DECLARATION BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF PEOPLE’S POWER OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA
Twenty-five years ago Cuba was victim to a premeditated and heinous crime that shocked the whole nation and remains in the collective memory of our people.
On October 6, 1976, a Cubana Airline aircraft was the target of a cowardly act of sabotage that blew it up in mid flight offshore Barbados. All the passengers and crewmembers on board were killed, including the young winners of the Central American and Caribbean Fencing Championship and a group of Guyanese students. The 73 victims are still awaiting justice. The main culprits have never been brought to trial or sanctioned, thus they have continued to carry on their criminal careers for more than four decades.
Those who conceived, planned and directed this act of genocide have a long history of terrorism that began in the 1960’s under the auspices of the CIA. The role they played in the blowing-up of the Cubana aircraft and the cold-blooded murder of all those on board are well known by the U.S. government. On June 23, 1989, the Department of Justice of that country admitted that it possessed information on the case, which it had kept a secret. Despite his infamous history, including serious crimes committed on American soil, contrary to the ruling of the Attorney General’s Office and in spite of the opposition of major U.S. media, one of these terrorists, Orlando Bosch, has lived in the United States for more than ten years, thanks to a decision by the then-President George Bush, and there he has continued to carry out his monstrous trade undisturbed. This man and his cronies, confident of the complete impunity they enjoy and backed up by the so-called Cuban-American National Foundation announced, in a Miami daily paper full page last August 22, that they would continue to use all means and methods available against Cuba without ruling out either terrorism or violence.
After his escape from the Venezuelan penitentiary where he was awaiting trial in the case of the Cubana aircraft, the other terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, immediately went to work for the White House. There, under direct orders from Lieut. Col. Oliver North, he became involved in the U.S. clandestine activities in Central America where he went on to direct various bomb-attacks against tourist resorts in Cuba and finally planned an assassination attempt against president Fidel Castro and thousands of Panamanian students meeting with him, on the occasion of last year’s Ibero-American Summit. He is currently incarcerated in Panama awaiting trial on minor crimes; however, once again he is confident that his friends will ensure his freedom and impunity.
When the whole world repudiates the brutal attacks of last September 11, the United Nations adopts condemnatory resolutions and governments declare their intention to punish all such actions and avoid them ever being repeated, the National Assembly, alongside the Cuban people, condemns the attacks and reaffirms its solidarity with the American people while demanding that the war against terrorism be genuine, responding to a real desire to eradicate these acts wherever and however they occur.
Thousands of Cubans have lost their lives or suffered irreparable damage as a result of acts of vandalism perpetrated against Cuba for more than 40 years by groups who operated, and continue to operate, from inside the U.S. territory with the complicity or tolerance of that country’s authorities. Cuba, on the other hand, has never resorted to such despicable methods nor ever used force against the bandits that have committed unspeakable atrocities against our people from foreign territory. We have always pursued a principled policy. We have defended ourselves without ever violating either the ethics or the principles of international law. Additionally, we have tried to make the government in Washington fulfill its obligation to prevent these terrorist acts, by supplying them with information obtained through the generous sacrifice of heroic countrymen like those who now languish in unjust incarceration in Miami.
We have every reason, and the necessary moral strength, to demand that justice also be done in the case of the crime committed on October 6, 1976. We strongly demand that the international struggle against terrorism be sincere, consistent, free from double standards, free from racism, free from hegemonic arrogance and free from fraudulent manipulation. This is the only way to completely eradicate this scourge; the only way to pay a most deserved tribute to all victims everywhere.
Twenty-five years ago, we were brought closely together like one large family by the pain and sorrow we felt when the lives of our brothers and sisters were so ruthlessly cut short. We pledged then that they would forever stay in our hearts, that they would never be forgotten; and, here they have been with us, always present in the sacrifice, the heroism, the dignity and the creative resistance of their people.
We shall continue to denounce their assassins and demand that they be punished. We will persevere in our struggle definitely united to defend our homeland and ensure that a free, independent, just and fraternal Cuba offers a permanent tribute to them and to all our martyrs.
Socialism or Death!
Homeland or Death!
We shall overcome!
National Assembly of People’s Power
Havana, October 4, 2001
"Year of the Victorious Revolution in the New Millenium"