Round Table Meeting “Who are the real terrorists?” held in the studios of Cuban Television, May 24th, 2002 “Year of the Heroes Imprisoned by the Empire”.
(Transcript of the – Council of State)
Randy Alonso.- Good afternoon, viewers and listeners.
For more than four decades our people have been exposed to horrendous acts of sabotage, underhand attacks against economic and social facilities, banditry, mercenary invasions, biological warfare, military threats and hundreds of other terrorist acts organized and financed by successive U.S. governments.
This afternoon we will continue with our round table meeting “Who are the real terrorists?” Joining me on the panel are: Reinaldo Taladrid, journalist of the Cuban News System; Jorge Ovies, Director of the Plant Health Research Institute; Lázaro Barredo, journalist of the Trabajadores newspaper; Manuel Hevia, Director of the Center of Historical Research of State Security; José Pérez Fernández, researcher from the Ministry of the Interior and expert witness during the Demand made by the Cuban people against the government of the United States; José Luis Méndez, researcher in the same Center for Historical Research of State Security; Arleen Rodríguez Derivet, editor of the Tricontinental magazine; and Eduardo Dimas, journalist and commentator of the Cuban News System.
Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the Ministry of Foreign Investment and Cooperation and the Ministry of the Interior are our guests in the studio today.
(Brief images on the theme are shown.)
Randy Alonso.- Fifteen days ago, when the Undersecretary of State, John Bolton, spread the slander that Cuba was a bio-terrorist State, unquestionably every Cuban furiously remembered the number of biological attacks that have been aimed at our people from the United States. We have been forced to withstand innumerable attacks against our plantations, our animals and against our people themselves.
We will never forget this story that forms part of the full account of the terrible actions performed by successive U.S. governments against the Cuban people the terrorist actions we have been recounting in these three round table meetings “Who are the real terrorists?” Biological warfare has been just one of the terrorist methods the United States has used against our people.
Jorge Ovies can offer us a summary of these methods.
Jorge Ovies.- This theme was amply addressed in an informative round table held on December 8th 2000. Nevertheless, we are forced to briefly re-examine it in the light of the accusations of bio-terrorism made against Cuba by the aggressors.
I would first like to mention common acts of aggression suffered in the plant and animal kingdoms.
There is something that fully coincides: the occurrence of plagues and exotic diseases always coincides, the repetition is valid here, with important agricultural development programs implemented in Cuba. This has been a factor in both animals and plants. Many of these plagues and exotic diseases have not followed the standard, natural distribution patterns, or it has been scientifically impossible to explain their appearance in our country, or their intentional introduction can be proved.
I will now relate, in chronological order, the diseases, the affected crop or populations and the year of their appearance, both in the animal and plant kingdoms, in order to remind ourselves, albeit briefly, of this phenomenon.
In the plant kingdom we can mention the sugar cane blight of 1978; the tobacco blue mold of 1979; the coffee drill of 1995; the thrips palmi, a polyphagous plague that attacks various crops including potato, beans, pepper, cucumber, green bean and eggplant that was introduced in 1996; and the rice mite of 1997.
In the animal kingdom, the Newcastle disease affecting poultry farming in 1962; African Swine Fever in two outbreaks, one in 1971 and the second in 1980; the nodular bovine pseudo-dermatitis outbreak of 1981; the ulcerative mamillitis of 1989 in cattle; the hemorrhagic viral outbreak in rabbits in 1993; the bee varroasis of 1996.
I would like to talk about just some of these plagues and diseases and characterize the damage they cause and their manifestations just to outline the whole phenomenon, it being impossible to mention them all.
In the plant kingdom, I would like to talk about the coffee drill that was detected in 1995 in an important exportable item, crucial, just like the coffee tree itself, for our country. This was also the period in which the ‘Turquino Plan’, initiated in those years, was beginning to take shape in our mountains.
This plague occurs only in the coffee bean, both as larva and as adult specimens. In other words, this is a monophagous plague living its entire life cycle in a single host plant. It can cause up to 80% damage to the crop, has a limited flight range, is incapable of dissemination over great distances and is usually transplanted by human activity. There were outbreaks in Jamaica in 1978, Mexico in 1980 and Puerto Rico in 1983. Cuba implemented a prevention program against its introduction covering many different aspects and updated it whenever an outbreak was detected in a neighboring country. This program even included the site modelling of potential outbreak areas due to the normal traffic of certain products with which protective measures were always taken. Practically all forecasts were shattered, however, by the appearance of this plague in the massif where Guamá municipality (Santiago de Cuba) meets Buey Arriba and Bartolomé Masó (Granma) in neighboring coffee plantations.
Systematic research was carried out into the emergence of this plague and it was demonstrated that no earlier incident had been registered. We can state this categorically because at the end of 1994 a blemish had begun to appear in the grain used for export, obliging a comprehensive investigation of practically all the country’s coffee. It would have been very easy to detect those grains with drill holes. In other words, we can be very specific about the date of introduction of this plague because of the research that was being made and because of the survey of the blemished grains that was carried out.
The presence of the plague in other places and the introduction by via other than human beings were also ruled out later, after the outbreak.
The direct losses as a result of this plague, the direct damage, ran to $48.2 million and the additional annual expenditure totaled $21.4 million.
The thrips palmi that appeared in 1996 and, as we have already said, attacked important crops such as the staple foods, was a polyphagous plague.
Randy Alonso.- The thrips palmi that we are absolutely certain was introduced into our country by an airplane that flew over our territory dispersing a substance as it went. This plane was spotted from a Cubana de Aviación flight on its way to the east of the country. It was in the very same area in which the plane was sighted in our skies that this plant epidemic began. Without doubt this is one of the most tangible demonstrations supported by irrefutable evidence of biological aggression against our country.
Jorge Ovies.- That’s right.
What is more, this crop-spraying plane was registered as a United States civil aircraft and was being utilized by the State Department.
Thrips palmi was detected on December 18th 1996, in the potato crop, in precisely the zone where the plane was spotted. It was proved, in the denunciation made, through examining the characteristics of the crop and other plagues involved, that this plague did not exist previously.
Thrips palmi caused direct losses of $32.4 million and additional annual costs of $2.9 million. In the potato crop alone, $2 million was spent to control this outbreak.
Randy Alonso.- Every year?
Jorge Ovies.- Every year.
I must point out that the plague is now declining, despite its noxiousness, as shown in the results of many research centers and from the farmers themselves.
Randy Alonso.- We had to dedicate many researchers and research centers to tackle this terrible attack.
Jorge Ovies. That’s correct.
In the face of every outbreak there has been an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional union to work rapidly to discover solutions to the crises and prevent what the enemy would have occur here.
The last plague in the plant kingdom, the rice mite, appeared in September 1997, in a seed farm in the Nueva Paz municipality; a crucial center for the production of rice seeds at precisely the same time as widespread rice production was being promoted. We all know how important this has been in guaranteeing self-sufficiency in many enterprises, families, cooperatives.
This mite causes blemishes and empty grains, and it facilitates the entrance of a fungus, sarocladyum oryzae, that already existed in Cuba, but that was not widespread. The symbiosis with this mite, which causes rotting in the husk, led to greater penetration by the fungus with the resultant damage caused; this is why the vulgar name ‘mite-fungus complex’ is applied to this phenomenon in the case of rice.
It is interesting to note, Randy, that this plague did not exist on the American continent. The only incident was a plague reported 20 years before, in Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China. We did not even have any monitoring programs in place. We usually have monitoring programs for the plagues that threaten us in neighboring crops.
Randy Alonso.- Those in the Caribbean, Central America and neighboring areas.
Jorge Ovies.- No model could ever predict that this plague would arrive directly from Asia to our rice farms, and to a seed farm none the less. What is more, seeds do not transmit the mite that was introduced. When we import, we always import seeds. Aside from the fact that imported seeds are placed under quarantine, if seeds could act as hosts for this plague, then someone would be able to say “It could have come in seeds”, but the fact is that plants and not seeds are the hosts. We have never imported plants. This plague is able to spread; this is indeed an insect that can travel over great distances from infested areas, and in Cuba the spread to almost every other region was extremely rapid due to the mode of transmission itself. What cannot be scientifically explained is how this plague arrived in Cuba and how exactly it coincided with the other factors; when the rice popularization program was at its peak.
This plague caused $24.3 million in direct losses and $20 million in additional annual expenditure.
In the case of the animal kingdom, I’d like to offer the example of Newcastle’s disease. This was the first biological attack on animals coming in 1982, just as poultry farming was becoming widespread. In other words, poultry farming in people’s back yards progressed to a much more intensive phase. The disease caused the loss of 80% of the poultry population.
What is more, it was proved that it was a contaminated vaccine that provoked this epidemic.
I would also like to mention the first outbreak of African Swine Fever in 1971, coinciding with the creation of the National Swine Complex and the development of a special pig-rearing program in Havana, precisely the place where the Fever first struck. This, like the rice mite, is not a native of this hemisphere, but rather originates in Africa. The outbreak cost us half a million slaughtered pigs.
The second outbreak of African Swine Fever was in 1980, in Guantánamo province, and it aimed to establish this disease in the mountains, which would have been impossible after its eradication, if it had been possible to establish the Fever at all. It was eradicated once more, at the expense of 300 000 slaughtered animals.
The 1980 virus behaved in a very different way to the 1971 strain, pointing to the engineering that it had undergone in an attempt to evade our diagnosis systems that had been established after the first epidemic.
Randy Alonso.- A strain of the epidemic was controlled in 1971 and then attempts were made to introduce a different strain.
Jorge Ovies.- The same virus, but with a modified pathogenetic make-up.
Randy Alonso.- Exactly.
Jorge Ovies.- It was difficult to diagnose, but we were finally able to do so
Randy Alonso.- It was well known at the time that U.S. laboratories were working on the virus that causes African Swine Fever and it was certainly no coincidence that this Fever appeared in Guantánamo province. As you were saying, there was the possibility that the epidemic spread into the mountains in the east of the country.
Jorge Ovies.- There is a considerable file on these two cases that reveals the participation of the special forces on the orders of the U.S. government and of counter-revolutionary groups based within the United States.
This, Randy, is the summary I wanted to make today to offer a reminder and help identify who are the real bio-terrorists in this case.
Randy Alonso.- This undoubtedly offers confirmation of the fact that the guilty party attempts to blame the very victims of this biological war throughout these years. Prepared in Fort Detrick and other U.S. laboratories, this war against the world has had special significance in the Cuban case over the last 43 years of Revolution.
Thank you very much, Ovies, for your presentation of this part of our history.
The biological attacks on our country have also cost priceless human lives; the lives of children and pregnant women.
The dengue epidemic, introduced into our country in 1981 was one of the vile acts of aggression against our people. Arleen Rodríguez Derivet will talk to our meeting this afternoon about that moment.
Arleen Rodríguez.- Thanks, Randy. Good afternoon viewers and listeners.
As you said, Randy, this was probably the foulest and most obnoxious attack ever. Although it may be in the memories of many people, I am certain that for almost half a million Cuban families this event is much more than just a memory. Rather it is a period of suffering and anguish that lasted almost four months, from June 1st 1981 until October 10th, when the last case was reported. There were 344 203 cases in total, of which more than 30 000 led to hemorrhaging and over 10 000 including hemorrhagic, fever and shock, the latter mainly attacking children in whom it was inevitably fatal. There are now 158 homes missing one of their members because of this terrorist attack. There are 101 homes where a young child, who would have now been amongst the 20 to 30 year olds enjoying the Revolution, is no longer there. They were taken from us in 1981; 101 tiny children died as a result of that terrorist aggression. This event is included in Chapter VII of the Demand the Cuban people made against the United States government.
Why do we say that this is a terrorist act? I think, Randy that in this case, as in a few cases or as in all cases related to biological aggression, but perhaps more so in this case, there is ample evidence to prove that this was a terrorist attack.
Firstly, this dengue type-2 was only found in South East Asia at that time, and we are well aware of the distance between our country and that part of the world. Over time, it would also be revealed that the strain that was identified as causing the hemorrhagic dengue outbreak in Cuba did not exist in the world at that time outside of laboratories.
Rosa Elena once said in one of our round table meetings that the scientists at the time were saying: “If this is not a biological attack it certainly looks like one.” Everything pointed to aggression.
The subsequent years and the research at the time have confirmed the terrible theory that this was indeed a biological attack on human beings, particularly on children, in an attempt to sow panic.
There are various elements that make this bio-terrorist attack even more heinous than others and they further prove that it was indeed a biological attack. Dengue appeared simultaneously in all provinces but is not reported in the Guantánamo Naval Base located on Cuban territory. Why, we ask ourselves? Because the United States, through its army, had publicly informed that they possessed a vaccine for this disease and all the residents of the naval base were vaccinated. The outbreak did not touch the naval base. This is one of the facts that confirm our theory.
There are also precedents in our historical research. It is widely known that in Fort Detrick, that has also been the sight of biological weapons studies, mosquitoes were being produced for campaigns to spread yellow fever, dengue and anthrax. A series of pathologies were generated there and there were even plans to introduce yellow fever into the Soviet Union. There were plans to release this disease in such a distant area at certain moments during the Cold War. Although we now know that this plan was never put into action there certainly was the secret intention to do so.
One further element, if anything else is necessary, is the confession of a terrorist, Eduardo Arocena, being tried in New York in 1984. Although not been tried for this act, amongst the evidence he gave he admitted, without the slightest hint of regret, that he was amongst the agents who introduced this most virulent dengue type-2 germ into Cuba. This same disease caused hundreds of thousands of deaths in South East Asia, where millions of cases were reported. The same did not occur in our country only thanks to our organized society, our dedicated health system and our social mobilization. The latter was once again the basis for the recent efforts against another outbreak of the epidemic, eradicating the threat in only 70 days. Above all, disaster was averted thanks to the concept of defense of the Revolution that considers human beings, and especially children, as the most precious treasure.
Eduardo Arocena, in his testimony before the trial in New York in 1984, that was presented as part of the Cuban People’s Demand, admitted that he introduced the dengue virus, and that through contact groups in Cuba he had introduced the hemorrhagic dengue virus.
Randy Alonso.- Arocena, by the way Arleen, he was the ringleader of the counter-revolutionary group Omega 7, one of the most sinister of the time, responsible for dozens of bomb attacks and sabotage on various facilities, even within U.S. territory itself. He was eventually condemned for acts he had carried out within the United States.
Arleen Rodríguez.- For some of them; for his bomb attacks, because he was always an explosives man, he still is, I imagine this saga is not over yet. But Arocena was not tried for this crime, he was not sentenced for this crime either, but he nevertheless made his confession there. In other words, if there was any need for further proof to confirm that this terrible epidemic of hemorrhagic dengue that turned those four months of anguish into a veritable national crisis, because we were fighting against an unknown disease, as has already been explained in a previous round table meeting; against an unknown strain; against which we were virtually powerless, then this certainly offers the missing element.
We mustn’t forget, and the testimonies given in the Cuban people’s Demand and in the press reports at the time help us to remember, that the entire population was mobilized. A doctor in Holguin told, for example, of a mother that appeared with one child in her arms and leading the other by the hand; both were vomiting blood.
Another doctor told of the long hours without rest. He had up to 20 children in shock from dengue, vomiting blood at the same time.
The hospital secretaries started cleaning the hospitals at the end of their shifts, the conditions were so difficult, the overcrowding so great, even schools were opened and converted into hospitals.
We must remember the people with children, the people who had children at that time; young families, that must remember the fear in which they lived, fear of their child falling ill, fear of their child dying, this being a fatal illness that developed very quickly.
It is in those moments that the Revolution’s great capacity to confront such situations truly emerges: hospitals are opened, institutes are developed, such as the “Pedro Kouri” Institute; organizations that will tackle the biological threats to our country head-on, and even new experiences emerge, such as the “mother as nurse” that is without doubt one of the most beautiful events that occurred.
Fidel reminded us that there is no better nurse than a mother. And this theory was well and truly put to the test in the fight against the hemorrhagic dengue in those months, through the popular participation, the solidarity with which everything was marked.
I believe that only an organized and humanistic society charged with solidarity could have achieved what we achieved. The same crisis in any Third World country, in any Latin American country would not have caused the 158 deaths, the 101 dead children; it would have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. This is the truth.
I think we should also point out, Randy, the amazing scientific capacity that was generated in a very short space of time as a result of the research into what we were facing. This is the same capacity that they today call in question. I wonder if that is the very reason why today there are those who dare launch a twisted attack of aggression against our country, who dare to attempt to provoke biological warfare with this country when it is this country above all that has suffered the effects of bio-terrorism.
Who can deny that the greatest pleasure in life is to bring a child into the world, and the most intense pain is to lose a child? Well, 101 families lost their children in 1981; they lost their most precious treasure. This is the story of the anguish felt by the entire Cuban population during this terrible drama.
The work of the Revolution; everything it has developed enabling it to suppress an epidemic in 70 days, as recently; to convert defeat into victory and totally eradicate the disease, is the strongest evidence showing that what we have achieved is encapsulated in the Revolution’s principal weapon, that certainly is biological: human beings. Human beings that grow like no others to confront adversity and defeat the bio-terrorists, the true terrorists, that filled Cuban families with pain exactly 21 years ago, families in which a child’s smile was never seen again, families who will never cease to weep for their loss.
Randy Alonso.- That was a truly repulsive act, Arleen, without a doubt; it was an attempt to sow fear among our people, the uncertainty about who would die the very next day.
We must also remember, I was only small but my parents always tell me, that Fidel hardly slept in those months, visiting hospitals, seeing the children, working ceaselessly to open the new intensive care units in every one of those hospitals.
Arleen Rodríguez.- There is an anecdote that was mentioned in one of our round tables here, about a hospital in San Miguel del Padrón in which a doctor tells how a boy came out from under the edge of his oxygen tent and made the pioneer’s salute when Fidel came to visit and said “Commander in Chief, give me my orders!” This was not a slogan in a moment of crisis, it was so the whole world would know that in that moment Fidel said “Not one more Cuban child shall be allowed to die.”
So that everyone would know about our readiness to face the terrible pain of those months, the anguish of knowing that one of your own children could be at terrible risk. I think that the Cuban people grew as never before. Even though this is one of the most terrible chapters in the story of terrorism against Cuba, it is also one of the most poignant in terms of the spiritual and intellectual growth of the Cuban people in order to face those heinous attacks.
Randy Alonso.- We have also heard here in these round table meetings of how the medical personnel devoted themselves wholeheartedly to the fight, hardly sleeping in those days in their attempts to save lives, especially children’s lives. We have heard how the decision was taken to expand and modernize the Pedro Kouri Institute (IPK), as you were saying, and how all the people joined the fight; with the family doctors, using more advanced scientific techniques, using the popular will and the greatly improved popular education. We have also heard how Fidel tirelessly led that fight, just like in the 70-day war we have just waged here in the capital and elsewhere in the country to eliminate the transmission of dengue and drastically cut the levels of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in our country.
And so it is even more painful to read, as we have just read, of the campaign anti-Cuban congresspeople have launched to have Eduardo Arocena released from prison. A man who has confessed to being one of the key reasons for the presence of dengue in our country, a disease that killed 101 of our children, that killed more than 150 people; a man that was an agent used by the U.S. government to carry out this criminal act against our people.
It would be useful to hear the testimony given in the Demand of the Cuban people against the United States government for human damage by Mauria Herrera Lobato, who was working at the time of the epidemic as a nurse in the Central Havana Pediatric Hospital and who saw one of her very own nieces die before her eyes.
Mauria Herrera.- I want to start by saying that 5 year old Seagne Herrera Suárez came from Guantánamo to spend the holidays in my house, here in Havana. On the day she arrived she seemed a little under the weather... perhaps from the journey, and in the afternoon her mother told me “The little girl feels a bit hot.” I told her: “Let’s test her with the thermometer” I am a nurse. We took her straight to the children’s hospital, and they ran the normal tests they run on children. The doctor told us to keep her under observation. We took her home and she was fine during the night, with no further hyperthemia, and the next morning I went to work and told my brother: “If you notice anything unusual take her to the hospital, I will be there.” Around 10:00 am on the 14th they took her to the hospital again, the doctor checked her over again, did everything.
When I asked them why they had brought her back they told me she had a fever again, rising from 38.04 to 38.30. The on-call doctor saw her, ran all the usual tests and found nothing to warrant her admission, but he said: “We are going to keep her in, because she has been here twice now.” As she had come all the way from Guantánamo, her mother said she seemed a little down, but she was running all around the on-call surgery, like there was nothing wrong; I am a nurse and I hadn’t seen anything to justify an admission, but anyway, they kept her in.
She went onto the ward that day and spent the day happily, the 14th and even the 15th, but by the afternoon she had a fever again and by night-time she was in shock. She spent the whole night of the 15th in shock. I was in the other ward and someone told me “There’s a very sick little girl in ‘Agramonte’ ward” I didn’t imagine it was my niece, because when I had left her she had nothing to suggest the seriousness of her condition. It was very quick. They took her urgently to intensive care and that was were she went into shock.
Every doctor and every nurse did everything they could for that girl, but she died on the morning of the 16th of july, at 6:00 am.
Our Commander- in- Chief arrived at the hospital the very same day, he had visited several times already. When he arrived I was outside crying with the girl’s mother. He had seen the commotion in the hospital and he asked: “What’s the matter, how are things going?” They told him: “The niece of one of our workers has just died.” All my workmates were offering me their condolences . He came over to our group and he put his hand on my shoulder like this, like he was angry inside, we were all still crying there.
We left the hospital and took her back to Guantánamo. The death of that little girl affected us deeply... my brother’s only daughter. He had a kind of breakdown. We arrived in Guantánamo and we took him to the doctor. We were all crying, the mother and I, my brother disappeared, he ran out of the hospital, completely beside himself, rolling on the ground, utterly desperate, and we took him to Emergency, they tranquillized him and he calmed down a bit and we were able to take him to Guantánamo where we buried the little girl. We took my brother to the hospital the same day to calm him and the girl’s mother down.
We all went home, and my brother fell asleep, but he woke up very upset the next morning. He went to where the girl’s things were and he burnt her cradle, he burnt her clothes like a madman, he burnt his own hands and his legs. So we took him straight to the hospital where he was seen by a psychiatrist. After all that happened he is still a very disturbed man. I would have liked him to come and make a statement, but he just couldn’t, he is very unwell, crying all the time, and he has a rash on his neck now from all the tears. The girl’s mother is the same, she has been unable to work after that, they have become very sensitive and cry at the slightest thing; they hear about anything and they have to leave because their eyes are already filling up with tears. And after all these years, let me tell you, they are still very affected by the death of their daughter. We have also been affected because, well, to see my brother like that, so depressed, with a sad look in his eye, and he was always so happy, - he is the youngest of my family – and when he sees a little girl about that age he always says “she was just like that”, we try and change the subject, because, as you can imagine, he will never be able to forget, neither him nor his family, everyone in general will always remember. The mother is the same, as I told you. Sometimes her legs and arms swell up. We take her to the doctor, the swellings go down, the tests don’t find anything, but she is also under treatment.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at the Central Havana Pediatric Hospital who truly did everything they could to save that little girl.
Cross-examiner.- Witness, you said you were a pediatric nurse?
Mauria Herrera.- A nurse in the Central Havana Pediatric Hospital.
Cross-examiner.- In Central Havana?
Mauria Herrera.- In Central Havana, yes.
Cross-examiner.- Are you aware of other cases of children or adults?
Mauria Herrera.- Yes, lots. I was working 12 hours a day, we would rest in the hospital itself. There were specially equipped spaces for us to rest in, mainly the doctors and nurses and catering staff. Well, I can’t really say because everyone stayed in the hospital. The people that lived far away all stayed there, they were given facilities and food; they were given everything they needed to rest a while and carry on working, because there was no time to stop, it was constant. Even I, with my niece admitted and everything, was working in another ward.
In general, I couldn’t distinguish between anyone, if the nurses worked, or the doctors, the cleaners and the catering staff, everyone worked. Even the office staff said: “What can we do, how can we help? Perhaps we could help to clean the floor.” And some of these people helped the mothers, who were screaming with desperation, to care for their children. This included everybody, and for this reason I take this opportunity to thank everyone that helped in this disaster, because, as the comrade was saying just now, many mothers are suffering at the minute. And not just the mothers, all the relatives, everyone in general are suffering because of what happened to the little girl.
Randy Alonso.- These events coincided with the arrival into power of the U.S. extreme right with Ronald Reagan as their President. This marked a new and very dangerous period of aggression against our people. Lázaro Barredo will now help us to understand this era with the help of various documents and several important testimonies.
Lázaro Barredo.- Thank you, Randy.
The danger of the Reagan administration and of the neo-conservative thought that came to the fore in the United States, a very powerful current that has become entrenched in North American society, is clearly demonstrated by the fact that we were forced to develop a military doctrine in order to resist the brutal aggressiveness that came with the arrival of Reagan’s intensely warmongering administration. And from that moment forward, for our future and the future of all our people, we developed a central defense doctrine that all our people are familiar with: the doctrine of war of all the people.
In other words, a new concept emerged, a new doctrine, in order to confront the onslaught of a threat that can be encapsulated in a few words emitted by the conservative politicians that brought Reagan to power in the 1980 elections: “Cuba has been a problem for the architects of U.S. politics for more than two decades”- this is in 1979, when the Santa Fe Program was initiated; Santa Fe One, because there were four in total, forming the axis of the Reagan government’s program - “The problem is no closer to a solution now than it was in 1961” – the reference being to the Bay of Pigs invasion – “on the contrary, the problem has grown until it has acquired truly dangerous proportions.” This was how the neo-conservatives saw Cuba at the end of the 1970s, and within this vision, statements such as these were made: “The United States can only restore its credibility on Cuba by taking immediate action.” This political and ideological offensive included some very concrete measures:
“Direct radio broadcasting to Cuba with programming dedicated wholly to Cubans.” This is where Radio and TV ‘Martí’ were born.
“Promotion of the 10-called dissidence through alleged human rights groups.” This document comes from 1980.
And a further action that has not been ruled out: “Armed intervention” because according to the followers of Reagan’s program. “Havana should be made to pay a high price” I am quoting directly “for its challenge.”
Out of these Santa Fe Program measures, immediately after Reagan came to power, two very concrete decisions emerged: the National Security Directive No. 77, issued in 1981 by president Ronald Reagan, more commonly known as ‘Project Democracy’. In terms of Cuba, this Directive stated that the main objective was to develop public pressure. For this, a multi-purpose approach was outlined designed to wear down the Revolution with internal dissidence, to project an image that the situation in Cuba was not a result of its historic conflict with the United States, but rather of the intolerance of the Cuban Revolutionary Government and its inability to seek solutions “between Cubans” by denying alleged dialogue as a means towards a so-called political opening. This is the National Security Directive that Reagan adopts as support for his 1981 ‘Project Democracy’.
The second decision is the creation of the Cuban-American National Foundation that is framed within the aim to change policy towards Cuba to whatever lengths necessary “to resolve the Cuban question”. And so the creation of this Foundation, that some have labelled the Phalanx of the Wealthy, Nostalgic Cubans, was conceived with the intention of changing the direction of current policy and do away with the direct action, that had dominated amongst previous U.S. administrations, replacing it with the idea that the United States government should respond to petitions supposedly made by immigrants of Cuban origin. These should propose the concrete measures, they should create a lobby that would enable the adoption of measures by the U.S. government, thereby presenting a wholly different image to the world.
Nevertheless, the promoters of this idea came up against a serious obstacle: the majority of well-known immigrants were associated with terrorism, with underhanded operations and violence, they had to work out how to change, how to bring about a metamorphosis, or what we could call a kind of transvestism of the former terrorists to turn them into politicians. This task was given to two major figures in Ronald Reagan’s National Security team: Roger Fontaine, one of the Santa Fe ideologues who would later be in charge of policy towards Cuba in Reagan’s National Security Council and who was responsible for submitting a proposal for the creation of this Cuban lobby group to Congress as a means of applying a more aggressive policy; and a CIA veteran, Richard Allen, Reagan’s National Security advisor, responsible for formalizing the idea of grouping the Cubans into “an effective tool to favour the President’s aggressive foreign policy.”
Allen was the man who met with the Cuban elements who were to form the Foundation and delivered them their tasks. This is a fact he has confessed to the U.S. media: “I told them that the best thing they could do was to form an organization with one single voice.” These are the words of Richard Allen. This was how the CANF and all the activities associated with people such as Mas Canosa and the Foundation’s other Directors began. Until that point those people had always been linked to the covert operations of the Central Intelligence Agency and other activities against our country, thereby orchestrating the most violent terrorist organizations operating in the United States. This was how these people, the old warriors, became politicians, began to travel up to Washington, to make contributions to political campaigns, to seek all possible publicity and to serve the interests as requested them by Reagan’s national security racket in 1981.
For example, when the U.S. invasion of the island of Granada was in its preparatory phase – to give you just one example – after the success of the revolutionary movement on that small island and the divisions that took place, the CIA began an ultra-secret operation for which several terrorists of Cuban origin were reactivated in a matter of days. We must remember that the revolutionary government of Granada was crushed, Maurice Bishop was assassinated and immediately afterwards the United States -that had fled from the Lebanon after the operation in which two hundred and something Americans had been killed and troops were returning to the US when the Granada invasion took place-intervened.
Randy Alonso.- Under the flimsy pretext of protecting the lives of the U.S. medical students on the island.
Lázaro Barredo.- The lives of the medical students that were there. The invasion took place, the Cuban workers that were working on the building of the airport were attacked.
Well, they were already attempting to quickly prepare a group of men to form infiltration teams in support of the operation on the island. The problem was that many of the agents were in prison on drugs trafficking charges, and that was when Mas Canosa and the rest of the leaders of the National Cuban-American Foundation were asked to arrange the liberation of some of those agents; asked to release them on parole so that they could be used in this operation. This is one example.
Loyal to the scheme, full backing is given to the metamorphosed (this man has been through many different metamorphoses) terrorist, Armando Valladares, who was imprisoned at the beginning of the 1960s for placing plastic explosives in public places, as we have already heard in a previous meeting. This man was transformed firstly into a paralytic, then a poet and finally into a politician, even becoming the new Ambassador of the United States nowhere other than before the Human Rights Commission in Geneva. Mas Canosa and the entire Foundation gave him their full backing.
We are talking about a comprehensive operation, this has been verified in a congressional audience and proved in the evidence given by Ricardo Mas Canosa about the $50 000 that he went to Panama to collect and hand over to his brother. This money was used to help the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to break out of the Venezuelan prison where he was being held for the horrendous attack on the Cubana de Aviación plane. Mas Canosa and several other Cuban-American National Foundation leaders, including Gaspar Jiménez who is also now in prison in Panama and Mendoza, who went to attempt to negotiate Posada Carriles’ release from jail in Caracas.
There is also their involvent in the process of Nicaragua, in the Iran-Contra affair led by the former-leaders of the CIA. There is an extensive report from a researcher called Gaeton Fonzi - who even works for the United States Congress in an important American publication, —,where he talks of a dinner meeting in a Miami restaurant, the Marabella restaurant, to which all of the directors of the National Cuban-American Foundation are invited. A man was sat next to Mas Canosa receiving all the guests, he was smiling and seemed happy to see them, but many of the CANF directors did not know who the man was. Fonzi the researcher, however, recounts that the important thing to note is that if hardly any of those present in that private suite knew the man sat at Mas Canosa’s side, neither did they realize that at some time or other they had most certainly worked for him. This man was Theodore G. Shackley and he was the CIA JM-WAVE station chief, as we explained yesterday, in Operation Mongoose.
Shackley had called those men together to request their services once more; to ask for their assistance in support of president Reagan in his secret steps in the search for methods by which to supply the contras in Nicaragua and crush communism in Central America. It was in this meeting that the theory of the road to Havana passing through Managua was born, and it was in this same meeting that many of those people became involved in the Iran-Contra Operation.
Alberto Hernández was there, former vice president and president of the Foundation, Félix Rodríguez was also present, as was Mas Canosa himself. A whole host of people called there not just at Reagan’s request, but also at the request of Bush senior, the once Director of the CIA, who had even had links with the majority of those terrorists from the beginning of the 1960s, not forgetting of course, that there is a long history of contact between the Bush family and Cuban-American terrorist mob of Miami since the beginning of the 1960s.
Bush senior was one of the CIA agents given the task in 1960 of recruiting a group of Cubans who had fled to the United States, among the first waves of Cuban-American who arrived in 1959 and 1960, in order to prepare a group who would later arrive in the mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs as counter-intelligence agents. It was Bush, along with his subordinate, Félix Rodríguez, who began to gather these agents together. It was there that they contacted Posada Carriles, Mas Canosa and a group of spokespeople who would later become chiefs and leaders of terrorist groups in Miami or metamorphosed political leaders just like those we have already mentioned here.
When the current President of the United States was in his teens, he met many of these people; the current governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, also met the same people at the beginning of the 1980s.The millionaire in whose house the fund-raising dinner was held on May 20th, Armando Codina, was one of the men that brought Jeb Bush to Miami at the beginning of the 1980s.
Jeb Bush was a kind of a lost sheep and George and Barbara Bush needed help with him. Jeb, along with Raúl Masvidal, or Carlos Salman, another of the early leaders of the Foundation, received assistance and eventually stayed in Miami. Jeb Bush made his entrepreneurial life there, his businesses, his marriage with his current wife.
In other words, the Bush family has many reasons to thank people who have been linked to counter-revolutionary and terrorist activity against our country.
Mas Canosa also played, just like the CANF, an important role in the war in Angola in the 1980s. An amendment known as the Clark amendment was approved by the United States Congress and prohibited any type of economic, military or paramilitary assistance to the UNITA forces of Jonas Savimbi. It was Mas Canosa, at the request of the national security team, who masterminded and lobbied the US Congress to abolish this amendment. No wonder soon affter the amendment was revoked, president Reagan allocated $30 million to UNITA for anti-government activity against the government’s MPLA forces.
Randy Alonso.- And Reagan received Savimbi in the White House with all the honors pertaining to a Head of State, this for a man who had unleashed a ferocious war in Angola, that included even the use of terrorist methods, in which thousands of people had died.
Lázaro Barredo.- Years later Savimbi welcomed Mas Canosa with great fanfare into his camp in Angola, giving him a replica AK-47 sculpted in ivory as a token of thanks. This is a very tangled history which Washington cannot deny.
Raúl Masvidal, one of the three founding members of the CANF, has stated that: “between 1981 and 1985 Mas Canosa began to grow ever closer to the White House and the intelligence community in Washington; orders of every type were brought from Washington. Jorge was obviously marching to the White House’s tune.”
As part of his mission he was given the task of unifying the different counter-revolutionary groups in Miami. And that was how he approached and used all his efforts to try and bring together the different terrorist organizations. His mission was fruitless, however, because in that cesspool everyone seeks his or her own slice of the anti-Cuban pie. Mas Canosa nevertheless continued in his attempts to unify these forces and those of the Batistianos. Not surprisingly, one of his main tasks at the end of the 1980s was to pay a great homage to over 150 members of Batista’s dictatorship; one of Mas Canosa’s great heroes was Mr. Fulgencio Batista.
Randy Alonso.- Thank you very much, Lázaro, for that information.
(Brief images on the theme are shown.)
Randy Alonso.- With Ronald Reagan in power and the anti-Cuban Cuban-American National Foundation lobby in action, the radio-broadcast aggression against Cuba reached its peak, to be soon followed by televisual attacks.
Eduardo Dimas will talk to us on this theme.
Eduardo Dimas.- What we must first mention is that when we examine the combined U.S. policy towards Cuba, what we are dealing with is: an economic blockade; an attempt to overcome a people through hunger, and on the other hand we have the biological attacks, the sabotage, the assassination attempts on our leaders, the promotion of illegal immigration from our country; there is a whole series of laws in the United States precisely designed to promote these illegal immigrations. But there is one more element to mention: the psychological warfare.
All propaganda is designed to exercise influence over people’s ideas, over human consciousness. People live as they think and their actions are inevitably affected by their thoughts. From as early as September 1959, the United States government has attempted to influence Cuban minds.
In September 1959, for example, according to de-classified Central Intelligence Agency documents, efforts were made to locate a base within the Caribbean, that was eventually placed on Swan island, in which to place a radio station. This began broadcasting in May 1960. From the very outset this station was characterized, and we hardly need say so, by its shameless use of deception, the manipulation of information and the wholly subversive and terrorist nature of its message.
I will give you a classic example of psychological warfare in the so-called Operation Peter Pan. This caused the emigration of 14 000 children, on the basis of a rumour that was spread. We were in the early years of the revolution, when it was said that parents were to be stripped of their parental rights, do you remember? A rumour was being used, a lie against people who had been thoroughly permeated by the anti-Communist propaganda we had suffered in Cuba before the Revolution, and it worked .
One of the many crimes – 14 000 children separated from their parents because of one of these rumours that was spread not only over the radio, but also through other media directed at the heart of our country.
Radio Swan played an important part in the misinformation campaign during the Bay of Pigs invasion. You will remember that Howard Hunt, who was later embroiled in the Watergate scandal, was the head of propaganda at that time. Propaganda and misinformation did not help them in the slightest, however, and we are all well aware that the invasion was liquidated in less than 72 hours.
In 1961, the ‘Voice of the Americas’, the official station of the United States government, began to broadcast the “Appointment with Cuba” program that was designed to promote illegal departures of professional people, particularly doctors. This radio station also broadcast 24 hours a day during the missile crisis, attempting to taint Cuban minds. This entire subversive deployment obviously collapsed in the most universal defeat. Radio Swan disappeared in 1970, and four years later, in 1974, the Voice of the Americas cut the ‘Appointment with Cuba’ program. Between 1974 and 1979 there was a decrease of radio aggression, but around 3904 short-wave transmissions were still made from pirate stations such as that of the Alpha 66 terrorist organization, a twisted offshoot of the CIA.
Lázaro referred to the Santa Fe document that served as a guidebook for Ronald Reagan’s government, being responsible for, on the one hand, the creation of the Cuban-American National Foundation in 1981, and on the other, on September 22nd 1981, Reagan issued Executive Order 12323 on the basis of which the Presidential Commission for Radio Broadcasts and Ideas towards Cuba was created. This document clearly defined its aims as the promotion of free communication of information and ideas to Cuba and in particular the provision of “loyal information” on Cuba to our people.
This process led to the misnamed ‘Radio “Martí”’ and within this, as Lázaro has already indicated, Mas Canosa played an important part. As the head of an advisory group, Mas Canosa played a crucial role in the founding of ‘Radio “Martí”’.
In other words, if we had to define this policy we could say that radio broadcasts towards Cuba became State policy of the United States government during Reagan’s presidency, thereby contravening international regulations and breaking normal relations between States.
It was Bush senior, the father of the current President who, on October 16th 1981, announced the launch of ‘Radio “Martí”’. From that moment on there has been systematic aggression against our country in the name of the United States government.
The disappearance of the Socialist camp stimulated this radio aggression against our country. To give you an idea, more than 200 hours of radio poison are broadcast towards Cuba daily, and in some weeks the total has reached 1900 hours or even more.
Between 1990 and 1998, 63 counter-revolutionary radio stations were broadcasting to Cuba, 60 of which were based in the United States. There are currently 13 radio stations operating against Cuba, not to mention the medium wave stations that can also be picked up sometimes, such as Radio Fe, Radio Mambí, Pérez Roura, « The Admiral », etc., etc.
All these stations try to promote the same thing: illegal departures, often using subliminal methods, on the very basis offered by the murderous Law of Cuban Adjustment; they promote sabotage, attacks, sell the American way of life, attempt to penetrate the consciousness of our people.
The case of Radio “Camilo Cienfuegos” is a good example. A shameless misuse of that name for a counter-revolutionary radio station that promotes attacks, sabotage, etc.
The campaigns of malicious stories and lies also continue. Rumours that attempt to besmirch the prestige of our highest leaders and campaigns that try to make the people refuse to vote in the elections, for example. In all cases, the only thing they have achieved is utter defeat for themselves.
We must remember, however, that these attacks sometimes fall on receptive ears, such as was the case on August 5th, 1994 or in the recent events in the Mexican Embassy, where a few words of the Mexican Secretary of State, which we could easily claim today were said with that specific purpose in mind, were taken and played time and time again in an effort to provoke the events of February 27th in the Mexican Embassy.
There are also paid ears here; ears that receive their salary from the Interests Section, from the United States government in other words, and they become rumourmongers. There are even those who work as reporters for these radio stations, particularly for ‘Radio “Martí”’. Of course, there are also those who have grown accustomed to hearing the siren’s song and who are enchanted by it.
This is an overall summary of the radio attacks that have never had any success. On the other hand, and once more under Reagan’s administration, the ‘TV “Martí” process, the ghost TV process began.
There are two early attempts to beam TV signals into Cuba, the first from two DC-6 aeroplanes in 1962, and the second in 1975, that is also abandoned. In 1987 feasibility studies were made at the cost of $100 000, paid for by the United States government. In 1988 $7.5 million of tax payers’ money was given for the purchase of equipment and other materials, and in 1989 TV “Martí” broadcasting is approved with the granting of $16 million. In 1990$16 million are also granted.
It is symptomatic that despite the fact that all studies carried out by the Senate and the Congress of the United States on the real effectiveness of ‘TV “Martí”’, a ghost TV station in reality, have shown that the best option would be close the station down, TV “Martí” continues to broadcast, for no one to watch. This, Randy, is an outline of the situation.
Randy Alonso.- All of this, Dimas, is part of what professor Alfredo Jalife, in his analysis of the United States wars over all these years, has called information terrorism. This is an information terrorism that has been used against our country from the very beginning of the Revolution and has reached its peak with the misnamed Radio and TV “Martí”, funded with hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayers’ dollars, estimates suggest up to 400 million.
You mentioned that one of the direct results of these attacks and this radio terrorism is the call for illegal departures from the country, to provoke social unrest in Cuba. There is also the call by these stations that broadcast from Miami in the name of counter-revolutionary groups, to burn sugar fields, to commit sabotage, all of which we have timely denounced, throughout these years through all media available and in our leader’s speeches.
Arleen Rodríguez.- We must not forget the “three days to kill” that they declared at one point when they thought it was time to pack their bags once again. “Three days to kill” was one of the terrorist offensives launched on enemy radio.
Randy Alonso.- And Lázaro also reminded us in a round table on the subject of the Mexican Embassy of the role played by enemy radio in the events of August 5th 1994 and its attempts to spark social uprising in our country.
Lázaro Barredo.- The problem, Randy, is that all of these radio stations have always attempted to destabilize our country, to create a situation of internal violence, make a permanent call to destabilize, to create an atmosphere of disobedience and of national crisis. This is one of their main aims and it is here that we can place the events of August 5th 1994. They attempted to incite the people, as they did later with the Mexican Embassy incident, to gather in the port area with the rumour that boats were to come and pick up all those who wanted to leave the country. Several hundred anti-social elements began to gather there and soon became impatient when they realized that no one was coming to pick them up. It as then that they hijacked the Regla ferries.
It was then that they killed a police officer and jostled many other citizens, placing the lives of all the passengers at risk in their attempt to leave. And it was then that other people saw the opportunity to “punch their cards” as we say here in Cuba, before the Interests Section and try to get a visa, creating the unrest of August 5th and the demonstrations that we all remember, in its turn producing the forceful reply that immediately arose from our people, only a few minutes after these events began.
Randy Alonso.- Of course these media for information of US administrations have also been used to highlight the existent and non-existent armed incursions into our country; the many that have been carried out and also those that were claimed but never carried out by the counter-revolutionary organizations funded by the United States government, which included, in the 1990s, many actions including attacks on tourist facilities. Manuel Hevia will now recount some of these innumerable acts of aggression against our country in the last decade.
Manuel Hevia.- Thank you, Randy, and good evening.
The 1990s marked an important watershed in the long history of terrorist attacks against Cuba by the United States government, beginning more than 30 years ago, in 1959.
Our center can offer a great deal of evidence pointing to the reappearance at the beginning of the 1990s of new and reinforced plans and terrorist actions incited by sectors of the anti-Cuban Mafia and the American ultra-right, supporters of violence and terror.
We all remember that the American government’s new forecasts at the end of the 1980s predicted another “final hour” for Cuba. The moment was right, according to them, to accelerate the collapse of the Revolution after the major setbacks suffered by the socialist camp and the USSR.
Again, a few years after, in the 1980s in which there was a certain lapse in the usual terrorist activities against Cuba: the placing of bombs, the infiltration, the pirate attacks on our shores – owing to the convenient political tactics of the time on the part of the U.S. government that was focused more on operations of political subversion, threatened with military action against Cuba. The spectre of terrorism once more arose with renewed force in the 1990s. In our opinion this was in effect a revitalized “Operation Mongoose” in which the Cuban-American National Foundation, the new tool of U.S. neo-conservatism, would assume the leadership with the tolerance and complicity of the American authorities. We can offer irrefutable proof of this.
The new terrorist wave would focus on three central aims or purposes:
First: During the most difficult years of the Special Period of the 1990s, the CANF and the Miami Mafia once more used all their strength, forces and resources in attempts to assassinate our Commander- in-Chief.
Second: direct the main force of their terrorist activities on attacks on the country’s sources of hard currency, with particular emphasis being placed on the tourist sector.
Third: promote new pirate attacks on our shores and the infiltration of mercenaries of Cuban origin armed with weapons of all descriptions bought cheaply in stores in Miami and carrying many kilos of highly destructive C-4 plastic explosive, also bought in Miami and in Central America. All this to promote terrorism and acts of sabotage within our country.
Some of these infiltrations were also designed to revitalize new uprisings in the mountains which, obviously, is nothing more than fiction in the 1990s. From our perspective, however, there are certain differences between the more than 150 inflitrations involved in “Operation Mongoose” and later operations in the 1960s and 70s. This difference was the new thirst for publicity on the part of those sending the mercenaries. This was designed to raise more funds, even at the cost of the lives of those mercenaries who were sent. I’m talking of groups such as Alpha-66, 2506 Brigade, and Commandos F-4 and other organizations in Miami that live off rummage sales and raffles and at the expense of these terrorist actions.
It was from this date that the Cuban-American National Foundation began to secretly organize its new clandestine armed branch, that it called, among other things, the Security Commission. With this structure in place and with a multi-million-dollar budget, the CANF would now lead terrorist actions against Cuba or finance other groups in Miami to carry them out.
Between 1990 and 2001 our authorities neutralized a total of 10 marine landings on our coastline and detained 28 terrorist elements. All of these share common characteristics: all were residents of the United States; all departed from that country in attempts to infiltrate Cuban territory and carry out their actions, provoking terror and crime within our country, all carried highly destructive plastic explosives. In one tragic case with which we are all familiar, they murdered the revolutionary comrade, Arcelio Rodríguez García in one of these infiltrations.
Our people all remember the last of these infiltration attempts, even discussed in the round table of April 25th, 2001, carried out by three mob terrorists, closely linked to other Miami band ringleaders who, in turn, are linked to the criminal, Luis Posada Carriles.
Our people also remember the telephone conversation between one of those terrorists, the head of the infiltration group, now in custody, and the Cuban American mob ringleader based in Miami, Santiago Alvarez.
In this same period – it is important to highlight the difference – our authorities thwarted 10 infiltrations and arrested a further group of terrorists. Another 10 terrorist acts and pirate attacks against our shores clearly demonstrate the policy of tolerance and complicity adopted by the U.S. authorities.
Allow me to comment very briefly on some of these issues.
On July 4th 1992, a group of terrorists coming from the United States attempted to attack economic targets on the Havana coast, When they were detected by a Cuban patrol they fled to the waters close to Varadero where their boat ran into problems. The U.S. coastguard later rescued them. Weapons, maps and videotapes of their journey were seized, but after being interrogated by the FBI they were released.
On October 7th 1992, an armed attack was launched on the Meliá-Varadero Hotel from a vessel crewed by four members of the terrorist Mafia. These were later arrested and interrogated by the FBI and were also released.
In January 1993, the U.S. coastguard arrested five terrorists on board a boat armed with heavy machine guns and other weapons on its way to the Cuban coastline. They were released almost immediately.
On April 2nd, 1993, a tanker flying under the Cypriot flag was machine-gunned seven miles north of Matanzas as it was performing cabotage between different Cuban ports. The attacking vessel was crewed by terrorists from Miami and endangered both the passage and the crew of the Cypriot ship. When these terrorists returned to their port of origin they were not apprehended.
On May 21st 1993, the United States Customs Service arrested nine mob terrorists as they prepared to disembark for Cuba, once more to attack targets. Weapons and explosives were seized.
A few months later, Judge Lawrence King rejected the charges and all nine were released.
On March 11th, 1994, terrorists from Alpha-66 fired on the Guitart-Cayo Coco Hotel from their boat. They retreated to the United States, offered statements to the American press and were not apprehended.
On October 6th, 1994, another armed group from Alpha-66 in another boat coming from the same place made a similar attack on the Guitart-Cayo Coco Hotel. A second attack, a second withdrawal, more statements and once again they are not apprehended.
On May 20th, 1995, the same hotel, located in Ciego de Ávila province, is once more attacked by Alpha-66. No action is taken.
On July 12th, 1995, three terrorist elements were arrested in the United States as they were preparing to infiltrate Cuban territory from a provocative flotilla. Despite the fact that weapons and explosives were seized they were set free by the North American authorities.
As my final example, I would like to mention January 23rd, 1996, when the North American authorities detained a vessel on Cayo Maratón with five armed terrorists on board, bound for Cuba. They were set free that very same day by the FBI.
I think the attitude of tolerance on the part of the U.S. authorities leaves no doubt as to their position regarding the terrorist attacks against Cuba, despite the 43 years that have passed.
Randy Alonso.- And a clear example, Hevia, of the connivance of the American authorities in all these terrorist attacks, of their knowledge of and complete failure to prevent these acts, and obviously, of the connection between these same authorities and the terrorist Mob in Miami, that has been clearly demonstrated throughout all these round tables; it is something that you reminded us of and that all our people have witnessed in one of our round tables, a crucial piece of evidence for today’s round tables, it is the telephone conversation between the infiltration team leader who was arrested on Cayo Jutía and his mob leader in Miami. I propose to now play you that conversation:
Iosvany.- Hey, Santiago, it’s me, Iosvany.
Santiago Alvarez.- Shit! How’s everything going down there?
Iosvany.- How’s it hanging! This is a nightmare down here, man!
Santiago Alvarez.- Yeah?
Iosvany.- Yeah, you know how it is.
Santiago Alvarez.- They told me here that there was a shootout in Sagua la Grande.
Iosvany.- Oh, I don’t know, I don’t know anything about it, no one told me.
Santiago Alvarez.- Yeah, they told me they’d got three Miami men in a shootout in Sagua la Grande.
Iosvany.- No, I don’t know anything about it.
Santiago Alvarez.- And have you been able to look about?
Iosvany.- Well, I’m still stuck here in the hills.
Santiago Alvarez.- Don’t tell me where you are.
Iosvany.- I’m well dug in.
Santiago Alvarez.- Have you been able to get about a lot?
Iosvany.- Not yet, I’m working on it, but I hope to make progress in a couple of days..
Santiago Alvarez.- No, no, even better, bury yourself. Take it easy, there is no rush from over here. OK?
Santiago Alvarez.- Your family is all fine.
Santiago Alvarez.- everyone’s great.
Santiago Alvarez.- But really, they are just great, glad to hear from you, we sorted them out what we arranged.
Iosvany.- And the kids?
Santiago Alvarez.- Fabulous, they miss you and all, but they’re fine. Don’t worry. Don’t forget this is my business.
Iosvany.- Yeah, I know.
Listen, let me ask you something, If I had to get out of here in a hurry, we’d do what you told me, right? I get to the first habitable island of the Bahamas and call you from there?
Santiago Alvarez.- Exactly.
Santiago Alvarez.- Are things so bad?
Iosvany.- No, it’s just that the streets are full of policemen and there are State Security guards all over the place, you see, and I don’t want to risk moving.
Santiago Alvarez.- You’ve got to stay cool. Stay low until things quieten down, because it looks like those guys in Sagua have messed it all up.
Santiago Alvarez.- It looks like there was a problem in Sagua and .....
Santiago Alvarez.- It looks like that was the problem, you see? Stay cool, bury yourself a bit, don’t move and you’ll see that everything will work out. Don’t rush, its essential to stay calm.
Iosvany.- OK, OK.
Let me ask you something. The other day, when you talked to me about the Tropicana, do you want me to do something over there?
Santiago Alvarez.- If you want to do that better, it’s all the same to me. You can get in a window there with a couple of cans and it’s all done, much less risky.
Santiago Alvarez.- You get it?
Iosvany.- Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was just bothered about losing the contact, you know.
Santiago Alvarez.- You do whatever you think is most convenient and safe, don’t take unnecessary risks, and don’t move in the next few days, stay under your stone.
Are the other two alright?
Iosvany.- Yeah, the other two are fine.
Santiago Alvarez.- Chill out. Stay under for another week or ten days more, it looks like there was a problem in Sagua and that’s what spoilt it all for you guys. I was worried, and I was watching the phone a minute ago, wondering if you were going to call (laughter).
Hey, hang up, OK?
Iosvany.- OK, I’m going to hang up.
Santiago Alvarez.- Hang up right now, I’ve got to go quick.
Iosvany.- I’ll call you again when I get a chance.
Santiago Alvarez.- OK, don’t rush.
Santiago Alvarez.- Bury yourself will ya?
Iosvany.- Yeah, yeah, I’m going to dig in right now, don’t panic.
Randy Alonso.- Well, this is undoubtedly a very revealing testimony, of who pays, of who participates in these acts and who plans them: attacks on tourist centers, sowing terror, murdering, not just Cuban citizens but also foreigners who visit our country, in these attempts to bring down the Cuban Revolution.
One of the most notorious terrorist attacks in our country in the last decade was the series of bombs that were placed in tourist centers in 1997. Our people still clearly remember those moments, but there are elements that may be analyzed in our round table this afternoon. I propose that José Luis address us on this subject.
José L. Méndez.- Well, as part of the plan to stifle Cuban economic development, directed by the terrorists against every section of the emerging economy, there were also other actions involved, such as the terrorist threats against airlines and travel agencies in several countries such as the United States, Brazil, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Spain. There were also bombs and attacks against the homes and offices of Cuban immigrants opposed to the blockade and in favor of solidarity with Cuba; the threats and attacks against Cuban representatives abroad. This all took place between 1990 and 1995, After that date, however, the terrorists’ priority was to bring terrorism into Cuba to create panic among the population. This is organized form Central America, with the presence in that region, particularly in El Salvador, of the international terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles. I will offer just two examples that capture the spirit of this period:
On March 20th 1995 two terrorists are arrested in the capital. They had been recruited by the Cuban-American National Foundation in Miami to carry out terrorist attacks. They had already introduced large quantities of explosives into the country and had placed a bomb in a hotel in Varadero.
On February 16th 1996 a further two infiltrators from the CANF are apprehended transporting explosives in Pinar del Rio. Finally on August 2nd of the same year, a U.S. citizen who had been recruited by the terrorist structure of the Foundation to carry out acts of terror in Cuba is also apprehended.
This was all a prelude to a vast plot hatched in the headquarters of the CANF. This had already been launched in the interior of the island with the participation of Central American mercenaries.
So, between March and September 1997, 10 bombs are placed in hotels in Havana and Varadero.
First, on April 12th 1997 a bomb was detonated in the Meliá-Cohiba Hotel in Havana; on April 30th another bomb is found in the same hotel; on July 12th 1997 two bombs go off in the Capri and National Hotels, in the middle of the holiday season when a group of children were gathered in the Capri hotel; on August 4th, in the middle of the World Youth and Student festival, with the participation of more than 12 000 delegates from around the world, a bomb was detonated in the Meliá-Cohíba hotel that was packed full of holiday-makers.
What is even more incredible is that on August 11th, just a few days after these attacks, the Miami press published a declaration of the Cuban-American National Foundation stating its support for terrorist explosive attacks against tourist centers in Cuba.
On August 22nd, 1997 there was an explosion in the Sol Palmeras hotel in Varadero.
And finally, on September 4th, 1997, a Central American mercenary sets off bombs in the Tritón, Chateau Miramar and Copacabana hotels and in the ever-popular restaurant, La Bodeguita del Medio. In the attack on the Copacabana hotel a young Italian tourist of only 32 years who was there at that time, Fabio di Celmo, was killed. On this issue, Posada Carriles has declared, as we are all aware, that the Italian was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that he always sleeps like a baby; in other words he feels not the slightest regret. A further 11 people were injured, both Cubans and foreigners.
There were a total of 23 terrorist acts in that year until Cuban authorities arrested one of the terrorists responsible on September 4th.
It is important to point out that Posada Carriles has specialized in using mercenaries. He used them in the sabotage of the Barbados plane, in Central America during the Iran-Contra affair and he also used them for carrying out terrorism actions in Cuba, in these cases it was Salvadorians and Guatemalans that unleashed this wave of terror in our capital.
Posada was receiving money from the Cuban-American National Foundation to organize these acts of terror, but what is even more interesting, and I think we should make this absolutely clear, is that the United States government was well aware of Posada Carriles’ activities in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. This is apparent for two reasons. Firstly, two FBI agents interviewed him in Honduras inside the US Embassy compound. He was questioned for six hours but was not asked about his terrorist activities against Cuba. He walked out of the embassy, despite the fact that he was a fugitive from Venezuelan justice for his part in the organization of the sabotage of the Cubana de Aviación plane in mid-air over Barbados.
The second reason, and I find this very interesting, is that Posada Carriles has had close links with FBI agent George Kusinsky for many years, indeed he has been a close friend of Kusinsky ever since the latter was in charge of the Cuban terrorists working with the Nicaraguan contra.
The United States knew of Posada’s intention to sink a boat leaving Puerto Limón, Costa Rica, laden with merchandise bound for Cuba; they were also aware of the intention to sink a Cuban boat in Puerto Cortés in Honduras, and they also knew of the plan to fly light aircraft in Central American that would be hired by Cuba to make internal tourist flights.
At different times and through various channels, all this information was timely passed to the U.S. authorities by the Cuban government, even including the suggestion that discretion be used concerning such important information. This advice was not followed and the Americans revealed the details.
Posada was obviously acting with the consent, knowledge and tolerance of the United States authorities and the assistance of the Central American governments that gave him refuge, where he was able to procure false documents and move freely.
Randy, as a summary of this period of terrorism and of this terrorist wave against our people, against tourism and against all our citizens, we should point out that between 1990 and 2000 there were a total of 108 terrorist attacks perpetrated against Cuba inside and outside of national territory.
And as we were saying yesterday, a total of 10 countries were affected, including the United States, Cuba, Panama, Mexico and Brazil that were hit by the wave unleashed against Cuba. In the same year two further bombs were even detonated, one in Mexico and one in the Bahamas, all part of this action.
I think two comments are inevitable before we finish and I am reminded of what Arleen was saying about Eduardo Arocena. I ask myself: How do they explain to the American public that Eduardo Arocena, a terrorist that carried out dozens of terrorist acts at the head of the Omega-7 group; who set of 52 bombs, 29 of those within the United States, is about to be released and reincorporated into American society? Released thanks to and as a result of the machinations of the federal congresspeople in Florida, Ileana Ros and Lincoln Díaz-Balart? And, what is more, how do they explain the fact that Arocena is the only terrorist of Cuban origin imprisoned in the United States? Imprisoned for the 1980 murder of a Cuban official in New York who was working as the Cuban representative to the UN who should have been protected by the United States since it is the host country. This same Arocena had murdered a Cuban immigrant living in New Jersey in front of his twelve year old son?
Another issue we can not fail to mention: What do they have to say about two terrorists, José Dionisio Suárez Esquivel and Virgilio Paz Romero, who murdered the ex-Ambassador to Chile, Orlando Letelier, in the very heart of the United States capital, and killed Ronnie Moffit, a U.S. citizen, and severely injured her husband, also an American, when the car in which they were travelling was destroyed by a bomb on September 21st, 1976. Suárez Esquivel was not apprehended by the FBI in the United States until April 11th, 1990, 14 years of slow searching, whereas Paz Romero was only arrested on April 21st 1991, 15 years after the crime. They were condemned to only 12 years and served only six for that crime.
The most extraordinary fact is that on July 24th 2000, just a month and a half before the terrible events of September 11th these two were released into American society expressing their desire to continue with terrorist activities. I think, Randy, that as a conclusion, these two examples clearly confirm our conviction about whom and where the true terrorists are.
Randy Alonso.- The 1990s were a particularly intense decade in terms of attacks on economic targets within our country, in the efforts to strangle our economic development. At the same time we were forced face the Special Period caused by the loss of our markets, this combined with the attempts to drown any possibilities for economic development through tourism in blood.
We will never forget the images of those hotels destroyed by the bombs. Neither will we forget the image of Fabio di Celmo, the young Italian killed, and the pain of his father Giustino, or the injuries caused to many Cuban and foreign citizens by those terrorist acts, planned by one of the most notorious criminals of our continent, Luis Posada Carriles. This is a man who has never repented – his conscience of course, could never allow it – those acts that brought death and fear to our people.
I would like to offer you this fragment of an interview given by the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.
Reporter.- Last year in Cuba, some say half a dozen and some say a dozen bombs, let’s say a number of bombs exploded last summer in Havana.
Luis Posada Carriles.- Yes.
Reporter.- Were you or were you not the mastermind of those explosions.
Luis Posada Carriles.- Well, actor, I have to say it, mastermind.
Reporter.-You were the brain behind this operation, the one who organized it, the one who sent the agents to place the bombs?
Luis Posada Carriles.- For any acts within Cuban territory against the Havana regime I hold myself completely responsible.
Reporter.- According to the New York Times, you have admitted that the 25 year old Salvadorian that is currently being held under arrest in Cuba, Raúl Cruz León, was working for you, is that correct?
Luis Posada Carriles.- Raúl Cruz León was hired by someone who worked for me, I never had any contact with him, he made his job for money.
Reporter.- And you don’t think that these confessions you are making are signing this man’s death warrant?
Luis Posada Carriles.- His death warrant has already been signed, whether I speak or not or what I say will make no difference.
Reporter.- But you also said in the article, Mr. Posada, that there would soon be interesting news.
Luis Posada Carriles.- Of course.
Reporter.- What does that mean.
Luis Posada Carriles.- That other types of sabotage are being planned within Cuba.
Reporter.- Within Cuba?
Luis Posada Carriles.- That’s right.
Randy Alonso.- This is the testimony of a criminal that was predicting even more terrorist acts inside our country, while at the same time preparing a number of actions outside of Cuba, the assassination of our Commander in Chief, Fidel Castro, being one of these.
Luis Posada Carriles is one of the most notorious criminals in the history of our continent and Reinaldo Taladrid will offer us more details.
Reinaldo Taldrid.- Of course, Randy.
Let us start from there, you have just said it. Nobody disputes -not even outside Cuba- the fact that Luis Posada Carriles is a major terrorist, has organized, financed and masterminded terrorist acts, has personally committed murder, has tortured, and has planned every type of terrorist act; nobody argues with this fact, it is accepted inside and outside of Cuba. We can see everything that Luis Posada Carriles has done.
Now, let us move on to a second issue. Who is responsible for what Luis Posada Carriles has done over the last 30-some years? We must consider two types of responsibility when answering this question, responsibility by action and responsibility by omission.
You are responsible by action when you perform or directly participate in what is occurring. And you are responsible by omission when you are aware of something or could avoid something and your lack of action allows these things to happen. In other words, you didn’t do what you had to do to avoid subsequent events. Let us examine history; let us look at the 1960s.
First: where did Luis Posada Carriles learn to place these explosives we have just seen, the demolition techniques, his military training,? In Fort Benning, in the state of Georgia, United States. The United States army prepared and trained him for these activities. This wasn’t on the goodwill of the army, it was following orders, as an institution that is subject to orders from the administration, from the government of the United States: “Do this, train these people.”
So, he learned everything he knows with them. Who was Posada working for then, who was he being trained for? For the government of the United States. What for? Because when he was finished at Fort Bennning he emerged as an officer of the U.S. army, working for the administration.
Second: When he began to work, one of the first things he did, and this is rather strange, because he started working directly for the United States government and not directly against Cuba, one of the first things Posada Carriles was involved in was the operation leading to the invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965. He was on board the ship Venus that was on the outskirts of the Dominican Republic offering support operations to the invasion. Posada Carriles and some of his cronies were responsible for planting a bomb in an event where Francisco Caamaño was speaking. Who was he working for? For the United States government.
After the Dominican Republic a number of operations were carried out in which Posada Carriles was the central axis. The CIA calls them, “autonomous operations”, and by labelling them so in declassified reports the CIA is admitting its control over these operations. The CIA reports upwards and is responsible to the U.S. government. For these reasons, he could not possibly have done all the things he has done against Cuba without at least guidance from the administration.
What exactly were these operations? Well, both in the Keys and in Central America, in a number of different bases, his aim was to make terrorism, sabotage, smuggle in weapons and men, assassination attempts, etc. He does all this. Did he do it just like the U.S. government wanted or not? Let us see.
I’m going to read you something. What I have here is nothing less than the annual evaluations that were made on Luis Posada Carriles in those years. This fragment says: “He is good-natured. He is very reliable, conscientious with security.” Whereas another annual evaluation says: “He is very effective in the fulfillment of all the tasks assigned to him. He has been truly excellent.”
These are two of the annual evaluations made of Posada Carriles by the United States government of the time.
These evaluations explain why the United States government later sent Posada to Venezuela. Why? Well, he was one of the lead men in a security agency that was being created in Venezuela, the DISIP. On the orders of the US government, Posada is sent to organize what they call the Counter-Insurgency Service of the Venezuelan DISIP. What does this mean translated into good Cuban Spanish? It means pursue, arrest, torture and murder as many revolutionaries as possible in Venezuela in those years. He was sent at the behest of the United State government because he was a US government graduate, because he was a US government all-round expert. As Commissioner Basilio, the name he was using at the time, a name that will be regrettably remembered by all Venezuelan revolutionaries of the time, he had enormous power, as he was Washington’s man in the DISIP, representing Washington’s interests. Let’s remember that he never abandons terrorism against Cuba. Even in this new mission – in which we all know he was working for the United States government – he combines his post in the DISIP with his plans to assassinate comrade Fidel. Interestingly enough, Posada Carriles was the main architect behind the man hunt they organized during Fidel’s visit to Chile in 1971. Why? One of the most dangerous attempts was when they were able to insert a revolver inside a television camera and got quite close to Fidel, almost within shooting distance.
The historical truth is that he lacked the courage and the strength that terrorists never have; that mercenaries never have.
The team that managed to get that close possessed Venezuelan documents, Venezuelan passports, and everything linking Posada Carriles to that team. However, as if this was not enough, and because the first attempt had failed, Posada personally ordered, during Fidel’s return to Cuba via Peru and Ecuador, two terrorists who were working for him to shoot at Fidel from another aeroplane and then try to escape. This was personally organized by Posada. In the Chilean operation he had set up the logistics, the papers, the operation but it was his own brainchild, organized at a time when he was working for U. S. government on a mission to Venezuela using money which, in this case, came from the Venezuelan taxpayer.
Lázaro Barredo.- We mustn’t forget that the USAID agency was involved as a cover in the Chilean operation.
Reynaldo Taladrid.- Well, that would be going into the details of the assassination attempt. . It is certainly true that Antonio Veciana, another notorious terrorist involved in many other activities, had credentials form the International Development Agency in Bolivia, and that was where he entered Venezuela from.
Now, let us move on to the 1970s. In the 70s Posada was already installed in the DISIP. He then leaves the DISIP to set up a private information agency. The CIA documents that the New York Times published in its famous articles nevertheless claim that Posada – and let’s accept what the New York Times claims, at least for the moment – continued to report to the CIA to 1976. Therefore, from the moment he leaves the DISIP in 1976 – according to the CIA – Posada continued to report to the U. S. government.
What is happening in this period? Well, we are all aware that the CORU was created and the wave of CORU assassination attempts occurred. And finally came Barbados - that was explained in detail here yesterday – in which Posada Carriles was undoubtedly one of the mastermind, along with Orlando Bosch. And not only that, it is also reported that when they searched the offices of the investigation agency he had created, AIP, they found a map of the area where Letelier was later murdered in Washington. In other words, in Posada’s office in Caracas a map was found showing the route Orlando Letelier would take just before he was assassinated in Washington. This is how it happened. So this can give us some idea of how many other things Posada was involved in.
At this time Luis Posada Carriles was still reporting to the United States government. Although the CIA claimed he did not report to them any more after a certain period of 1976, I believe it was February, one of the CIA’s own documents shows that he continued to offer reports on many issues. So the truth is that he continued to report to the U. S. government even after the alleged “split”.
Well, as we all know, Posada Carriles then went to prison and the whole scandalous process began that was eventually suspended due to lost evidence, etceteras. He was imprisoned and the Cuban-American National Foundation and other CIA agents that were working for the U. S. government, organized his escape. They organized his flight because, amongst other things, when he feels a little annoyed he always blackmails the Mob with the threat that he will talk, this is precisely why he gave those interviews we read here. Mas Canosa got scared and he became convinced that if they did not get Posada out of jail he would begin to talk. This was why they spent all that money breaking him out.
How odd, where did Posada end up? In Central America, in the Ilopango airbase where the leaders of the CANF welcomed him back it was also here from where the most secret and important operation of the U. S: government of the time was taking place, the Iran-Contra operation, directed from the White House itself.
If you were not connected to the U.S. government it would be absolutely impossible for you to be working at the Ilopango airbase at the time when Posada Carriles touched down. That was the time in which Oliver North controlled everything that went on in that base, and Oliver North had an office in the National Security Council, had direct access to the White House, and to the office of the Vicepresident of the United States, George Bush, senior. Therefore, it is utterly impossible that there were things happening at the Ilopango airbase that the U. S. government was not aware of.
Luis Posada Carriles once again began to work for the U. S. government in the Iran-Contra operation. There are several testimonies that recount that aside from working for the United States government in that operation in Ilopango, several planes – there is a CBS report and several articles that confirm this -came loaded with weapons, unloaded in Ilopango, Posada and Félix Rodríguez were in charge of this cargo, and then returned to the United States full of drugs. So Luis Posada Carriles was also working against the United States government and was a drug smuggler in accordance with the United States law. One more element to this story: a nasty bite of the hand that fed him.
The Iran-Contra affair finished and Posada remained in Ilopango. What was he doing there? We have already mentioned this to some extent, he mingled with the governments of the area, governments such as the Salvadorian who maintained substantial contact with him throughout the Iran-Contra affair. It has been declared in this meeting that this contact lasted throughout the duration of the dirty war against Nicaragua and the revolutionary movements. Posada even became advisor to some of these governments, became embroiled in internal gangster wars, in assassination attempts on politicians and the like. But the control – think about this carefully – the control the United States exercised over all those politicians, the products of the dirty wars they had waged, of all they had done, with that level of control over these governments, it is impossible that the US government did not know where Posada was or what he was doing. Méndez offered us the proof a few moments ago - the FBI went to Honduras in 1998 and held a long conversation in the US Embassy with Posada Carriles.
The FBI, in the normal course of its duties, should have arrested a man that had smuggled drugs into the United States, that was a fugitive from Venezuelan justice, against whom various extradition treatries and agreements existed. It was their duty to arrest him.
Randy Alonso.- And they could have also accessed, Taladrid, the wealth of information that the Cuban authorities had supplied the FBI, congresspeople and top U. S. authorities, through important political figures that had come to Cuba. These were supplied with all the information available on those terrorist acts that were committed against our country in the 1990s, highlighting the role of Luis Posada Carriles and his activities in Central America.
Reinaldo Taladrid.- Exactly, Méndez mentioned that aside from and before this meeting, the Cuban government had given them detailed information, information that could have led to the arrest of that person with irrefutable evidence. It is not simply a question of arresting him because we say he is bad. No, arrest him because he is going to plant two bombs here; he threatened to blow up that plane; he wants to recruit that agent; he has sent them there and is planning this. In other words, the U. S. government had this information and many reasons to use it.
Lázaro Barredo.- The meeting was held with two FBI officials on February 7th 1992 at 9:00 am in room 426 of the United States Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Reinaldo Taladrid.- With two FBI officials. Of course, because of time restrictions, I am not able to give all the details. Many things emerged from that meeting, well, not many, some, as always happens in these cases.
Now, how can we explain this? Let’s hear it in Posada’s own words. I am going to read what Luis Posada Carriles said to the New York Times:
“As you can see” Posada says “the FBI and the CIA don’t bother me and I remain neutral with them. Every time I can help them, I do.” This is July 1998, In Luis Posada Carriles’ own words. So, to return to our starting point, we know everything that Posada has done. In the final analysis, who is directly responsible for everything that Posada Carriles has done? Through its action it was the United Sates government for many years. It participated with him in his actions for many years; and it gave him the benefit of the doubt, considerably difficult in his case. This same government is also responsible by omission, because of everything they knew about him, because of all the information they were given, for knowing Posada Carriles’ whereabouts with all the information that the Cuban government had delivered them, plus everything that they know on their own side. The United States is responsible by omission for everything that Luis Posada Carriles has done; of the dead that lie on his conscience, although he claims to sleep peacefully; of the terrorism, the murders, the attacks, the families affected, because there are many families of revolutionaries in Central America and in Venezuela whose loved ones lie on Posada Carriles’ conscience. Not just Cubans, but also citizens from those countries.
All of this is the responsibility of the United States government who should have taken a political decision, a binding decision on every government agency, be it the CIA or the FBI or whomsoever else it may be. This decision was never taken, and if it was never taken that is because this obeys the shady manoeuvrings that we witnessed on May 20th. This is why the normal decisions of any decent person with the most basic sense of human conscience are not taken, why the normal decision before a person such as Luis Posada Carriles is not taken.
Therefore, let me respond to the question posed by this evening’s round table meeting, “who are the real terrorists”, in the case of Luis Posada Carriles. The real terrorists are Luis Posada Carriles and the various U. S. governments that have protected him, that have not arrested him and that are responsible for the dozens, or who knows how many deaths in this hemisphere.
Randy Alonso.- Another demonstration of this complicity Taladrid, is that while Luis Posada Carriles remains in a Panama jail for his latest attempt to assassinate our Commander-in-Chief, the U.S. government is fully aware of the public collections being made on Radio “Martí” for this terrorist; they are also aware of the continued trips by members of that mob to Panama to take Posada money and to seek to secure his release from Panamanian prisons, planning his defense with other terrorists such as Santiago Alvarez from Miami; the U. S. authorities know all of this. I think this also gives a clear demonstration of who are the true terrorists, who sponsor terrorism and who have been committing horrendous crimes against our people for more than four decades.
I would like to thank the panellists and the guests in the studio who have accompanied me in this afternoon’s round table meeting.
A long and sordid list of thousands of criminal, terrorist acts against our country, carried out, financed and tolerated by successive U. S. governments, have been recounted in the statements and testimonies we have heard in our meetings over the last three days.
What a chronicle of terrible wrongs! We have seen images of horror and pain and death planted amongst our people by the terrorism that has caused 3478 deaths and more than 2000 disabled. And there is yet more evidence with which to accuse the true terrorist State: the more than 600 attempts to assassinate our Commander-in-Chief, which professor Fernández will help us to unravel; the deaths provoked by the murderous Law of Cuban Adjustment; the kidnapping of Elián González; the terrorists and torturers of Cuban origin living freely in the United States and the dozens of terrorist attacks perpetrated by the terrorist mob on U. S. soil.
We will be speaking to our people on these themes in Sunday evening’s round table meeting. In the meantime, our people’s fight will continue tomorrow in the Revolution’s Open Tribunal in Sancti Spíritus.
At eight in the morning, we will once again take to the trenches in this Battle of Ideas in a protest against the United States blockade, slander and threats against Cuba, and to condemn all acts of terrorism against our people.
In whatever format the weather permits we will offer a vehement and devastating response to our enemy. It will be an act with a deeply humane, patriotic and revolutionary spirit.
The struggle will go on!