STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF PEOPLE’ S POWER OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA
Five Cuban Patriots are political prisoners of the Empire. They have already suffered more than 34 months of unjustified incarceration in a South Florida penitentiary. René González Sehwerert, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Fernando González Llort, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez and Gerardo Hernández Nordelo have sustained almost three years of constant humiliation, gross and systematic violation of their human rights and long and arbitrary periods of solitary confinement.
They are innocent. They have committed no crime whatsoever.
They are being punished because Cuba’s enemies see in them an outstanding combination of the virtues, dignity and courage compound in the country these enemies are bent on destroying. They are victims of an infamous and enormous injustice that marks the beginning, under the current Administration of Mr. Bush, of a new and even more cruel and shameless stage in the long and dirty war that the United States has been carrying out against the Cuban people and their Revolution.
They were condemned for alleged espionage under completely false charges and unfair pressure applied to the jury. The charges were never proved and during the trial even the prosecution admitted that the defendants had never been in possession of any secrets nor carried out the alleged crime.
In Miami it is impossible to receive a fair ruling in any case related to Cuba. There, professed terrorists walk the streets and boast of their dreadful deeds that they publicly announce and prepare while the authorities do absolutely nothing to prevent or condemn these actions. Lies, hysteria and anti-Cuban hatred, under the sway of a corrupt and fascist lobby group, poison the Miami environment. We have only to remember the kidnapping of Elián González, a six year old child brutally separated from his father and family, shamelessly mistreated and exploited in front of the television cameras and surrounded by armed killers and strident demagogues who challenged the law, insulted and threatened the Federal Government, desecrated the American banner, damaged private property and even threatened to burn down the city.
According to the U.S. authorities, a delicate operation was necessary to rescue the child due to the immense risk posed by the stubborn opposition mounted by heavily armed individuals. Where were the FBI and Florida’s District Attorneys? What was their reaction to the shameful impudence witnessed by the whole world and repudiated by humanity and by all the American people? The basic rights of a child, including his physical and psychological integrity, were flagrantly offended and the American legal system, decency and honor defamed but nobody was ever tried or indicted, or even arrested.
Those individuals, recruited and trained by the CIA to act against Cuba, paid for decades with federal budget funds, have lived in permanent and intimate connivance with the extreme right-wing and interfered with domestic life in America paying lip service to the interests of the American people. They have been linked to the most outrageous episodes there such as the assassination of President Kennedy, the Watergate scandal, the murder of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt, the secret supply of weapons to the Nicaraguan contras and the related drug trafficking, the smuggling of people and of illegal drugs, the kidnapping of Elián González and the fraudulent denial of the rights of tens of thousands of African American voters in the November 2000 elections in Florida.
Cuba has always told the full and honest truth: we have never made any attempts against the national security of the United States. However, we do proclaim our irreversible right and sacred obligation to defend ourselves from the terrorist and criminal actions that the annexionist Mafiosi plan, arrange, announce and launch with impunity against Cuba from U.S. territory. To expose these actions is a noble, heroic and worthy mission that saves Cuban and American lives and is in keeping with the vital interests of both our peoples.
Throughout its history, the Cuban Revolution has been the target of a systematic policy of aggression, a real war, in which terrorism, sabotage and murder have not been missing. This war is now over 42 years old. The aggressor has been, and it continues to be, the government of the United States. Nobody should ignore this fact that can be easily confirmed through official American documents, most of which were kept secret until recently. A large part of their content remains undisclosed, but even so the total responsibility of that Government for the unceasing aggression shows clearly beyond any doubt. Following are some data that are explicitly acknowledged and described in those documents by their protagonists, thus becoming irrefutable truths:
The above are only a few examples. Emboldened by the long-standing support of authorities that enlisted, trained and directed them to kill; who have supported and protected them; who have participated in and tolerated their outrages, these terrorists have described their actions in reports, statements and public interviews and have been given extensive coverage by the press, radio and television in Miami. Those whose responsibility should be to stop their crimes have ever reprimanded not one of them.
In November 1996, for example, Channel 23 of Miami television carried a live interview with Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles (a CIA veteran, one of the masterminds of the 1976 sabotage of the Cuban plane, a secret official of the White House responsible for the illegal supply of weapons to the Nicaraguan contra) who, aware that nobody would dare touch them, boasted of their criminal history and stressed that their terrorist campaign against Cuba would go on undeterred.
On the July 12 and 13, 1998, the New York Times ran on its front page an interview with Posada Carriles, the most notorious terrorist of this hemisphere, in which he claimed responsibility for various bomb explosions in Havana in 1997, one of which caused the death of a young Italian tourist. He went on to explain the abundant funding received for his actions from the so-called Cuban American National Foundation, he announced new terrorist attacks against Cuba and boasted of his many visits to the United States as well as his close links to his former colleagues in the CIA. Days later, in another interview with a Florida television channel, he repeated his shameless declarations. Still today in Miami, funds are raised and public rallies called in support of this detestable murderer.
Cuba’s right to defend itself against anyone attempting to destroy and annihilate its people is unquestionable. Our defense has been particularly complex and difficult due to the close alliances between the terrorists groups and agents and officials of the U.S. Government, who have conspired together for many years; also because the U.S. authorities have, at best, been indolent and tolerant with them.
Nevertheless, Cuba has done everything possible to warn Washington, through private channels as well as publicly, of the danger of these actions, even delivering information obtained through the heroic sacrifice of men such as those who are now unjustifiably imprisoned there. We, thus, alerted to the presence of armed individuals around the house where Elián was being held and of plans to oppose his liberation. Once this objective was attained, those involved admitted the truth and accuracy of the information Cuba supplied.
Many contacts have been made in New York, Washington and Havana, in which we have supplied information to the FBI and other U.S. government agencies which would have been useful to act against the terrorists had there been the necessary will to do so. After numerous exchanges, including messages at the top levels, an official delegation came to Havana on June 16 –17, 1998, including two important FBI chiefs to whom extensive information was supplied and operative materiel, such as incriminating tapes and recordings of the actions of 40 criminals. They promised a response within two weeks, but it never came. Neither was there any FBI reaction to the abundant and irrefutable evidence received. On the contrary, three months later, the FBI arrested our heroic comrades, hurled treacherous slander against them and instigated a pseudo-legal process aimed at exalting some ringleaders of the terrorist groups whom, to top it all, they called as witnesses.
The most contemptible, indecent and absurd accusation against our honorable and heroic comrades was that of "conspiracy to murder", suspiciously raised after they had spent more than eight months in solitary confinement, while facing the ridiculous and senseless initial charges which were as baseless as this. Naturally, the corrupt authorities in Miami could not present any evidence to support this infamy, but they shamefully manipulated the incident of February 24, 1996, concealed information in their possession, completely ignored the background, introduced faked evidence and grossly distorted reality.
But, the truth will prevail. The truth will never be defeated by their clumsy and deceitful maneuvers.
If one iota of justice existed in America, others would be sitting in the dock to receive the most severe and unappealable sentence.
The U.S. authorities are perfectly aware of everything related to this incident. They know every detail and are wholly and absolutely responsible for what happened that day.
Since the triumph of the Revolution and from U.S. territory, the CIA has used small planes manned by its agents for sabotage, dropping weapons, to spread chemicals and bacteriological substances and carry out espionage and provocation over the countryside and cities of Cuba. In the previously cited documents there is plenty of information to this effect including the background of the terrorist group involved in the provocation of February 24, 1996.
There is a wealth of information about this group that can be found in these and other official documents, and in the U.S. press. This can be summed up as follows:
As to the incident of February 24, 1996, the information officially provided by the United States to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the evidence later presented under oath to the administrative proceedings referred to in the previous paragraph, states what follows:
The authorities in Washington were the only ones who knew that this provocation was going to take place; they knew when, how, who and with what means it would be carried out. They did nothing, although they could and should have done something to prevent it or avoid it. Neither did they warn Cuba of what they knew was about to occur.
What was the conspiracy and who were involved?
The only ones responsible are those same authorities and the terrorist bosses who are allowed to act wantonly. It is them and no one else who are to be held accountable for the outcome of the incident.
The position adopted by that government was absolutely indescribable. They used the incident to justify the signing of the Helms-Burton Act, they stripped Cuba of funds illegally held in escrow in U.S. banks and handed them over to the annexionist Mafiosi and now, taking cowardice and vileness to their extreme, they want to punish five patriots who are totally innocent and are in no way responsible for that incident.
Nobody but those authorities and the terrorists they nurtured and used against Cuba for four decades, has conspired to kill, attempted to murder and murdered, taking a high toll in human lives and causing significant material damage to our country.
The terribly arbitrary action against our fellow countrymen has nothing to do with justice and law. It is the most repugnant expression of a new stage in the aggression unleashed against Cuba by the extreme right now in power and the annexionist Mafiosi in its service, whose consequences are already affecting many Americans and Cuban Americans.
The clearest evidence that the case against our five compatriots is part of a plan deliberately conceived to support the terrorist groups and to spread terror amongst their opponents, was openly offered on July 10 by the Chief of the FBI, in charge of this operation. On this occasion, Mr. Héctor Pesquera announced that "there will be more arrests related to this case", he assured that he was "constantly informed of all those involved" and promised he would "tirelessly pursue them". A few days later, as if in echo, the same bravado was repeated by the spokeswoman of the annexionist CANF. What else is necessary to understand that we are dealing with an exclusively political process whose aim is to persecute all those who repudiate the criminal practices of the terrorist Mafia?
But these are more than merely shrill boasts. On July 13, the President of the United States made an insolent declaration where in addition to proclaiming new tactics to reinforce the blockade and aggression against Cuba, he announced specific measures and concrete threats against American citizens and residents of Cuban origin. The occupant of the White House explained that he had given instructions to strengthen and expand the mechanisms of the blockade specifically to prevent unauthorized trips to Cuba, and to strictly control the visits and remittances allowed, as well as to increase the funds and material support to the counterrevolutionary grouplets which operate against Cuba.
Bush’s declarations are not simply rhetoric. Hundreds of Americans have already received official court summons, and many have been fined thousands of dollars. Travelers in the Miami airport receive clear written warning of the severe punishments –up to 10 years in prison and a 250 000 US dollars fine– for those who disobey the rigid rules of the blockade which the current President intends to enforce at all costs.
The number of Americans and Cuban Americans, who, threatened with possible criminal action are required to fill in thorough questionnaires reminiscent of the worst days of McCarthyism, continues to increase.
To ensure the implementation of his anti-Cuban policies, the leader of the current Administration has nominated to key positions there various individuals with notorious records in the war against Cuba.
The nominee for the highest position in the Latin American Office of the State Department has naturally created alarm inside as well as outside the United States.
But there are other appointments that have crept silently forward, almost unnoticed. One of these is Mauricio Tamargo for president of the Federal Claims Commission; another is Adolfo Franco who, it is announced, would be mostly responsible for Latin America within the so-called International Development Agency (IDA). Both are on the payroll of Cuba’s worst enemies in the U.S. Congress in Washington.
The choice of Mr. Tamargo is clear proof of the present government support for the Helms-Burton Act, the essence of which, as is known, is the illusory aspiration to return property to Batista’s followers and the old ruling class, robbing Cubans of their land, homes, schools, factories, hospitals and everything that belongs to the people. To choose one of their representatives to front the federal entity that with absolute powers within the American structure is responsible for property claims, is tantamount to putting the issue completely in the hands of that Mafia.
The nomination of Mr. Franco confirms the stated purpose of intensifying subversion against Cuba, increasing funds dedicated to the creation, financing and direction of grouplets of traitors in the service of the United States, part of which funds is distributed by the IDA. Over the last 42 years Washington has dedicated more resources to this end than those assigned to the alleged development aid for our continent. To place a representative of the annexionist Mafiosi in this position is a clear expression of an anti-Cuban policy and a strong message to those that in Latin America still naively believe in the chimerical aid of the Empire.
The ever more hostile and aggressive course towards Cuba pursued by the current Bush Administration constitutes an unforgivable crime against our people which cannot be seen separately from the irresponsible and adventurous policy that endangers peace and life on an international scale but it also seriously undermines the rights of the American people, including those Cuban immigrants and their descendents and all the other Florida residents. These people hope to live free from corruption, illegality and the violence of criminals who enjoy official complicity and tolerance and benefit from the budgetary resources which could better be used for the well-being and development of American families.
It is necessary to put an end to the official connivance with terrorists and halt the McCarthyist campaign, the persecution and threats against American citizens who oppose the blockade and against immigrants and residents in Florida who suffer the outrages of terrorism. Right away, as a first indispensable step, it is necessary to demand the liberation of our five innocent compatriots incarcerated in a Miami jail.
René González Sehwerert, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Fernando González Llort, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez and Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, political prisoners of the Empire, exemplary patriots, selfless and admirable heroes who have caused no harm to anyone but who have sacrificed their lives to save their people, must be set free.
Cuba is a free, independent and sovereign nation that has an inalienable right to live in peace and be respected like every other nation. It is Cuba’s right, obligation and necessity to defend itself and it will continue to do so.
The people of Cuba and the United States can and should live in peace. The struggle for truth and justice will allow this to happen.
National Assembly of People’s Power
Havana, August 3, 2001
"Year of the Victorious Revolution in the New Millenium"
SUMMARY OF THE MAIN TERRORIST ACTIONS AGAINST CUBA
From 1959 on, counterrevolutionary groups created and run by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have carried out numerous terrorist activities which have cost our country valuable lives and vast amounts of resources.
Encouraged by the fall of the socialist camp at the beginning of the 90s, these groups intensified their violent actions against the Cuban people and its leaders from US territory and from other bases of operations in Central America.
Below are listed some of the most important of these actions, which are of public domain.
July 17, 1990. Following lobbying by Florida Republican Congresspersons, Ileana Ross and Connie Mack, U.S. President George H. Bush released from jail well-known terrorist Orlando Bosch, the man chiefly responsible for the October 1976 blasting of a Cuban civil airplane in mid-flight, killing all 73 on board.
October 14, 1990. Two armed terrorists sneaked into Santa Cruz del Norte as part of an action concocted in Miami. They had orders to carry out violent actions. Their weapons and false documents supplied in Miami were confiscated. They also carried literature urging people to join what they called "The Cuban Liberation Army" headed by Higinio Díaz Anne who had given them money and propaganda before they set out.
May 15,1991. José Basulto, an ex-Bay of Pigs mercenary and well-known terrorist and CIA agent founded the so-called "Brothers to the Rescue". He asked U.S. President George H. Bush for three U.S. Air Force type 0-2 planes, the military version of the Cessna which had been used in the war in El Salvador. Congresswoman Ileana Ross started a public campaign and lobbied until the three planes were obtained. A photo of the planes received by this counterrevolutionary group appeared in the press for the first time with a July 19 article by the publisher of the Miami Herald, who flew with Brothers to the Rescue. The letters USAF (United States Air Force) are clearly visible on the planes.
September 17,1991. Two counterrevolutionaries from Miami infiltrated into Cuba. Their mission was to sabotage tourist shops to spread terror among foreign tourists. Their weapons and a radio transmitter were confiscated.
December 29, 1991. Three terrorists from the so-called Commandos L group in Miami entered Cuba illegally. Their weapons and other war materiel were confiscated. These three had received training with 50 or 60 other men in a camp on 168 Street in Miami.
May 8 1992. Cuba files a complaint with the United Nations about terrorist activities organized against its territory. At Cuba’s request, a June 23, 1989 decision of the U.S. Department of Justice is circulated as an official Security Council document. The decision states that Orlando Bosch is banned from entering the U.S. territory because there is substantial proof concerning his past and present terrorist activities, including the 1976 blasting off of a Cuban civil aviation plane in mid-flight.
Today this individual freely walks the streets of Miami after George H. Bush granted him a presidential pardon.
July 4, 1992. A group of terrorists set out from the United States to attack economic targets along the Havana coastline. Once detected by Cuban patrol boats, they moved to waters off Varadero, where U.S. coastguards rescued them after their boat had a mechanical failure.
The FBI released them after the confiscation of weapons, maps and videos made during their journey.
July 1992. An operation to infiltrate an U.S. based terrorist into Cuba with the mission to sabotage an economic target in Villa Clara province failed. He was carrying the weapons and explosives needed for the job and had the assistance of Brothers to the Rescue who kept him informed about the position of the U.S. coastguard to make it easier for him to reach Cuban territory.
September 9, 1992. The FBI for illegal possession of firearms and violation of the Law of Neutrality arrests a Cuban born terrorist. He is released without charges.
October 7, 1992. An armed attack against the Varadero Meliá Hotel is perpetrated from a vessel manned by four Miami terrorists who were later arrested and questioned by the FBI, then released.
October 19, 1992. Three Miami based counterrevolutionaries entered Cuba illegally with plenty of weapons and military equipment that were confiscated. At the same time, three other terrorists were arrested in the Bahamas with weapons and explosives apparently destined for Cuba, which were also seized from them. These terrorists had left Miami on October 17.
January 1993. Five terrorists on board a vessel armed with heavy machine guns and other weapons were arrested by the U.S. coastguard as they were heading toward the Cuban coastline. They were soon released.
January 7, 1993. At a press conference in Miami, Tony Bryant, leader of the terrorist group "Commandos L" announced plans to carry out more attacks against targets in Cuba, especially hotels. He said: "from now on we are at war with Cuba" and warned foreign tourists to "stay away from Cuba."
April 2, 1993. The tanker ship "Mikonos" sailing under the Cypriot flag was fired on 7 miles north of Matanzas from a vessel crewed by Cuban born, U.S. based terrorists.
May 18, 1993. A violation of Cuban airspace by a plane registered to "Brothers to the Rescue" with the number N8447.
May 21, 1993. Nine terrorists arrested by the U.S. Customs Service on board a vessel as they prepared to sail for Cuba to launch attacks on that country. Their weapons and explosives were seized. On August 21, Judge Lawrence King dismissed charges against them.
May 1993. "Brothers to the Rescue" planned to blow up a high-tension pylon near San Nicolás de Bari in Havana province.
October 1993. "Brothers to the Rescue" publicly encouraged attempts on the life of President Fidel Castro and violence against Cuba. It also confirmed its readiness to accept "the risks that come with doing this". Andrés Nazario Sargén, head of terrorist group Alpha 66, makes an announcement in the United States that his organization has recently carried out five operations against Cuba.
October 18, 1993. A terrorist living in the United States is arrested on his arrival in Cuba. His orders were to carry out acts of violence on Cuban soil.
November 7, 1993. Humberto Pérez, spokesperson for Alpha 66, said in a press conference in Miami that their war against Cuba would soon be extended to any tourist visiting the island: "We consider anyone staying in a Cuban hotel to be an enemy ", he affirmed.
1993. A Cuban citizen visiting the United States is recruited by a terrorist organization to carry out sabotage in Cuba against the tourism and agricultural sectors. He was supplied with some of the materials needed for such actions and was offered the sum of 20,000 US dollars.
March 11, 1994. A terrorist group from Miami fires on the "Guitart Cayo Coco Hotel."
April 17, 1994. Planes owned by "Brothers to the Rescue" fly at extremely low altitude over Havana and drop smoke bombs. In the following months of 1994 the same group carried out at least seven other similar violations of Cuba’s airspace.
September 4, 1994. Two U.S. based terrorists infiltrated into the area around Caibarién, Villa Clara, with the aim of carrying out sabotage in that province. A number of weapons and large amounts of military equipment were seized.
October 6, 1994. Another armed group fired automatic weapons at the "Guitart Cayo Coco Hotel" from a boat that set out from Florida.
October 15, 1994. A group of armed terrorists coming from the United States landed on the causeway to "Cayo Santa María" near Caibarién, Villa Clara, and murdered comrade Arcelio Rodríguez García.
October 1994. "Brothers to the Rescue" uses one of its planes to train members of a Florida based counterrevolutionary organization to carry out acts of sabotage on the Cienfuegos oil refinery.
In November of that same year, they also planned to make an attempt on the life of President Fidel Castro and other leaders of the Revolution and to smuggle arms and explosives into Cuba.
November 1994. Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and five of his accomplices smuggled weapons into Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, during the IV Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government in order to make an attempt on the life of President Fidel Castro. However, the security belt keeps him at a distance thus thwarting his aim. Posada Carriles later told the New York Times: "I was standing behind some journalists and I saw Castro’s friend, García Márquez, but I could only see Castro from a long way away."
November 11, 1994. Four terrorists were arrested in Varadero, Matanzas. After sneaking into Cuba, they were relieved of weapons and munitions.
March 2, 1995. Two terrorists from the United States sneaked into the coast near Puerto Padre, Las Tunas. They were carrying 51 pounds of C – 4 explosives and other munitions.
April 4, 1995. A C – 337 light plane violates Cuban airspace north of Havana between Santa Fé and Guanabo beach.
May 20, 1995. The "Guitart Cayo Coco Hotel" was once again attacked by terrorists manning a fast launch coming from the United States.
July 12, 1995. Three terrorists were arrested in the United States as they were preparing to sneak into Cuba using an act of provocation just off the Cuban coast as cover. Despite confiscation of their weapons and explosives, U.S. authorities released them.
July 13, 1995. Organized by "Brothers to the Rescue" eleven vessels, six light planes and two helicopters coming from the United States enter Cuban territorial waters and airspace. One of the light planes flew over the heart of Havana and dropped propaganda material.
December 16, 1995. Two terrorists were arrested in the United States as they readied to sneak into Cuba through Pinar del Río to carry out subversive actions. Despite confiscation of their weapons and explosive, U.S. authorities released them.
January 9, 1996. Two light planes departing from Opa-locka airport in Florida violated Cuban airspace.
January 12, 1996. A Cuban immigrant living in the United States was arrested while trying to transport explosives from the City of Havana to Pinar del Río.
January 13, 1996. Several "Brothers to the Rescue" planes violated Cuban airspace over the City of Havana. Later, terrorist Basulto said: "They say I was flying over Cuban airspace, something everybody knows and which I have never denied."
January 23, 1996. U.S. authorities intercepted a vessel in Marathon Key with five armed terrorists on board. It was headed for Cuba. The FBI released the five that same day.
February 11, 1996. After firing on our coastline, a vessel coming from the United States carrying three terrorists was captured by the Cuban a cost guard patrol.
February 24, 1996. "Brothers to the Rescue" launched a new foray. Three light planes violated Cuban airspace over the heart of Havana and two of them were shot down. In the 20 months prior to this incident there had been at least 25 other violations of Cuban airspace.
June 26, 1996. At a session of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Chairman of the Investigating Committee acknowledges that at least one of the "Brothers to the Rescue" planes in Opa-locka airport still has the insignia of the U.S. Air Force on it: "the ‘F’ is a little pale, it looks as if it is beginning to fade, but you can still see it".
August 21, 1996. An U.S. citizen is arrested in Cuba. He had clandestinely brought military equipment into the country and was planning to carry out terrorist actions on Cuban soil.
September 16, 1996. A person is arrested who was sneaking into Cuba through Punta Alegre, Ciego de Ávila, on a boat carrying weapons and a great deal of military equipment.
21 October 1996. An SS-RR light plane, registration number N3093M owned by the U.S. State Department sprays a substance containing the pest "Thrip Palmi Karny" as it flies over the "Girón" international corridor about 25-30 kilometers south of Varadero.
November 1996. Miami television channel 23 carried a live interview with Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch where they stressed their intentions of continuing with their terrorist activities against Cuba.
April 12, 1997. An explosive device was detonated in the "Meliá Cohíba" Hotel in the City of Havana.
April 30, 1997. Discovery of an explosive device in the "Meliá Cohíba" Hotel.
July 12, 1997. Bombs blasted in the "Capri" and "National" hotels.
August 4, 1997. Another bomb exploded in the "Meliá Cohíba" Hotel.
August 11, 1997. The Miami press published a statement from the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) giving unconditional support to the terrorist bomb attacks against civilian and tourist targets in Cuba. The chairman of this organization claimed: "We do not think of these as terrorist actions" and went on to say that any action against Cuba was legitimate.
August 22, 1997. Bomb exploded in the "Sol Palmeras" Hotel in Varadero.
September 4, 1997. Several bombs exploded in the "Tritón", "Chateau Miramar" and "Copacabana" hotels. The explosion in the latter killed young Italian tourist Fabio Di Celmo. On that same day another bomb exploded at "La Bodeguita del Medio " restaurant.
September 10, 1997. The Cuban Government announced the arrest of Salvadoran national Raúl Cruz León, the person responsible of placing six of the bombs that exploded in various hotels in the Cuban capital, including the one that killed Italian tourist Fabio Di Celmo. Cruz León admitted that he had been paid 4,500 US dollars for each bomb.
October 19, 1997. An explosive device was found in a tourist van.
October 27, 1997. The U.S. Coastguard arrested a vessel West of Puerto Rico. They confiscated 2 high velocity rifles .50 caliber with their tripods, night vision gear, and military uniforms and communications equipment. These sophisticated weapons, strictly military in nature, are designed for long-range attacks on vehicles and aircraft. One of those on the vessel said that his aim was to assassinate President Fidel Castro when he arrived on Margarita Island, Venezuela, on November 7, 1997 to attend the Ibero-American Summit.
U.S. authorities found that the vessel was registered by a Florida company whose chief executive officer, manager, secretary and treasurer is José Antonio Llama, a director of the CANF and a Bay of Pigs mercenary.
One of the guns was registered in the name of José Francisco "Pepe" Hernández, CANF co-chairman. A member of Brigade 2506 had bought the other in 1994.
The four crew members on the vessel were identified as: a well-known CIA agent; the captain of a CIA boat used by Florida infiltration teams sneaking into Cuba; the chairman of a New Jersey counterrevolutionary group and a member of Alpha 66.
Despite their confessions and clear proof of the illegal possession of arms, false testimony and arms smuggling, these terrorists were acquitted by a Federal court of law in December 1999 after a rigged trial.
October 30, 1997. Discovery of an explosive device in a kiosk outside terminal 2 at the "José Martí" International Airport in the City of Havana. Two men originally from El Salvador and three originally from Guatemala would later be arrested for crimes against tourist facilities. They all were linked with terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.
November 16, 1997. Following a two months investigation, a Florida newspaper reported that the series of bomb explosions in Havana were bankrolled and directed by Miami anti-Cuban groups and that Luis Posada Carriles, a fugitive from justice for having blown up a Cuban plane in 1976, was at the heart of the operation.
May 1998. Two terrorists sneaked into Santa Lucía, Pinar del Río. They had set out from the United States with a great deal of weapons and war materiel.
June 16, 1998. After several meetings in which the Cuban Government gave information to the FBI and other U.S. Government agencies about terrorist activities concocted in the United States against Cuba, an official U.S. delegation traveled to Havana including two of FBI top brass, which was given precise details, even films, recordings and other material evidence on the activities of 40 terrorists who operated out of the United States.
July 12, 1998. An article in The New York Times for this date published statements by Cuban American Antonio Jorge Alvarez concerning the fact that the FBI had not investigated information he had volunteered related to an attempt on the life of President Fidel Castro that was being planned for the Ibero-American Summit in Venezuela. Alvarez claimed that the previous year he had provided information that Posada Carriles, and a group working in his factory in Guatemala, were preparing this attempt and the bomb explosions in Havana: "I risked my business and my life and they did nothing," he said.
July 12 and 13, 1998. In an interview with The New York Times, Luis Posada Carriles admitted to having organized the bomb campaign against Cuban tourist centers. He also acknowledged that the leaders of the CANF had bankrolled his operations and that its chairman Jorge Mas Canosa was personally in charge of overseeing the flow of funds and logistic support to those operations: "Jorge Mas Canosa controlled everything, whenever I needed money he would say that he would give me 5 0000, 10 000, even 15 000 and he did."
Posada also admitted to having paid Raúl Cruz León for placing the bombs in Havana hotels. Referring to the Italian tourist killed by one of those bombs, he told the Times: "... he was sitting in the wrong place at the wrong time."
In compiling these reports, the Times used CIA and FBI files, testimony from more than 100 people and more than 13 hours of recorded interviews with Posada Carriles and even documents signed by him.
July 23, 1998. The Miami press published an article entitled "In the United States anti-Castro plots rarely lead to jail". The article mentions several cases, such as the 1990 acquittal of 6 terrorists who took guns and other weapons to Nicaragua for an attempt on the life of the Cuban President. It also mentions the Rodolfo Frómeta and Fausto Marimóm’s 1994 acquittals of charges of planning to use Stinger antiaircraft missiles and other weapons in terrorist attacks. The article quotes statements too from well-known terrorist Tony Bryant who said that in 1989 the FBI stopped him in a boat loaded with weapons and explosives and they let him go. He added that he had been intercepted in two of his 14 missions against Cuba, but they never did anything to him.
August 2, 1998. Posada Carriles, in an interview for the program Opposing Points of View for CBS news, said that he intended to launch more attacks on Cuban facilities, either inside or outside the island.
August 1998. Even before President Fidel Castro’s announcement that he would attend the Summit of Heads of State and Government of CARIFORUM in the Dominican Republic, several Cuban born terrorists had planned an attempt on his life to be carried out some time between August 20 and 25.
To that end, terrorist Posada Carriles arranged a meeting in the Guatemala City Holiday Inn Hotel one month before the summit to plan how to get weapons and explosives into Santo Domingo.
September 12 1998. Five Cuban patriots were arrested in Miami who were defending both Cuban and U.S. citizens from the terrorist actions which, with total impunity, are organized, prepared and launched against Cuba from the United States territory.
November 17, 2000. A group of terrorists headed by Posada Carriles was arrested in Panama. They had entered Panama with false documents to make an attempt on the life of President Fidel Castro during the X Ibero American Summit of Heads of State and Government. Their weapons, explosives and a sketch of Castro’s route and public meetings were seized from them. The Cuban American National Foundation is paying for the team of lawyers defending the terrorists.
April 26, 2001. Three terrorists of the Commandos Groups F-45 and Alpha 66 tried to land on the north coast of Villa Clara province and, after firing shots at Cuban coastguard troops who had spotted them, were taken prisoner. Four AKM rifles, one M-3 rifle with a silencer, 3 hand guns, a great deal of materiel, night vision equipment and communications equipment were confiscated to them, all of which they intended to use to carry out sabotage and terrorist actions on Cuban soil.
In addition to the plots listed above, our authorities learned of 16 other plots to assassinate the President of Cuba, 8 plots to try to kill other leaders of the Revolution and 140 other terrorist plots hatched between 1990 and 2001. These were foiled, discouraged or prevented by the work of the Cuban Security and Intelligence Services.