[Marxism] Fidel Castro: Miami Right-Wing Torpedoed US/Cuba Anti-Terrorism Accord to Arrest Cuban 5

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat May 21 00:32:57 MDT 2005


(This is Radio Havana Cuba's summary of Fidel Castro's
two-hour speech tonight in which he discussed efforts by
the US and Cuban government to stop terrorist attacks on
Cuba, and the consequences of those efforts being thwarded
by  the Cuban-American right-wing in Miami. The discussion
here is related to the documents recently released about
Posada by the National Security Archives in Washington:
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB153/index.htm )
========================================================

Late News Update from Radio Havana Cuba
May 20, 2005
http://www.radiohc.cu

Fidel Castro:  Miami Right-Wing Torpedoed 
US/Cuba Anti-Terrorism Accord to Arrest Cuban 5

Havana, May 20 (RHC-Late Bulletin)--More than 200,000 Cubans gathered
before the US Interests Section here in Havana on Friday night to hear
Fidel Castro reveal how the right-wing in Miami torpedoed a possible
anti-terrorism accord between Havana and Washington.

On April 12 1997, read the Cuban leader, a bomb exploded in a Havana
disco - it was the first of a series of bombs planted across the city
in tourist installations in a campaign masterminded by international
terrorist Luís Posada Carriles and financed in the main by the Cuban
American National Foundation in Miami. Posada Carriles was recently
arrested by US authorities after being forced by a Cuba-led campaign
to acknowledge his illegal presence on US soil. He is also wanted in
Cuba and Venezuela for planning the bombing of a Cuban airliner in
1976.

On October 1, 1997, continued Fidel Castro, a call was made by the US
Interests Section to the Cuban Foreign Ministry warning it of
intelligence received that a bomb may explode that day in the capital.
On May 7, 1998 the US Interests Section once again warned Havana that
a group of Cuban exiles were planning a bombing at an unknown location
on the island. US intelligence was accurate, as two people were soon
afterwards arrested by Cuban authorities in possession of explosives.

Following this help from the US, Cuba expressed its desire to exchange
information at every opportunity with Washington to avoid further
terrorist attacks. To this end the Cuban president wrote a note to
then US President Bill Clinton describing plans to bomb airliners
operating between both their countries that Cuban intelligence had
discovered. For confidentiality, Fidel Castro gave the note to the
Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez to deliver personally to Bill
Clinton. The note was written in the form of a synthesis of a
conversation between the writer and the Cuban leader to relieve the US
president of any need to give a reply.

On May 1, 1998, Garcia Marquez was unable to meet with Bill Clinton as
planned and was received instead by Sandy Berger, National Security
Advisor. At that initial meeting Garcia Marquez chose not to hand over
the message from Fidel Castro preferring to wait to see if he could
meet with Clinton himself.

After a number of days of attempting to meet with Clinton who was not
in Washington, Garcia Marquez eventually handed over the message to
Clinton Chief of Staff Mack McLarty at the White House. McLarty was
accompanied by Richard Clarke, head of counter-terrorism in the
National Security Council, and James Dobbins, head of the State
Department Cuba Desk.

After reading the note, McLarty commented that both nations had common
enemies. He then passed it over to Dobbins. Garcia Marquez then
suggested the FBI contact the Cuban authorities and agree to a
strategy to fight such terrorism. This cooperation between both
countries could lead to improved relations on other levels he felt. At
no time did the US officials broach the usual conditions that
Washington normally sought to impose on Cuba. On the contrary, added
the Colombian writer, they looked forward to an agreement between both
nations in the fight against terrorism.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez said the meeting lasted 50 minutes and the US
officials expressed their gratitude for the warnings enclosed in the
message from Fidel Castro. The writer felt the meeting had been very
successful and left convinced the message would reach the hands of the
US president.

Subsequently, Michael Kozak, the head of the US Interests Section in
Havana, wrote to the Foreign Ministry and to Ricardo Alarcón,
president of the Cuban Parliament, about the attacks on Cuban tourism.
He said the US government was disposed to analyze any information that
Cuba sought to provide to the US to evaluate and to act upon to
prevent further such bombings. The US government is concerned about
these terrorist acts and is ready to help Cuba fight international
terrorism, he said. The US government asks Cuba to share information
to help it carry out this fight.

Michael Kozak contacted Ricardo Alarcón about the arrival of an FBI
team in Cuba to investigate the terrorism emanating from groups in the
US. An agreement was reached that the FBI team could go to Havana as
of July 15th to give Cuba time to prepare information and material.
Alarcón was specific in insisting to Kozak that Cuba didn't seek to
just warn the airlines of the bombing plans, but wanted to take other
measures. Nobody can guarantee discretion, indicated Alarcón, and any
breach of security could damage an investigation and cause panic which
would damage the Cuban tourism industry and thus the economy, which
was precisely what the terrorist groups sought to do.

Fidel Castro said that Cuba at that time had no reason to believe that
the exchange with the United States was anything but serious and
legitimate.

When the FBI team arrived in Cuba on July 16, 1998 it was provided
with data on where Luís Posada Carriles could be found; information on
eight Cuban-American terrorists detained in Cuba; 14 recorded
conversations of Luís Posada Carriles planning acts against Cuba; the
license plates of cars used by terrorists such as Posada Carriles in
El Salvador and elsewhere in the region; 60 files on anti-Cuba
terrorists including their whereabouts - most of whom were to be found
in Miami; three different types of explosive devices discovered by
Cuban authorities; and five video cassettes of the Guatemalans who had
been found guilty of some of the hotel bombings in 1997.

A month went by, said Fidel Castro, then another month, and no answer.
Almost three months went by without the promised response from the US.
Then, on September 12, 1998 five Cubans who had provided much of the
information given to the FBI were arrested in Miami. One of them had
been given the mission of following the activities of Orlando Bosch -
Posada Carriles' co-conspirator in the bombing of the Cuban airliner
in 1976.

The head of the FBI in Miami, Hector Pesquera, was the person
principally responsible for the rupture of these new agreements
between Cuba and the United States, declared the Cuban president. He
had close friendships with members of the Cuban-American right wing in
Miami. Pressured by the extreme right-wing Cuban-American community in
Miami, the FBI determined to torpedo the new exchange on
anti-terrorism between Havana and Washington.

On October 19, 1998, Fidel Castro said that he told Lucia Newman of
CNN in Oporto, Portugal, that Cuba had always been ready to cooperate
in the fight against terrorism. He told her that with the arrest of
the five Cubans (known now as the Cuban Five who were treated as spies
and who received brutally long sentences for protecting Cuba against
terrorism) Washington ran the risk of allowing extremists such as
those in Miami to continue to function on US soil. We have attempted
to communicate the methods used by these terrorists against our
nation, the Cuban leader told CNN, we consider this to be very
important as the US is very vulnerable to terrorist attack.

The Cuban leader then ended by noting that no fewer than 14 of the 19
terrorists who participated in the September 11 attacks were located
in the area for which Hector Pesquera was responsible in Florida. If
our offer of cooperation had been followed, ended Fidel Castro, the
terrorist plans of September 11 might have been discovered by our
combined intelligence services.





More information about the Marxism mailing list