, in great safety. Perhaps there are still some details to be revealed, but the main facts about Posada Carriles’ journey from the prison in Panama to Miami and after are there. So, we can draw some conclusions about the matter, and whether it were possible for the Cuban Intelligence to have made up this journey, that is, if they carried it out.
I have to go back to the early hours of August 26, 2004 when the former Panamanian chief of police, Carlos Suárez went to fetch the pardoned terrorists at the El Renacer prison.
"Luis Posada Carriles, Pedro Remón Rodríguez, Guillermo Novo Sampoll and Gaspar Jiménez Escobedo went from the Panamanian capital to Tucumen airport where two executive jets that had been sent to Panama from Miami by --that illustrious gentleman-- Santiago Alvarez Fernández Magriña were waiting for them". I promised yesterday that I was going to talk about him and explain who he is.
"In the very early morning of that same day, the two planes took off with the terrorists and those who had come to get them on board.
"One of the planes, the one Posada and the US-based terrorists Ernesto Abreu, Orlando González and Miguel Alvarez were on, headed for the Ramon Villeda Morales airport in San Pedro de Sula, Honduras. It was met there by Cuban-born arms dealer, Rafael Hernández Nodarse, head of the anti-Cuban terrorist apparatus in that country who lives in the aforementioned city". He has sort of become the head of the Posada Carriles Interests Section in Honduras. This gentleman is over there, everyone knows who he is. They know everything over there and are good at hiding how much they know.
"Posada used a US passport in the name of Melvin Cloide Thompson to enter Honduras". Yes, someone lost their passport over there, I don’t know where, I don’t know whether it was in Panama and it ended up in Posada Carriles’ hands.
"Honduran papers reported that Posada Carriles was in San Pedro Sula and that he had received help from Rafael Hernández Nodarse.
"Later, Posada was moving around Central America using false documents.
"In recent months there has been talk in Miami terrorist circles about Posada’s obsessive, violent plans against our country and about the boost he thinks he will give them when he gets to the States". Yesterday, we read what the "city developer", --the man who said putting bombs in hotels is not so evil-- said in Miami about Posada Carriles’ plans.
In mid March, we received some news that was published in a newspaper in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Que Quintana Roo se entere (Let Quintano Roo hear about it), that’s what it’s called.
On March 14 —last month, a month and a day ago, given that March has 31 days, that makes it 32 days ago— this paper reported:
‘Shrimp boat runs aground on the El Farito reef’ —there they even print it in English— "Monday March 14, 2005 by Carlos Gasca, Que Quintana Roo se entere" — that’s what the newspaper is called, Quintana Roo must have found out as of course, did those of those of us who read this paper.
And then there’s another little subheading, that’s it, this is a copy of the paper.
"By Carlos Gasca —it says it again— Que Quintana Roo se entere, Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo— because the Islas Mujeres belong to that state, they are just off the coast of this southern part of Mexico, a tourist region. It puts the date, March 14 and reads:
"A craft of the shrimp boat type, which had sailed from Florida to the Islas Mujeres, was stranded for about six hours near the El Farito reef. The boat, flying an American flag, made a bad entry into the harbor and ran aground in a shallow area.
"Various attempts were made to refloat the heavy craft and after much effort it was finally pulled free, but then the Navy decide to search the foreign vessel" — that’s what they call it— called ‘Santrina’". It’s about as saintly as those sailing on it.
"The problem began at about 7:45 when the vessel ‘Santrina’ ran aground in the harbor and, in spite of help from several private boats, remained stuck.
"Some vessels from the Seventh Naval Zone and from the National Fisheries Commission (Conapesca) arrived and, after refloating the boat, escorted it to the concrete traffic wharf where experts helped by dogs trained to detect drugs and divers made a detailed inspection of the vessel.
"To date, it is still not known if any sanction was imposed on the boat’s owner, but the harbormaster expects that this craft will not be going anywhere until the investigation is concluded.
"The Santrina had five crew members on board, including the captain, José Pujol who repeatedly refused to give the press any information about his reasons for entering the harbor. Nevertheless we did learn that there is an unusually large number of oxygen tanks on the boat, plus some compression equipment and a kind of hydraulic jack in the upper part".
Well, the newspaper published this on March 14.
Another paper in Quintana Roo, which is called Por esto (That’s why,) this time on March 16, two days later, reported:
"The Santrina, freed from shallows near the coast has passed its routine inspection"
This is in smaller type and then in bigger type: "The Santrina will continue on its way to Miami".
"Steering problems" —that is, of the person steering— "caused the vessel to run aground, but there was no damage nor was anything untoward found on the crew, the harbormaster’s office said".
"By Yolanda Gutiérrez, Isla Mujeres, March 14: After going through the routine inspections by the relevant authorities without anything untoward being discovered, the shrimp boat type vessel Santrina, which had run aground at the entrance to Isla Mujeres, sailed off in the direction of Miami this Wednesday after taking on supplies of fuel, food and water for the crossing.
"According to what Angel Gabriel Vallejos Sánchez, who is acting harbormaster in the absence of the harbormaster himself, the vessel had steering problems and that is why it ran aground near the coast, fortunately in an area where there were no reefs, which is why it is thought no ecological damage was done.
"He added that once the Santrina docked at the concrete wharf, it was visited by the authorities who always check when a vessel flying a foreign flag enters the harbor. The Mexican Navy was the first to arrive and sailors with dogs trained to detect narcotics and arms searched the vessel but did not find anything untoward.
"Immigration, International Health and Sagarpa authorities also inspected the boat. Finally, once rescue operations had been carried out, the harbormaster’s office simply filled out the relevant forms detailing the incident.
"In answer to a direct question, Vallejos Sánchez said that no type of sanction would be imposed on José Pujol, the captain of the Santrina, so it was, in his words, just an ordinary accident which didn’t deserve any sanction.
"Both the vessel and its crew have all their papers in order and are properly registered. To date we have no information from any of the authorities involved in the search.
"The acting harbormaster said that the boat had sailed from the Bahamas and that its final destination is Miami where, according José Pujol, it will undergo refitting to turn it into a teaching vessel".
I am going back a bit. Today, I had a little more time.
Now I will begin to talk about the "city developer".
Who owns this boat called Santrina? Well, the city developer Santiago Alvarez Fernández Magriña, the representative who spoke yesterday, the same who appointed the lawyer —Soto, I think that’s the lawyer’s name— as the only representative, and he, the friend, as having power of attorney from Posada.
"The Santrina was purchased using the Marine Ecological Protection Foundation,
‘The Caribe Dive and Research Foundation Inc.’ as a front." Foundations, such as the Cuban American National Foundation, are usually set up for "noble" causes. (Laughter). You see? Everything is a foundation, there’s also a foundation to buy this shrimp boat type vessel. And it has been used to carry out terrorist acts against Cuba. We shall tell the government, to see if they seize it, because that boat is a terrorist too.
"By coincidence, the president of this foundation" —the president— is Ernesto Abreu, a terrorist, who was earlier cited as one of the people who went to Panama to fetch Posada —in the little plane— "and the treasurer" —of the foundation— "is Santiago Alvarez, the city developer, the one who also went to fetch them, the one who pays for everything, or that’s what they say: the prosperous, well-off businessman.
"As the provincial Mexican newspaper, Por Esto reported on March 16, the Santrina was captained by the old CIA agent" —by the old CIA agent— "José Pujol, known as ‘Pepín’ and Santiago Alvarez himself was on board. This was recorded in a photo published by the same paper in an article headlined ‘The Santrina will continue on its way to Miami’".
(He shows the audience the photo and reads the caption: ‘The captain and one of the sailors from the Santrina’s which ran aground in Islas Mujeres harbor. It can now continue with its journey to Miami. Photos Mario Alonso".)
Here are the photos, they are in the paper. The other is: Gabriel Vallejos Sánchez, acting harbormaster ". (He holds up the photo)
Then the comic strip begins. All of this happened on the sixteenth, it’s reported here.
"On March 30, El Nuevo Herald published an article called ‘It is thought possible that the United States will give Posada Carriles residence’, in which it says the terrorist might be able to obtain legal residence in the United States in return for his service in the US army" —yes, he graduated as a "hunter", as has already been mentioned— "during the Vietnam war" —yes, during the war, but there is no record anywhere that Mr. Posada Carriles was ever in Vietnam— "although his past, with its terrorist connections, would put US authorities in a dilemma". That is what the paper says, look here, El Nuevo Herald, not the old Herald, but the new, the one most in line, most synchronized with the mob.
"The journalist quoted statements by terrorist Santiago Alvarez" —that’s better, here in the report it said city developer Santiago Alvarez, prosperous businessman— "who said that he would help Posada Carriles to obtain the legal representation he needs.
"The newspaper pointed out that, according to testimony from sources close to the process, Posada had arrived in Miami a week ago by sea; this coincides with the Santrina’s arrival there". I don’t know if they went with a helicopter or a helicopter carrier and got the man off the boat that way, they put him on board, they disembarked him; but it seems to me that this is interesting information.
"According to his friends, Posada will be presented to the public as an infirm old man who suffers from several illnesses. The aim of this is so that he is granted legal entrance to the United States as a humanitarian case". Absolutely false, since he left Panama in perfectly good health, in spite of the fact that Moscoso’s acolytes vainly attempted to cook up a similar story.
Oh dear! What a pity that I don’t have here… Ah! Carlitos, the other day there were some papers around listing all the bodies the US government set up after the attack, because people don’t know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars they spend on everything they set up, and we, in fact, can provide free, logical and basic information. It has only cost us a few pieces of paper, and reading a few newspapers.
"The most important measures adopted in the United States after September 11".
"In October 2001 the soi-disant Patriotic Act was passed which expands the operative capabilities of US security agencies to carry out spying operations. It gives broader definitions of terrorism and increases legal penalties for individuals and organizations with connections to this kind of activity.
"The Department of Homeland Security was created, this is the biggest federal agency in the country’s history; it has a staff of 180,000 and is made up of 12 bodies, including Customs, Immigration and the Coastguard; its mission it to protect US territory and in 2005 it was allocated a budget of $30 billions". This is separate from the others, separate from the budgets of each of the institutions that are part of it; 22 bodies that, as I said, are part of this Department of Homeland Security.
"Measures were adopted aimed at strengthening and broadening the powers of the various security agencies, such as the FBI and the CIA, and the relations and coordinated efforts between them and local agencies, the use of new communication technologies and the establishment of an integrated data bank on people suspected of terrorism and their capacities and contacts". Just look at what they gave them, communication technologies, all of that stuff.
"The FBI was to put priority on counter-terrorism activities; significant progress was made in the modernization of its technological infrastructure. All local offices are connected through a computer network. The position of National Intelligence Director was created, who has authority over the budgets of intelligence agencies. This person also supervises the other 15 agencies and oversees their complete integration. John Dmitri Negroponte was appointed to this position; he is well-known for having been involved in the dirty war and political scandals like Irangate.
"A new national counterintelligence strategy, given the nod in March of this year, includes offensive and defensive activities to be undertaken abroad and in the United States", —one has to be careful, look, ‘offensive and defensive activities’ — "to protect against traditional and new threats from foreign intelligence services.
"The Center for Integrating Terrorist Threats was set up to analyze any information about such threats and the Terrorist Filtering Center", —they even have a terrorist filter— "to consolidate and unify the various lists of people under observation.
"In the diplomatic sphere, in the self-appointed fight against terrorism, agreements were made to increase cooperation efforts between the intelligence services of third countries and the United States for identifying terrorists and freezing their funds.
"A new military command was also created, the Northern Command, which was made expressly responsible for the integrated defense of US territory.
The safety of air transportation was beefed up, by increasing baggage searches, training pilots to carry weapons and by using explosive-detection equipment and assigning special marshals on flights". Assigning marshals on flights.
"Harbor inspections were centralized in a reinforced single body, Customs and Border Protection, and new entry procedures and control systems were established. These use biometric technology and high precision fingerprint technology in Customs and at ports of entry. The procedures for registering foreigners in the country were also made more stringent.
"New security measures for cargo and ports were adopted by allocating more resources, bolstering coastguard services and by setting up what are known as the Container Cargo Security Initiative. Measures were also taken to increase bio-defense capabilities and strategies for detecting and countering threats from bio-terrorism and radiological nuclear and chemical attacks.
"An initiative was developed to protect the so-called critical infrastructure, which includes nuclear chemical plants and other potential targets, from the threat of terrorism".
All of this required 180,000 employees and $30 billions, 22 bodies, 15 agencies and state-of-the-art technology. If all of that could not prevent the entry of the oldest, possibly the most trained and even perhaps the most unscrupulous terrorist in the United States without anyone finding out about it, could it be possible that the US president didn’t know about it, or at least didn’t ask about it when someone told him that there was talk that Posada Carriles was in the country, something that is tremendously damaging to the prestige of the United States, to the honor of the United States, to the morale of the US people? Is it possible that he didn’t know?
But even if we allow that he didn’t know, if someone want to adhere to that theory, because of all the things he had to do, etc., his trip to Rome, his grief over the death of Pope John Paul II, then what is a US president for, what is all that colossal apparatus for, the hugest, most fabulous apparatus that has ever been created in the history of
the world to protect a nation from terrorism?
Let’s go on with this character, the city developer.
"City developer Santiago Alvarez Fernández Magriña" —the one who is there in Miami and talks every day; if that huge security apparatus, if that Department of Homeland Security wants to know who brought Posada Carriles, there he is; let them go if they want and talk to the people there, let them look at the photo, let them look for Pujol and ask him; let them get all the facts together about the maneuver they pulled off, because there is not the shadow of a doubt that the entry of this individual into the country is connected with this operation, this boat. They must know, or rather, they should know, all they have to do is ask them; it’s really easy. What was this man doing on that boat? What is more, that strange itinerary. It set out from the Bahamas and headed for Miami, because it is my understanding that the Bahamas is here, we have studied that hundreds of times.
I remember that when they hijacked that plane on the Isle of Youth, we were looking at how much fuel was left, what was the plane’s situation, if it set off for the Bahamas, if it would make it or not, where would it get to first, all the distances. Bahamas is up there, more or less north of Villa Clara, Camagüey, although some of the islands are more over in that direction. Islas Mujeres is here, it’s not even in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s south of the Yucatan Channel, or of a line drawn from Pinar del Rio to the Yucatan peninsula.
I went to Islas Mujeres once. López Portillo invited me, he’s dead now, he was president of Mexico. There was a meeting there. Cuba was president of the Non Aligned Countries, it was essential to invite Cuba, but as usual, Yankee pressure, dreadful things.
Relations had been good but they were in a dilemma because the man who was US president said that if I went, he wouldn’t go and then that would really put a damper on things because if he didn’t go —and he was the president of the United States— to a meeting, it would spoil the party. I was president not only of this nation, I was president of the Movement of Non Aligned Countries.
There was a summit here, it was in 1979 —that other meeting was in 1980— and he asked us —he really didn’t play any tricks— he asked as a friend that we do something for him, that we understand that it wasn’t convenient for Mexico to hold that meeting, it was the venue for the meeting, and that the meeting would be ruined. He was in a moral dilemma; but as a friend he spoke to the country to ask us to take that into account, to understand and he invited me to the Islas Mujeres to talk with him there. I even dived, I was very fond of underwater exploration. I even caught a fish or two there, that is the truth. (Laughter)
Yes, I went there, his son went with me. I also sailed on a boat there. Some stones, some currents, there is a strong current there, very clear water, very clear, the water I saw, wonderful. It does no harm to advertise that water, far from it. I am not egotistical or chauvinist at all, nor do I fear tourist competition or that sort of thing. The place is excellent, what they have there archeologically speaking is amazing! I recommend it.
There are many hotels and buildings there, but what they mostly have are the cruise ships —they come from miles around— that have everything on board; bedrooms, dining rooms, recreation, everything. What is more, they are ruining the economies of Caribbean countries which also suffer from hurricanes, droughts sometimes, and from measures, like those taken by Europe, which removed the preferential treatment their bananas had, because of pressure from the United States which protects and shelters its big transnationals which have developed big plantations on the continental mainland and don’t want to know anything about small competition —if that’s the right name for it— from countries in the Caribbean, like Jamaica and others, where the banana was one of the most important products. They took all that away from them.
They had sugar preference as well, in sugar production, others were producing sugar and recently they also took the preferences the Caribbean had away from them.
The basic thing left to these islands, and I have just been talking for hours and hours with the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda and with others, the prime minister of Dominica —you have read in the papers that they were here and that we had a lengthy talks— and they explained the tragedy affecting them because of these cruise ships. And I said to them: Look, we had a few cruise ships here when they were European cruise lines, now all these lines have been absorbed by big companies from the United States. The cruisers are getting bigger and bigger, 2,000, 3,000 passengers, so that hotels are hardly needed. They leave their rubbish in some of those places, they spend a few dollars buying some souvenirs, they don’t stay in any hotel, they don’t provide any work for the labor force there that make their living from tourism. Everything is on the ships, it’s ruinous. I said to them, "You may be sure that no cruise ships will come here. Cuba will not allow cruise ships to come and those who want to travel, let them travel in what they can find, but cruise ships will not be allowed to enter". We already know them well enough.
I have told them, and I see they are giving more thought to rejecting them because I think they even pay four of five dollars per tourist and really the Caribbean —including Cuba, but they are even more needy than us-- has great possibilities for tourism.
They took the bananas quota away from them, they took the sugar quota away and now they are putting the finishing touch to ruining them with the cruise ships; small countries, which often don’t have an airport, or where there are no airlines, there are no ships. They are countries with problems and we have helped them.
I felt obliged to explain that because that is where that island where they went is. Well, it’s wide open, and hundreds of thousands go to that island in those cruise ships, they could very well sink it.
I know the place and it’s not close to Miami, it’s right by Belize and Quintana Roo. We would have to have a map, you look where it is on a map and see what a strange crossing skipper Pujol made. He left from the Bahamas and went to Miami. And if the Bahamas is here, he left from the Bahamas but he made this turn; he went through the Florida Straits, the Yucatan Straits and then went close to the Central American coast. That’s what he was doing when he ran aground in the Islas Mujeres.
There’s no need to spend $30 billions to guess that this boat, its skipper and its owner were on a strange mission, that they were involved in something illegal.
Well this gentleman —he was born somewhere in Matanzas in 1941— "he is a contractor by profession and owner of the C.G.C. Construction Company in Miami, where he lives. He has naval and military knowledge".
I don’t know what kind of knowledge, but that’s what it says here in the dossier; perhaps later on I might become interested in his naval knowledge, to know whether he studied in some navy academy or other, I very much doubt it; he’s just like the other fellow. Military knowledge, what the CIA might have taught him. We shall look into it.
Well, his history and he was born in 1941, I don’t know when he studied.
Let’s see. I assume he was 19 in 1960.
"He was a member of the Comandos L at the beginning of the 1960s" —his knowledge doesn’t have to be academic— "a period when he received military training in the Manuel Artime camp —Ah! That was a camp for gusanos and for the mercenaries who came for the Bay of Pigs, those we have just been watching. His father owned the boat the Alizan" —that must be where he got his naval knowledge— "used as a mother ship" —yes he had some knowledge, as a mother ship was what they used for their pirate attacks on Cuba. Smaller, faster boats were carried on these mother ships and they sailed out to attack our coasts— "in an action carried out in March 1963 by the aforementioned organization against the Soviet ship Baku". A ship that most probably sailed from Cuba. They went to the Straits, the maritime routes.
"According to Alvarez, in the 1960s he took part in violent operations along the south coast in the areas between Cienfuegos and Trinidad". That’s were his naval knowledge comes from.
"He participated in the attack on Boca de Samá on October 12, 1971 when two people were killed and a young girl, who still suffers from her injuries, was seriously wounded". That’s the comrade we saw in the documentary yesterday, the one who dreamed, when she was 15, of wearing some shoes that she was never able to wear, and she’s here, sitting right next to the father of the young Italian who was murdered. (Applause)
Just look at the history of the "prosperous" businessman whom they spoke about yesterday, "the city developer expert" and Posada Carriles’ representative in the United States. Nobody can explain how that man can be walking around free over there, and the 180,000 employees now know, if they want to know, as do the 22 institutions and the 15 intelligence agencies, what kind of role he has played. It’s very easy to find out. Call him and ask him, look into that boat, which must be tied up at some dock over there. The coastguard must know exactly where that boat is, and what other people are involved as well as when it arrived and when it left and how they disembarked.
If they want to know where Posada Carriles is, ask this gentleman, he knows, and ask others. I am not going to tell them to ask the lawyer, the lawyer is doing his job, that’s legal. The other fellow is smuggling terrorists into the United States and they have laws they passed over there. We are going to use the law, those measures.
I read it here. The crimes are listed, those who have contact with terrorists, but those as well who treat them as contraband. And the US president should think about his own amour-propre, about his own pride, whether or not they asked his consent to bring this complex character into his country, whose presence there —I’ll say it yet again— is truly a disgrace and could give rise to serious problems and crises.
All of this is much worse than the Watergate plumbers affair, it is much more serious. A country which is at war, a country whose soldiers are fighting over there in Afghanistan and Iraq in a battle, so they say, against terrorism. There is a war, there are casualties, people are dying in those countries. Many people!
How many have died in Iraq and Afghanistan? In Iraq, it must surely be tens, hundreds of thousands. People are dying there every day as a result of this war against terrorism. How could someone take it upon himself to take an individual like this to the United States? It really is an extremely serious act, no one can deny that, and it must hurt the honor and sensitivity of US citizens.
If they want to know, if they want to solve the mystery, the press itself, if it wants to investigate, here are all the facts. Look for the boat before they sink it, before they hide it! Reporters and television, get there soon and look for the boat!
If you like, I’ll give you another accurate piece of information.
The boat is called Santrina. I’ll spell it, S, a, n, t, r, i, n, a. I am not going to spell how they do it; S for Santiago, A for Argentina, N for nation, T for terrorist, R for rat, I for ignorant, N for negative, and A for animals (Laughter and applause). Go quickly and look for the boat before they paint it a different color.
Well, OK, I’ll go on with the city developer’s history. Well it’s difficult, isn’t it? In October it will be twenty four years since this criminal, this brute attacked the port of Samá, killed people, and created that sad story of the young woman who moved the nation and who shone at the trial. Ah, for they mustn’t forget how much they owe us. We haven’t talked about this, but if they have given tens of millions to terrorists who have attacked our country, money expropriated from our people, money that was accumulating over a great number of years, money for the telephone services we provided. They gave it to terrorists, so our people, too, must make their claims and they are owed thousands, hundreds of thousands of millions. Yes, using the same yardstick, which they invented, as a result of the accident that caused the loss of those pilots, an accident caused by them which we warned them about dozens of times. So, they confiscated our money and gave it to them. That’s they way they fight terrorism.
It is quite clear and obvious to the world who this city developer is, the man to whom Posada Carriles has given power of attorney. And what audacity, what brazenness: "Well, putting bombs in hotels isn’t evil". That’s what he said on US television. Look for him over there. Or are they protecting him too? Or don’t they want to touch him, not even with kid gloves?
I’ll go on with this fellow’s history.
"In the 1990s he took up terrorist activities again in an aggressive way. This was the period when he met the counterrevolutionary petty chieftain Nelsy Ignacio Castro Matos from the People’s Party, and got involved with him in anti-Cuban plans.
"Santiago Alvarez was one of the people who planned the assassination of the Cuban president for the 10th Latin American Summit of November 2000 in Panama, with Luis Posada Carriles and the other three Cuban-American terrorists. Though he ultimately didn’t take part in the attempt, he was closely involved in the planning of this failed action.
"In 2001, together with Castro Matos, he planned and led an armed raid into Villa Clara’s northern coast" —this was coordinated with Posada Carriles, who was in prison in Panama, who planned terrorist acts against Cuba with these elements— "where Máximo Praderas, Ihosvanny Suriz and Santiago Padrón, who were planning to sabotage tourist facilities, the Tropicana cabaret among them, were detained. Alvarez was one of the people who financed the purchase of weapons for this action and entered Cuban waters illegally with a high speed boat that carried the three terrorists, captured on April 26, 2001. Charges were brought against Alvarez for these actions".
(They play the video)
Santiago: Hello. Positive.
Ihosvanny: Hey, Santiago, it’s me, Ihosvanny.
Ihosvanny: What’s up!
Santiago: Shit, how’re things over there?
Ihosvanny: This is red hot, brother.
Santiago: Oh yeah?
Ihosvanny: Yeah, you have no idea.
Santiago: …They were saying here there was a shootout at Sagua la Grande.
Ihosvanny: Oh, I don’t know, don’t know anything about that, I hadn’t heard.
Santiago: Yeah, they said they caught three men during a shootout in Sagua la Grande.
Ihosvanny: I hadn’t got wind of that.
Santiago: Have you made any headway?
Ihosvanny: Well, I’m…I’m still here on the hills.
Santiago: No, don’t tell me where you are.
Ihosvanny: I’m near the hills.
Santiago: Don’t say where you are.
Santiago: Come again?
Ihosvanny: That I’m staying put.
Santiago: Have you been able to make some headway?
Ihosvanny: Not yet, but I’m working on it, in a few days I’m hoping to head towards…
Santiago: No, no, you best lie low. Go easy, go easy, we’re not in any rush here, okay?
Santiago: Your family’s just fine.
Santiago: Everyone’s great.
Santiago: And I mean really great, they’re really happy to get news from you; we got things sorted out for them just as we promised.
Ihosvanny: Aha! What about the kids?
Santiago: They’re doing great.
Santiago: Really great. They miss you and all that, but they’re fine, don’t worry.
Santiago: Remember this is my cross to bear.
Ihosvanny: Yeah, yeah, I know. Listen, let me ask you a question. If I had to get out of here, we’re going to work it like you said: I go to the closest inhabited island in the Bahamas…
Ihosvanny: And I call you from there.
Santiago: Exactly. Are things that bad?
Santiago: Are things that bad?
Ihosvanny: No, it’s just that the streets are teeming with cops and people from State Security, you read me? I don’t want to risk it by moving from here.
Santiago: No, no, you have to lie low, lie low, until things settle, ‘cause it looks like those folk in Sagua screwed things up for us.
Santiago: It looks like there was a problem in Sagua and State Security’s picked up on it.
Ihosvanny: Okay, okay.
Santiago: It looks as though that was the problem, you know?
Ihosvanny: You there?
Santiago: Relax, lie low a bit, don’t move, you’ll see everything’s going to go well.
Santiago: Don’t rush it, don’t rush it, patience is crucial here.
Ihosvanny: Okay, okay. Let me ask you something. The other day you mentioned the Tropicana business. You want me to do something there?
Santiago: If you want to do it, so much the better; it’s all the same to me. You sneak in through a window with a couple of cans and that’s that, and it’s less risky.
Santiago: You get it?
Ihosvanny: Yeah, no, what worries me is, you know, not to maintain...not to lose contact.
Santiago: No, you do what you think is most convenient and safest, don’t put yourself at risk unnecessarily and stay put for the next few days, crawl under a rock. Are the other two okay?
Ihosvanny: Yeah, the other two are okay.
Santiago: Okay. Now you relax, stay put for a week, 10 more days, it looks like there was a problem in Sagua, which is what screwed you guys. I was worried and, heck, just now I was looking at the phone, wondering if you were going to be able to call me (laughing).
Santiago: Listen, listen, you should hang up now, okay?
Ihosvanny: Okay, okay, I’m hanging up.
Santiago: It’s best to hang up quickly.
Ihosvanny: Okay, I’ll give you a call when I get the chance.
Santiago: Okay, no rush.
Ihosvanny: Okay, good.
Santiago: But go underground.
Ihosvanny: Yes, yes, I’m going to stay put, relax.
Commander in Chief: Watch, pity that when he mentions the two cans…it wasn’t that clear, watching it here on television, at least…I get a better sense of the text…do we have the text? Get the text, to include it in the minutes (Laughter). Yes, because this is like putting the empire on trial, you see? And there you have the expert in city development being asked about placing two little cans with explosives in Tropicana, just two little cans! An expert in city planning. Let them analyze the voice; they’ve got everything, the 180,000 employees, the $30 billions, the super-technology. Let them analyze the voice, see if that’s not the gentleman’s voice talking with one of the people he sent here.
Of course, he wasn’t doing that well because he was already in prison, but he was fortunate to be imprisoned in Cuba, by Cuba’s revolutionary government, that has never tortured a single person, ever! Lucky for him. Had it been a revolutionary in their hands; had it been an Iraqi in the invaders’ hands; had it been a prisonner at Abu Ghraib, had it been a prisoner in Guantanamo…But see how fine and healthy he sounds, like the ones who spoke yesterday, who were sent by Posada Carriles, you saw their testimonies, and thousands like him. Yes, because we’ve had to fight hard. It’s been nearly half a century of struggle against the empire and its maneuvers, its acts of aggression and its threats, and we’ve had to arrest people, yes. I’ve already said that at the Bay of Pigs alone we captured around 1,500. I say this for those who are counting to see if we’ve got two, three, four, 100 or 200, whatever, to let them know they’re not going to intimidate or demoralize us with that. They should not even think about it. We will defend ourselves following the rules and code of ethics I was talking about yesterday.
Just see, there you have a glimpse at how those gentlemen are. There you have someone who goes in with a pair of cans with explosives, something coordinated from prison by Posada Carriles. They didn’t have just a pair of cans, they had forty something kilograms of dynamite to blow up the university’s auditorium. "Two little cans", --no more-- "there you sneak in through a window with a pair of cans and that’s that, and it’s less risky".
That’s the expert city developer, and you can add social graces to the list of his expertise.
"From the time Posada Carriles and his accomplices were arrested in Panama for having attempted to assassinate the Commander in Chief, Alvarez frequently visited him in prison and, with the aid of other counter-revolutionaries living in the United States, was in charge of financing their entire legal process. From the United States, he coordinated the operation to take Posada Carriles and his accomplices out of Panama, after they were pardoned by Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso in August 2004".
This tells us enough about who the "city developer" really is. Let’s say a few words about the other character mentioned here: Santrina’s skipper José Luis Pujols.
"José Luis Pujols, 71 years old, is the skipper of the Santrina, a vessel belonging to the Miami-based anti-Cuban terrorist organization Alianza Civico Militar Libertad (Libertad Civil Military Alliance) headed by Santiago Alvarez Fernández-Magriña. He arrives illegally in the United States in the early 60s. He was a member of the CIA’s special mission groups. Later, he joined the Comandos L organization, where he met Santiago Alvarez Fernández-Magriña and participated in terrorist actions against Cuba and in actions against foreign merchant vessels en route to Cuba. He was a member of the terrorist organizations Alpha 66 and the Ex Club. In 1998, he established ties to terrorists Sixto Reynaldo Aquit Marique and Sergio Franscisco González Rosquete, head of the Partido Unidad Nacional Democratica (the Democratic National Unity Party, PNUD). He has taken part in acts of provocation carried out by various’flotillas’ deployed by Movimiento Democracia (Democracy Movement). In 2002, he established ties to terrorist Santiago Alvarez Fernández-Magriña, becoming skipper of the Santrina, a vessel used in armed raids against our country in October of that same year".
As you can see, this fellow Pujols also has an impressive background as terrorist, which should be cause for concern of the US government’s numerous security agencies.
Okay. It’s been approximately an hour and a half and now we’re going to demonstrate that the government of the United States had full knowledge, yes, that it knew that Posada Carriles and Bosch, the one there in Miami, were behind the blowing up of the plane in mid air after it took off from Barbados.
I have more documents here with information and comments; it would have been interesting to have read them and followed the different reactions and the course of events up close. Well, there are things to do, but this is the most important thing at the moment. We can either reconvene tomorrow, that’s not a problem —we have to remember there are many things to do, always— or on Monday, but there’s no doubt we have to continue with this, we’re not abandoning the race now.
Some are worried and would like to hear about other issues. Some, very few —we know what people’s reactions are, where public opinion is at— are interested in other topics. I said yesterday that there was no cause for concern. We’re working very hard in an important program, we’re not wasting a second and we’re doing very positive things, no doubt about that. But there’s no need to rush, nothing’s going to get away from us, we won’t spare any efforts from the program we announced here on March 8, and we have to continue in that battle, we have to go on. And any day now, if this doesn’t take too long, we take a break, we inform the people how everything we’re doing is going, some of the measures we’ve taken and are taking, and we move forward, because you have to follow this battle up close (Applause).
Now to something very important. Someone who has a lot of experience, who knows the most about the different aspects and details of these events from the legal point of view, who has denounced them. Someone whose work since the first years of the Revolution has made him the one best suited to talk about this, will explain it to you.
Previous US governments did not have a war on terrorism, they didn’t get to see the fruits of those who spawned today’s terrorism; its chief purpose was to fight against the Cuban Revolution.
In its acts of aggression against Cuba, the United States was the world’s school of terrorism. They began with the hijacking of planes and it was us who solved the problem once and for all when we sent back two hijackers in a hijacked plane. They started using it against us and hijacked a lot of planes, and then you had madmen, you had people who were bonkers and held up a bottle of water saying it was gasoline and they would hijack the planes, and dozens and dozens of [American] planes were hijacked.
We helped them solve the problem of hijackings because, in fact, we returned a plane to them. After that, they didn’t even allow the families any contact with those people. Those were people they had taken in by virtue of their Adjustment and dysfunctional Act, because that Adjustment Act is the Dysfunctional Act, really, and the law of the dysfunctional, and two of those hijacked a plane.
They did find themselves forced to punish the last to hijack planes with knives and all that. They didn’t extradite any of them, but they sanctioned them. They also deplorably tried to bribe and persuade the passengers to stay in the United States.
They haven’t played fair once. You won’t come across a single gesture of decency, not even by accident. It is always insolence, arrogance, the feeling of superiority and contempt for others —things which characterize the imperialists— that prevail. They’re going to see what a country where a genuine revolution took place, as it has in our country, is made of.
Yes, you always see them underestimating us, lying. We’re going to see now, before the whole world, if they’re capable of taking this fight to the end, of acting as they should act.
We’re going to move on to present our people and the world with the facts —facts that have been recorded, in writing, and the existing sources— which prove that previous governments…And this government must know more than any other, because it is the number one responsible, when Americans are dying in a alleged war on terrorism.
The person I was referring to is comrade Alarcón, to whom I now give the floor (Applause).
Ricardo Alarcón.- Comrades, I am really going to talk about some documents which prove, irrefutably, what comrade Fidel has just said. They are not all of the documents that exist, there are other things. In the trial in Venezuela, there were about a dozen dossiers on this subject alone, on the connections that the two Venezuelan terrorists had with the Central Intelligence Agency. I will concentrate on some documents, none of which is Cuban, none came from the Cuban government; they are mostly from the US government or from other authorities in other countries.
On October 6, 1976, I was the Cuban ambassador to the United Nations based in New York, and accredited as ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago as well. I also had some responsibilities regarding the Caribbean states with which we had established diplomatic relations a short time earlier.
Thus, I attended a series of meetings which took place in the Caribbean area immediately after the atrocious terrorist action on our aircraft.
Let’s look at them a piece at a time:
Firstly, the two individuals who got off the plane in Barbados, after having placed the explosive devices which blew it up in mid air, stayed in that country a few hours, they went to a hotel. They went, most importantly, to the US embassy and that same night they went straight back to Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad.
Because of the suspicions they aroused in the minds of the Barbadian authorities, who alerted their colleagues in Trinidad, they were immediately arrested by the Trinidadian authorities.
An investigation Commission was set up in Barbados to determine, among other things, what caused the mid-air explosion of that plane. From a technical point of view, it could have been an accident, it could have been some mechanical, technical, etc., failure. According to International Civil Aviation procedures, this is something that has to be done and the Barbadian authorities did it.
They did not only do that —as you will see in a minute— but they also took other statements and examined them; they looked into other things concerning what had happened, which the Barbadian society knew nothing about.
Meanwhile, the Trinidad and Tobago police that had arrested the Venezuelan mercenaries who had placed the bomb, were simultaneously carrying out their own investigation.
The Barbadian investigating Commission invited some other countries to have representatives on it. Cuba was represented, experts from our Cubana de Aviación, other Caribbean countries were represented; Canada was represented, because it had manufactured the plane and therefore had experts who could determine if there had been any failure, etc; the United States was represented because it asked to be, because it wanted to be involved in the investigation, the first that would tell them that it had not been an accident, that there had been no mechanical failure, that it had been a terrorist act. Note this down, it’s very important.
A US delegation, headed by a gentleman called Willis, took part in that investigation Commission’s activities, which went on from October 28 to December 3, 1976.
Here I have only the conclusions of Chapter VIII, from the second part of the report produced by the Barbadian authorities.
Among other things, the Barbadians note here that their Trinidadian colleagues had passed the following information on to them: that one of the Venezuelans —whom the Barbadian document identifies as Mr. Lozano— had told the Trinidad and Tobago police chief that he was a member of the US Central Intelligence Agency, that his boss was a man who lived in Caracas and whose name was Luis Posada Carriles; that he had been three times to the US embassy in Barbados during the few hours that they were in that country after the plane blew up, hours they needed to do two things: go to the US embassy, and stop off at the hotel to call a Caracas telephone number belonging to Luis Posada Carriles and another number belonging to Mr. Orlando Bosch Avila.
The Barbadian authorities’ report includes the hotel receipts, notes and information: who called from what number, what number they called and the numbers called are Posada’s and Bosch’s numbers in Caracas. It was this data that would lead the Venezuelan authorities to arrest these two individuals later.
They visited the US embassy three times, according to what one of them says in his confession in Port of Spain. But it turns out that in Barbados, their investigation —there were two going on simultaneously in the two islands— the Barbadians’ investigation includes the testimony of two taxi drivers. One of them worked out of the Bridgetown airport and remembered when the two individuals hired his car to go from the airport to the embassy of the United States of America before they had even checked in a hotel. The other, who worked around Holiday Inn hotel, took these same individuals to the US embassy twice.
On one occasion, --and this caught the attention of Mr. Firebrace, who was the driver working out of the airport-- as they went from the airport to the city these people, who had just arrived in the country, --he listened to what they talked about-- and one of them pointed to a building in the center of Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, where there is a bank, the US embassy is also in that building, but not everybody knows that. Knowing where the US embassy is, a person who is newly arrived in a country, raises certain questions, which the Barbadian government asked. "When and in what circumstances had he known of the US embassy’s location?" And the Barbadian authorities concluded: "In our view, a global assessment of the evidence provides some basis for the assertion that Lozano and Lugo visited the Embassy of the United States on October 6".
"No attempt was made to present evidence to the contrary and no explanation on that visit was offered", despite the fact that there was a US representative, Mr. Willis, who limited himself to saying that the name the two terrorists gave for the person they said they had been to see at the US embassy, a Mr. McLeod, that there was no person of that name in the embassy staff and that no American by that name had arrived in Barbados that day.
I will read for you the last sentence of this report, which is full of Caribbean wisdom, "We would only make the observation that if any concealed transaction were being made it would not be surprising that a false name would have been used".
Anyone, logically, would be bound to think the same.
The Trinidad-Tobago authorities, as I was saying, continued their investigation. Both of them, Barbados and Trinidad, it must be said, acted with great dignity and honor. They are two very small countries which know that they were up against a very serious problem: none other than the Central Intelligence Agency and its terrorist practices. Countries, moreover —not Trinidad but Barbados— for whom tourism is the main source of income. Just imagine what a tragedy it was for them that this plane had been blown up, that everyone saw it breaking up in the air off the Barbados beaches!
With these two individuals arrested in Trinidad, and the other two, --the bosses and masterminds-- in Caracas, the government of Trinidad and Tobago called an international meeting in Port of Spain with all the countries that one way or another were involved in this affair. Those were Guyana, because several Guyananees perished; Venezuela, because the accused either were Venezuelans or lived in Venezuela and it was obvious the attack had been planned there; Barbados, because the incident happened very close to their territory, and Cuba.
We met in Port of Spain to analyze all these problems. People spoke very openly. I shall never forget the direct, clear, candid statements made by the police authorities from those two islands who couldn’t have been more certain about who was the real perpetrator of this atrocious act. We all agreed that the trial would be in Venezuela and that we would all cooperate with Venezuelan authorities so that justice could be served. And that is what we did; the Venezuelan authorities received hundreds if not thousands of pages sent by Cuba, Barbados, Trinidad, Guyana and you might ask, did the United States do anything? No, this time they expressed no interest in taking part in this other meeting or in being involved in that other investigation.
They had already found out what they wanted to know, that the public could not be tricked into believing that it had been an accident; they learned at the outset that there was irrefutable evidence it had been a terrorist act, and based on that, they were going to behave as if they had nothing to do with the issue, as we shall see later on.
The man who was then president of Venezuela , Mr. Carlos Andrés Pérez, went to the United Nations in November that year where he spoke to the plenary of the Assembly General, and we have to say that he categorically condemned this terrorist act and appealed to the international community for help. He made this appeal to all countries, that if they knew anything, if they had any evidence, any information, then please give it to Venezuela in order to help the criminal proceedings. That is what he said to the Assembly General; but later, in a meeting with the press in the United Nations building, Mr. Pérez said the following:
"I could not make any concrete statements about the possible responsibility of some US government agency in connection with Cuban terrorism. But I think it is the United States’ duty to clear up all of the doubts that are constantly being reported in the international and even the US press concerning the involvement of official US agencies in connivance with these terrorist groups".
That’s as far as Carlos Andrés Pérez words to the press in New York, at the United Nations building went.
See comrades, as Fidel pointed out yesterday and the day before yesterday, "alleged", "presumed terrorist" or "presumed facts".
Carlos Andrés Pérez, I am not going to talk about him just now, everyone knows who he is and his political involution, he spoke in November 1976 and I am going to read again what he said:
"…suspicions that are constantly being reported in the international and even the US press concerning the involvement of official agencies in connivance with these terrorist groups".
Where is the US press? Where is the international press? They forgot that what Carlos Andrés reminded them of is true. It is true that in the entire world, and in this part of the world, on account of things like those I have already spoken of, on account of what a driver knew, what a hotel telephone operator knew, what was inevitably discovered in those initial investigations, because of all the historical antecedents, all of this, suspicions naturally arose that US authorities had something to do with this situation.
I said that in the dossier the Trinidadians submitted, the two individuals, repeatedly and solemnly declared that they were employees, members —that’s the exact word they used— of the CIA and they said, moreover, who their boss in the CIA was, who was their employer as well; because at that time Mr. Posada operated under the cover of a purported private investigation agency, or detective agency and these two, Hernán Ricardo and Fredy Lugo were employed by him.
One fine day, in 1985, what the press insists on calling an escape took place. Nobody escapes through the main entrance to a building. Posada walked out, in good company, crossed the central wing of the prison where he was being held until the doors opened for him; he walked out, got into a car, went from there to an airport and then directly to Ilopango to carry out the mission that the White House had assigned him. Please, this is also on record in US documents.
The Tower Commission, which investigated the whole Iran-Contra or Contragate process, reported on it. He had no need to escape, he simply walked out; he knew that he could, because those who needed to be bribed had been bribed. And the Tower Commission report places this on record for the US government, and what is more, it’s also there in the hearings that the US Senate held into what is known as Irangate or the Iran-Contra scandal, as they like to call it.
Mr. Oliver North —an advisor to the US president, who was running an operation that violated US laws, an operation to send weapons to the Nicaraguan counterrevolutionaries, clandestinely and illegally, something that was forbidden by law— Mr. North asked Mr. Jorge Mas Canosa to contribute $50, 000 to bribe certain people and to arrange Mr. Posada Carrilles’ "escape", that is when he openly walked out through the main prison entrance so he could be taken to Ilopango where he would be given the job of directing this clandestine activity on Oliver North’s behalf. Additionally, he was also going to hold a public position, be an official with the State Department, an associate director or assistant director, of something that they called humanitarian aid. For Congress had banned military aid to the contras but said that something they called humanitarian aid could be sent to them.
In order to cover up Mr. Posada’s illegal activity, the State Department appointed him director of this other office. There is a memorandum signed by him, Luis Posada Carriles, who as a ranking official could write to the White House recommending —and we have to acknowledge his practical common sense— that the two offices be merged. Of course, without affecting his salary —with the two salaries— but would be for the same thing, for this insignificant little matter of giving the name humanitarian aid to the arms trafficking in which he was involved.
The other people arrested in Caracas remained in custody awaiting the results of the criminal proceedings which deserve having a minute or two devoted to them, criminal proceedings plagued by irregularities, maneuvers, pressure of all kinds for approximately 11 years until the court finally acquitted Mr. Bosch, found the two mercenaries guilty and handed down no ruling about Posada. These days one often find lies in the international press. It is not true that Posada was acquitted; he was declared a fugitive, which is a different thing. The court ruled on the three who were there and with regard to Posada said: "This gentleman is a fugitive from justice and we shall make no ruling concerning him". And they could have acquitted Bosch and condemned Posada, after all he was the boss, he was the one who paid the two murderers found guilty by that court.
But what I do want to say about this extremely irregular trial is that Mr. Bosch was not found guilty because he had proved his innocence. Mr. Bosch was declared innocent because the court, ignoring all the efforts that Caribbean authorities had made over the years, the meticulous, rigorous, serious investigation done by people who respect themselves, people from countries that are small but which know how to respect their sovereignty, and ah, well, simply because of some trifling details. Since all of this was in English, as is only natural since that is the language they speak in the Caribbean, it had to be translated into Spanish, and it was translated. However, it seems that in the end the court thought that the translation should not have been done by what’s his name, but that so and so should have done it. So, the court latched on to a detail of an administrative type and took the unbelievable decision to completely discount the results of the work of the authorities who had carried out the investigation into this terrorist act: a report detailing the confessions, detailing the calls to Bosch, detailing the calls to Posada, everything that the Trinidadian and Barbadian authorities had done very seriously —which, moreover, the court had received it years before, had translated years before, because this was a trial that took approximately 11 years. However, in the end, calmly adducing this detail, the court acquitted Mr. Bosch and found his two mercenaries guilty, and did not acquit Posada, but declared him to be a fugitive from justice, which is not the same thing.
Well, Mr. Bosch did what any skilful terrorist would do: he immediately took off for Miami. If he really were innocent, the logical place to be would have been Caracas, which was where he had been acquitted. No, he preferred to go off to Miami, despite the fact that he had some pending issues in the United States.
Years before, he had been involved in some terrorist actions in the United States, like a bazooka fired on a Polish ship in the Miami harbor of which he was found guilty. Of course, he was not given a long sentence, nor did he serve even half of what he was given but was let out on parole. However, he breached the terms of his parole and went off to Santiago de Chile in the seventies. Remember the ties that those terrorist would forge with those state terrorists in the South American dictatorships, starting with Mr. Pinochet.
He knew that if he went to Miami he would have to answer for that breach of parole, but he chose to go to Miami because it is terrorism’s native land so he went there and, of course, was put in prison for a while. This was when Bush senior was in power, 1988.
Then he proceeded with all of the normal steps for seeking asylum, the authorities analyzed it, etc. and that’s in this document, in this document which is the decision of the Department of Justice or the Attorney General’s Office —here is the signature of Mr. Joe D. Whitely, acting attorney general, June 23, 1989. This is an American document from the Department of Justice, from the Attorney General of the United States’ office. It is not a Cuban document, it says a lot about Cuba, because it says a lot about terrorism originating in the States against Cuba, but it doesn’t reply to our authorities; it is the result of work by the FBI and the Department of Justice.
Let me read to you some very significant parts of this document.
The US attorney general explains that in order to reach his decision, which was to expel Orlando Bosch for being a terrorist, in order to do that he had taken various pieces of information into account, many documents.
This are his exact words:
"The files of the FBI and other government agencies contain a large quantity of documentary information… in the early 1960s Bosch" — and, of course, the same could be said about Mr. Posada— "… has personally advocated, encouraged, organized and participated in acts of terrorist violence in this country" — that is, in the United States—
"as well as in various other countries". That, according to the attorney general , is clearly and unequivocally reflected by the information contained in these files.
He then goes on to say: "Some is information of a non-confidential nature and a greater quantity, both classified and unclassified, is of a confidential nature because of the need to protect intelligence sources and methods".
Then follows a brief descriptive inventory by the attorney general who adds a clarification of some of the more significant non-confidential and confidential information:
"The description of the latter (the confidential information) has necessarily been abbreviated and sanitized to protect its confidential nature". Sanitized, that is like saying whitewashed, softened, to conceal, to cover up. Bear that in mind.
In spite of that, I am going to read to you two paragraphs from the confidential documents about Mr. Bosch which the attorney general of the United States said, on June 23, 1989, he had in his possession, which are also applicable to Mr. Posada, to part of Posada’s life.
"Information relating to the organization and command structure of CORU, reflecting that between June 1976 and March 1977 persons associated with CORU engaged in some 16 episodes involving bombings, attempted kidnappings, assassination and attempted assassination. These episodes occurred in the United States, Spain, the Caribbean, and Central and South America". You did not hear the word purported, nor alleged, nor suspicious; no, this is quite direct, the information about all of this, bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, and so on and so forth.
This is the next paragraph that I want to read to you, and listen carefully:
"Information reflecting that the October 6, 1976 Cuban airline bombing was a CORU operation under the direction of Bosch". Information reflecting; information, not suppositions, not rumors, confidential information —and this is an abbreviated and sanitized summary.
What does that mean? That the US government had proof about who were behind that terrorist act, but that it never gave it to the Venezuelan authorities. Why? To help justice or to protect their terrorist?
I will going go on because if anything proves the cynicism of US policy, it is this event.
Based on this information, the attorney general decided what any reasonable person would have decided, to order Mr. Bosch’s expulsion. He said: "This man cannot enter here if he is a terrorist, a murderer, a criminal". But then we go from this point to the fact that, faced with this decision by his minister of justice, the decision which President Bush senior took was to take Mr. Bosch out of the detention center where he was and send him back to his home in Miami, under house arrest! But, don’t be mistaken here because they can be very strict about that —ask to the wives of our five heroes. You can be a terrorist and serve a house arrest sentence, at home, because Mr. Bush allows it.
And then later on, on July 18, 1990, the anti-terrorist gladiator’s daddy pardoned Bosch, he pardoned all of his crimes, he declared him to be a free man, a man without a criminal record.
Time went by, we have reached the nineties and once again I went back to New York
—I don’t mean to personalize this but this matter has touched me at both ends. Something really interesting happened in the nineties, more specifically in 1992. Cuba was a member of the Security Council in 1990 and 1991. Our term on the Council expired on December 31, 1991 and coincidentally, Cuba had only just left that position when the United States started to advocate a summit, a meeting of the Security Council at the summit level to discuss international terrorism, to condemn terrorism and to mobilize, well, to incorporate a terrorism item on the Security Council’s agenda. There were several meetings, various resolutions were passed between January and March 1992, including a meeting of the Security Council’s members at the heads of state level.
Then, in view of this unprecedented interest shown by the Security Council and the United States in the fight against terrorism, we initiated a process to try to see if given that they talked in January, talked in February and talked in March, if they could also talk about terrorism in April.
Why did we do that? Because, on the one hand, they were pardoning Mr. Bosch and on the other the lid had blown off the whole Iran-Contra scandal and therefore the most recent misdeeds of Mr. Posada and the pardon for Bosch, his release first and his pardon afterwards were preceded by the dirtiest, most unprincipled campaign by the annexationist mob in Miami to present this gentleman as a hero.
He has a day dedicated to him in that city, yes, there is an Orlando Bosch day in Miami. I imagine that there will soon be a Posada Carriles day, or a Posada Carriles week.
I remember Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen at that time, the only Cuban-born congressperson, who based her whole campaign on two points: freedom for Orlando Bosch and planes for Brothers to the Rescue, military planes for Brothers to the Rescue, O-2 model planes which had just become obsolete because the armed conflict in El Salvador had ended so that woman launched a huge campaign to have those planes which had done double duty and had been used in Vietnam and in El Salvador as war weapons, to have those planes given to that terrorist group which then began its operations.
This woman was successful in both things: Brothers to the Rescue received the planes and Mr. Bosch was sent home and pardoned.
This was obviously one more indication that the United States was going to continue with and step up its anti-Cuban campaign, including its terrorist campaign.
By the way, the woman that I mentioned was successful to a large degree because back then one of her collaborators was someone whose surname was Bush and whose first name was Jeb, a person who later on would become the governor of that state. They say that he convinced his father about both things: to give the planes to the terrorists and to set the terrorist free.
On April 27, 1992, the Cuban government, through me, asked the Security Council to meet to discuss these things, to discuss terrorism against Cuba, to discuss the case still pending, still unresolved, about which the honorable Security Council had not yet issued a ruling: the attack on the Cuban aircraft off Barbados. That same Council which had just condemned two terrorist acts, one on a Pan American plane, that is, against a US airliner and the other on a French company UTA plane. It seemed quite right to me, since neither US nor French planes should be blown up in mid air, but is it perhaps that Cuban planes should?
On those grounds, to see if all this rhetoric was true, rhetoric that even reached the level of the Security Council heads of state, we asked them to meet to discuss those aspects of international terrorism which affected Cuba as well. Then the Council did a complete about-turn. It lost speed, it lost its alarm; and there are several of us here who were there back then. We spent a month bombarding the Council with letters, asking for an extremely elementary thing: a meeting.
It was not until May 21, 1992 that the Council finally agreed to meet and to hear our denunciation. Two speakers, no more: your humble servant and the US delegate. The rest, from the "illustrious" Europe and the "noble" Americas, didn’t even sigh; there was absolute silence in that hall.
But something happened there and I think is very important to take note of it: the lies of the US government reflected in a document that ambassador Perkins presented to the Council precisely on May 21. I have it here.
I am only going to read two sentences:
"The State Department has no record of having received any request for proof or testimony regarding the trial from the Venezuelan government". He is speaking, of course, about the case of our plane. "The countries that Cuba lists as countries which have submitted information to the Venezuelan court are countries that have some connection to the case; that is to say, those in which the crime took place, those where the two suspects were arrested or those whose citizens were victims of the crime. Seemingly, the Venezuelan authorities thought it was most unlikely that the United States would have any useful information that the Venezuelan authorities did not already have". That is where the quote from the State Department’s statement ends.
Well, the Venezuelan authorities, the Venezuelan court and the public are still waiting to get this information, which says the October 6 bomb was something done by CORU, directed by Orlando Bosch.
The government which said it had nothing, knew that it had this; but it was well protected, to protect their terrorist.
Time has gone by, of course, and some other things have happened. Comrade Fidel mentioned them a moment ago and there is something that I think Americans cannot ignore, and that is this Security Council resolution, they have brandished this text (he holds it up) all over the planet. It’s very important, it’s drafted by them, by the United States, which was responsible for this motion, Resolution 1373.
Its preamble ends with this sentence, and those who know the United Nations will understand what it implies: "Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations…" What does it mean? That what comes next, ladies and gentlemen, is obligatory and that anyone who does not abide by it can be subject to sanctions and even to the use of force. That’s Chapter VII.
And what does the resolution say? It would be to much to read all of it, to go paragraph by paragraph:
"Paragraph 2. Decides that all States shall
(a) Refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, …
(b) Take the necessary steps to prevent the commission of terrorist acts, including by provision of early warning to other states by exchange of information". Through the exchange of information, not that hypocrisy of saying that "it seems that the Venezuelan authorities supposed that we knew nothing".
And who was Carlos Andrés Pérez? What an insult to an old ally and friend of the United States! Wasn’t he head of the Venezuelan state? And there was a speech to the UN plenary session and a public exhortation in the press, where friend Carlos Andrés asks them, please, clear all this up, everyone is talking about you. Wasn’t this Venezuela asking the United States to give them information? It seems fairly obvious
but I shall continue with the resolution.
"(c) Deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens".
Does this ring any bells?
"f) Afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in connection with criminal investigations or criminal proceedings relating to the financing or support of terrorist acts, including assistance in obtaining evidence in their possession necessary for the proceedings".
Alright, this resolution had not been passed earlier, in 1992, it had not been passed when the Venezuelan court was working in the case concerning our plane. And the United States did not send them any information because they did not ask for any. But now you see, now they say it’s an obligation, and now they say that the other mastermind, the one who was never judged, is there.
Can the United States give Mr. Posada asylum, protect him, not hand over what it knows about this incident right this minute and not be in breach of this resolution? This resolution which was passed, I repeat, acting under Chapter VII.
My friends, that means it’s obligatory, that anyone who doesn’t comply with it can even have military force used against them. All states must obey the decisions of Chapter VII, including Security Council members and, of course, including the authors of the resolution which asks for it, in this case the Americans.
I am going to continue: "g) Prevent the movement of terrorists or terrorist groups. Intensify and accelerate the exchange of operational information, especially regarding actions or movements of terrorist persons; cooperate, particularly through bilateral and multilateral arrangements and agreements, to prevent and suppress terrorist attacks and take action against perpetrators of such acts".
OK, the United States has been in breach of this resolution passed under Chapter VII from the first time it repeatedly refused to discuss with Cuba a bilateral agreement for fighting terrorism, a request that has been repeated to them at every bilateral meeting there has been between the two countries. They have said no. Chapter VII for the rest, but for them cynicism, hypocrisy, lies. It says so here: they have to cooperate, including through bilateral agreements.
It’s true, the United States is in breach of this resolution, and they were the ones who sought to have it passed by the United Nations after the dreadful attack on the people of New York on September 11, 2001. With every day that goes by, they are breaching that doctrine, by implementing that policy of fomenting terrorism against Cuba, as part of their anti-Cuban campaign.
I don’t want to close my remarks without mentioning another obvious piece of evidence which is irrefutably clear, of how they are in breach of their own words and their own resolutions in the battle against terrorism. It is reflected here in an extremely dignified way by the comrades, mothers, and wives of our five heroes.
This resolution was passed by the Security Council in September 2001. At that time we were waiting for the sentences on our five comrades and when that moment arrived the government itself wrote, it wrote what are called Sentencing Memoranda where the US government asked that Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René be given the maximum possible sentence in all cases. However, it is not only that they have been given from two life sentences, that’s Gerardo’s case — another two also have life sentences— not one second of jail time for these comrades is justified! But they were not only sentenced to that, the memoranda written by the US government, at the same time as they were doing this, clearly propose a new legal doctrine: that of "incapability".
It’s there in writing; that for them it was just as important to ensure that these men would be incapacitated all their lives as it was to impose the heaviest possible sentences on them. Incapable of what? Of continuing to do what they had been doing, so that they could not go back to doing what they did.
And what the devil were they doing other than fighting against terrorism! Not because I say so, but they (the US) says so too.
I am going to quote what the government asked the court to do and what the court agreed to grant them. The five are Cubans, but there are two of them who have US citizenship by birth, the other three were there without the proper documents, and it has been made clear that once they complete their sentences they will be deported to Cuba. In the other two cases, René and Tony’s cases, they have a problem: since they were born in the United States they have citizenship by birth so they can’t be deported and so they are not only sentenced to life imprisonment in the case of Tony and to 15 years René but, in addition, to special conditions for the day on which René regains his freedom. "Just in case", the prosecution said, " this man is back out on the streets, we have to ask for the same as we asked for regarding Mr. González". And what do they decree? A special regimen with a series of conditions. I am going to read them one by one, the ones that are related to all this: "as a further special condition of supervised release" —because they will not be free men, they will be men under supervision, even after they have served their sentences— "the defendant is prohibited from associating with or visiting specific places where individuals or groups such as terrorists, members of organizations advocating violence, and organized crime figures are known to be or frequent".
What does that mean? That they know that in south Florida there are terrorist individuals and groups who are not hidden like moles beneath the earth. There are places they are known to frequently visit; but they are not going to go and look for them, they are not going to crush them, they are not going to implement the resolution. They do something that is monstrous; they punish Americans or people in the United States, they punish them by forbidding them to go near these places, forbidding them to do anything that might, in any way whatsoever, put the terrorists’ activities in jeopardy.
And I am going to end by saying the following: I think that the United States has a wonderful opportunity , a wonderful opportunity!. Daddy Bush at least kept Mr. Bosch in jail for several months —with all comfort obviously— when this resolution, which is such a categorical resolution, didn’t even exist. I don’t know if Mr. Bush junior, if little Bush has read it, but it would be a good idea if some of his friends draw his attention to it.
Now they are obliged to act, or to be unmasked for ever. The United States has an obligation, which it cannot escape, to tell the public, beginning with the US public, all it knows and has kept hidden for many years and which it is today obliged by its own Security Council resolution to share with the public, with other governments. And other members of the international community, cultured Europe and other nations with less apparent culture, we have the obligation to demand that the United States does this, that it puts an end to the hiding, that it puts an end to what it has done for years to prevent people from finding out the truth, to keep it there in its files —knowing that it’s there, not suspicion or an allegations— information that that’s how it is. It was said by them in their own words, they have the obligation to act against terrorism or to stop all this false hypocritical rhetoric about an alleged battle against terrorism.
We cannot rest until this demand is made of them, until the people demand it, that the US people demand it. For every day that passes, every day that passes with this situation of protecting, of giving asylum to these terrorists is an affront to justice, is a way of insulting the conscience of many people with these unpunished crimes, but it is, first and foremost, an unforgivable insult to you, the relatives of the victims and to all of us, to all of our people and it is also an insult and an unpardonable affront to those Americans who were unjustly killed on September 11, 2002.
We are today involved in a battle which we must go on waging, being confident and aware that sooner or later it won’t be possible for them to go on hiding the crimes engendered by a policy that is harder and harder to justify and with which it is more and more difficult to fool people.
Many thanks, comrades (Applause)
Fidel Castro.- Comrades, after comrade Alarcón’s excellent account, I don’t think we need to meet tomorrow.
I think that what we do have to do is to rebroadcast today’s meeting from the beginning, from what was said about the Bay of Pigs, and after as well, the stuff that the city developer —as they call him— said, and those are his words, about putting bombs in Tropicana. The things I said, and essentially this account reveals in an irrefutable way all the sordid maneuvers that have swirled around this case. They cannot ignore everything that we have been expounding on and discussing here.
Meanwhile, keep watching. Things are happening everyday, statements, positions. Keep watching what happens tomorrow and keep a look out that they don’t make things up because there is a court over there… I don’t know, I am not familiar with it but it’s strange something that has never happened before, that a lower court in El Salvador has been suggesting that it is going to demand the extradition of Mr. Posad Carriles. I don’t know any more than that, we must find out what it is all about. But I do warn them, let them not try some little trick, let them be warned. I don’t think it will be successful, it can’t be successful. Which is why I propose this and if it’s necessary we will meet on Sunday, an excellent day to meet, in the afternoon. (Someone whispers something to him) yes, after voting we’ll come here (Laughter and applause).
Do your voting duty early. Well, I think that we will have to come here, because there is a series of things that should have been said today. But we will meet, and on Monday, we are commemorating , and in a special way, we are remembering what date it is, what week it is and I think that it all depends …We are going to meet on Monday 18, and we have the 19 too, we can meet on Tuesday 19 in the Karl Marx theatre for a session like this one. Well, On Monday 18 we shall get ourselves up to date with all of this and shall continue analyzing the issue. We have things to say, and on Tuesday 19 we have things to remember and things to repeat and if there is a truce, well perhaps we shall devote Thursday to domestic matters. Yes, we do have domestic things to talk about.
So that is the program I suggest, in addition to congratulating comrade Alarcón for his brilliant remarks. I knew that he would leave no doubt about the fact that the US government knows the whole truth and it is the one government in the world that knows most about the truth.
Patria of Muerte!