SUMMARY OF THE MAIN TERRORIST ACTIONS AGAINST CUBA
From 1959 on, counterrevolutionary groups created and run by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have carried out numerous terrorist activities which have cost our country valuable lives and vast amounts of resources.
Encouraged by the fall of the socialist camp at the beginning of the 90s, these groups intensified their violent actions against the Cuban people and its leaders from US territory and from other bases of operations in Central America.
Below are listed some of the most important of these actions, which are of public domain.
July 17, 1990. Following lobbying by Florida Republican Congresspersons, Ileana Ross and Connie Mack, U.S. President George H. Bush released from jail well-known terrorist Orlando Bosch, the man chiefly responsible for the October 1976 blasting of a Cuban civil airplane in mid-flight, killing all 73 on board.
October 14, 1990. Two armed terrorists sneaked into Santa Cruz del Norte as part of an action concocted in Miami. They had orders to carry out violent actions. Their weapons and false documents supplied in Miami were confiscated. They also carried literature urging people to join what they called “The Cuban Liberation Army” headed by Higinio Díaz Anne who had given them money and propaganda before they set out.
May 15,1991. José Basulto, an ex-Bay of Pigs mercenary and well-known terrorist and CIA agent founded the so-called “Brothers to the Rescue”. He asked U.S. President George H. Bush for three U.S. Air Force type 0-2 planes, the military version of the Cessna which had been used in the war in El Salvador. Congresswoman Ileana Ross started a public campaign and lobbied until the three planes were obtained. A photo of the planes received by this counterrevolutionary group appeared in the press for the first time with a July 19 article by the publisher of the Miami Herald, who flew with Brothers to the Rescue. The letters USAF (United States Air Force) are clearly visible on the planes.
September 17,1991. Two counterrevolutionaries from Miami infiltrated into Cuba. Their mission was to sabotage tourist shops to spread terror among foreign tourists. Their weapons and a radio transmitter were confiscated.
December 29, 1991. Three terrorists from the so-called Commandos L group in Miami entered Cuba illegally. Their weapons and other war materiel were confiscated. These three had received training with 50 or 60 other men in a camp on 168 Street in Miami.
May 8 1992. Cuba files a complaint with the United Nations about terrorist activities organized against its territory. At Cuba’s request, a June 23, 1989 decision of the U.S. Department of Justice is circulated as an official Security Council document. The decision states that Orlando Bosch is banned from entering the U.S. territory because there is substantial proof concerning his past and present terrorist activities, including the 1976 blasting off of a Cuban civil aviation plane in mid-flight.
Today this individual freely walks the streets of Miami after George H. Bush granted him a presidential pardon.
July 4, 1992. A group of terrorists set out from the United States to attack economic targets along the Havana coastline. Once detected by Cuban patrol boats, they moved to waters off Varadero, where U.S. coastguards rescued them after their boat had a mechanical failure.
The FBI released them after the confiscation of weapons, maps and videos made during their journey.
July 1992. An operation to infiltrate an U.S. based terrorist into Cuba with the mission to sabotage an economic target in Villa Clara province failed. He was carrying the weapons and explosives needed for the job and had the assistance of Brothers to the Rescue who kept him informed about the position of the U.S. coastguard to make it easier for him to reach Cuban territory.
September 9, 1992. The FBI for illegal possession of firearms and violation of the Law of Neutrality arrests a Cuban born terrorist. He is released without charges.
October 7, 1992. An armed attack against the Varadero Meliá Hotel is perpetrated from a vessel manned by four Miami terrorists who were later arrested and questioned by the FBI, then released.
October 19, 1992. Three Miami based counterrevolutionaries entered Cuba illegally with plenty of weapons and military equipment that were confiscated. At the same time, three other terrorists were arrested in the Bahamas with weapons and explosives apparently destined for Cuba, which were also seized from them. These terrorists had left Miami on October 17.
January 1993. Five terrorists on board a vessel armed with heavy machine guns and other weapons were arrested by the U.S. coastguard as they were heading toward the Cuban coastline. They were soon released.
January 7, 1993. At a press conference in Miami, Tony Bryant, leader of the terrorist group “Commandos L” announced plans to carry out more attacks against targets in Cuba, especially hotels. He said: “from now on we are at war with Cuba” and warned foreign tourists to “stay away from Cuba.”
April 2, 1993. The tanker ship “Mikonos” sailing under the Cypriot flag was fired on 7 miles north of Matanzas from a vessel crewed by Cuban born, U.S. based terrorists.
May 18, 1993. A violation of Cuban airspace by a plane registered to “Brothers to the Rescue” with the number N8447.
May 21, 1993. Nine terrorists arrested by the U.S. Customs Service on board a vessel as they prepared to sail for Cuba to launch attacks on that country. Their weapons and explosives were seized. On August 21, Judge Lawrence King dismissed charges against them.
May 1993. “Brothers to the Rescue” planned to blow up a high-tension pylon near San Nicolás de Bari in Havana province.
October 1993. “Brothers to the Rescue” publicly encouraged attempts on the life of President Fidel Castro and violence against Cuba. It also confirmed its readiness to accept “the risks that come with doing this”. Andrés Nazario Sargén, head of terrorist group Alpha 66, makes an announcement in the United States that his organization has recently carried out five operations against Cuba.
October 18, 1993. A terrorist living in the United States is arrested on his arrival in Cuba. His orders were to carry out acts of violence on Cuban soil.
November 7, 1993. Humberto Pérez, spokesperson for Alpha 66, said in a press conference in Miami that their war against Cuba would soon be extended to any tourist visiting the island: “We consider anyone staying in a Cuban hotel to be an enemy ”, he affirmed.
1993. A Cuban citizen visiting the United States is recruited by a terrorist organization to carry out sabotage in Cuba against the tourism and agricultural sectors. He was supplied with some of the materials needed for such actions and was offered the sum of 20,000 US dollars.
March 11, 1994. A terrorist group from Miami fires on the “Guitart Cayo Coco Hotel.”
April 17, 1994. Planes owned by “Brothers to the Rescue” fly at extremely low altitude over Havana and drop smoke bombs. In the following months of 1994 the same group carried out at least seven other similar violations of Cuba’s airspace.
September 4, 1994. Two U.S. based terrorists infiltrated into the area around Caibarién, Villa Clara, with the aim of carrying out sabotage in that province. A number of weapons and large amounts of military equipment were seized.
October 6, 1994. Another armed group fired automatic weapons at the “Guitart Cayo Coco Hotel” from a boat that set out from Florida.
October 15, 1994. A group of armed terrorists coming from the United States landed on the causeway to “Cayo Santa María” near Caibarién, Villa Clara, and murdered comrade Arcelio Rodríguez García.
October 1994. “Brothers to the Rescue” uses one of its planes to train members of a Florida based counterrevolutionary organization to carry out acts of sabotage on the Cienfuegos oil refinery.
In November of that same year, they also planned to make an attempt on the life of President Fidel Castro and other leaders of the Revolution and to smuggle arms and explosives into Cuba.
November 1994. Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and five of his accomplices smuggled weapons into Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, during the IV Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government in order to make an attempt on the life of President Fidel Castro. However, the security belt keeps him at a distance thus thwarting his aim. Posada Carriles later told the New York Times: “I was standing behind some journalists and I saw Castro’s friend, García Márquez, but I could only see Castro from a long way away.”
November 11, 1994. Four terrorists were arrested in Varadero, Matanzas. After sneaking into Cuba, they were relieved of weapons and munitions.
March 2, 1995. Two terrorists from the United States sneaked into the coast near Puerto Padre, Las Tunas. They were carrying 51 pounds of C – 4 explosives and other munitions.
April 4, 1995. A C – 337 light plane violates Cuban airspace north of Havana between Santa Fé and Guanabo beach.
May 20, 1995. The “Guitart Cayo Coco Hotel” was once again attacked by terrorists manning a fast launch coming from the United States.
July 12, 1995. Three terrorists were arrested in the United States as they were preparing to sneak into Cuba using an act of provocation just off the Cuban coast as cover. Despite confiscation of their weapons and explosives, U.S. authorities released them.
July 13, 1995. Organized by “Brothers to the Rescue” eleven vessels, six light planes and two helicopters coming from the United States enter Cuban territorial waters and airspace. One of the light planes flew over the heart of Havana and dropped propaganda material.
December 16, 1995. Two terrorists were arrested in the United States as they readied to sneak into Cuba through Pinar del Río to carry out subversive actions. Despite confiscation of their weapons and explosive, U.S. authorities released them.
January 9, 1996. Two light planes departing from Opa-locka airport in Florida violated Cuban airspace.
January 12, 1996. A Cuban immigrant living in the United States was arrested while trying to transport explosives from the City of Havana to Pinar del Río.
January 13, 1996. Several “Brothers to the Rescue” planes violated Cuban airspace over the City of Havana. Later, terrorist Basulto said: “They say I was flying over Cuban airspace, something everybody knows and which I have never denied.”
January 23, 1996. U.S. authorities intercepted a vessel in Marathon Key with five armed terrorists on board. It was headed for Cuba. The FBI released the five that same day.
February 11, 1996. After firing on our coastline, a vessel coming from the United States carrying three terrorists was captured by the Cuban a cost guard patrol.
February 24, 1996. “Brothers to the Rescue” launched a new foray. Three light planes violated Cuban airspace over the heart of Havana and two of them were shot down. In the 20 months prior to this incident there had been at least 25 other violations of Cuban airspace.
June 26, 1996. At a session of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Chairman of the Investigating Committee acknowledges that at least one of the “Brothers to the Rescue” planes in Opa-locka airport still has the insignia of the U.S. Air Force on it: “the ‘F’ is a little pale, it looks as if it is beginning to fade, but you can still see it”.
August 21, 1996. An U.S. citizen is arrested in Cuba. He had clandestinely brought military equipment into the country and was planning to carry out terrorist actions on Cuban soil.
September 16, 1996. A person is arrested who was sneaking into Cuba through Punta Alegre, Ciego de Ávila, on a boat carrying weapons and a great deal of military equipment.
21 October 1996. An SS-RR light plane, registration number N3093M owned by the U.S. State Department sprays a substance containing the pest “Thrip Palmi Karny” as it flies over the “Girón” international corridor about 25-30 kilometers south of Varadero.
November 1996. Miami television channel 23 carried a live interview with Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch where they stressed their intentions of continuing with their terrorist activities against Cuba.
April 12, 1997. An explosive device was detonated in the “Meliá Cohíba” Hotel in the City of Havana.
April 30, 1997. Discovery of an explosive device in the “Meliá Cohíba” Hotel.
July 12, 1997. Bombs blasted in the “Capri” and “National” hotels.
August 4, 1997. Another bomb exploded in the “Meliá Cohíba” Hotel.
August 11, 1997. The Miami press published a statement from the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) giving unconditional support to the terrorist bomb attacks against civilian and tourist targets in Cuba. The chairman of this organization claimed: “We do not think of these as terrorist actions” and went on to say that any action against Cuba was legitimate.
August 22, 1997. Bomb exploded in the “Sol Palmeras” Hotel in Varadero.
September 4, 1997. Several bombs exploded in the “Tritón”, “Chateau Miramar” and “Copacabana” hotels. The explosion in the latter killed young Italian tourist Fabio Di Celmo. On that same day another bomb exploded at “La Bodeguita del Medio “ restaurant.
September 10, 1997. The Cuban Government announced the arrest of Salvadoran national Raúl Cruz León, the person responsible of placing six of the bombs that exploded in various hotels in the Cuban capital, including the one that killed Italian tourist Fabio Di Celmo. Cruz León admitted that he had been paid 4,500 US dollars for each bomb.
October 19, 1997. An explosive device was found in a tourist van.
October 27, 1997. The U.S. Coastguard arrested a vessel West of Puerto Rico. They confiscated 2 high velocity rifles .50 caliber with their tripods, night vision gear, and military uniforms and communications equipment. These sophisticated weapons, strictly military in nature, are designed for long-range attacks on vehicles and aircraft. One of those on the vessel said that his aim was to assassinate President Fidel Castro when he arrived on Margarita Island, Venezuela, on November 7, 1997 to attend the Ibero-American Summit.
U.S. authorities found that the vessel was registered by a Florida company whose chief executive officer, manager, secretary and treasurer is José Antonio Llama, a director of the CANF and a Bay of Pigs mercenary.
One of the guns was registered in the name of José Francisco “Pepe” Hernández, CANF co-chairman. A member of Brigade 2506 had bought the other in 1994.
The four crew members on the vessel were identified as: a well-known CIA agent; the captain of a CIA boat used by Florida infiltration teams sneaking into Cuba; the chairman of a New Jersey counterrevolutionary group and a member of Alpha 66.
Despite their confessions and clear proof of the illegal possession of arms, false testimony and arms smuggling, these terrorists were acquitted by a Federal court of law in December 1999 after a rigged trial.
October 30, 1997. Discovery of an explosive device in a kiosk outside terminal 2 at the “José Martí” International Airport in the City of Havana. Two men originally from El Salvador and three originally from Guatemala would later be arrested for crimes against tourist facilities. They all were linked with terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.
November 16, 1997. Following a two months investigation, a Florida newspaper reported that the series of bomb explosions in Havana were bankrolled and directed by Miami anti-Cuban groups and that Luis Posada Carriles, a fugitive from justice for having blown up a Cuban plane in 1976, was at the heart of the operation.
May 1998. Two terrorists sneaked into Santa Lucía, Pinar del Río. They had set out from the United States with a great deal of weapons and war materiel.
June 16, 1998. After several meetings in which the Cuban Government gave information to the FBI and other U.S. Government agencies about terrorist activities concocted in the United States against Cuba, an official U.S. delegation traveled to Havana including two of FBI top brass, which was given precise details, even films, recordings and other material evidence on the activities of 40 terrorists who operated out of the United States.
July 12, 1998. An article in The New York Times for this date published statements by Cuban American Antonio Jorge Alvarez concerning the fact that the FBI had not investigated information he had volunteered related to an attempt on the life of President Fidel Castro that was being planned for the Ibero-American Summit in Venezuela. Alvarez claimed that the previous year he had provided information that Posada Carriles, and a group working in his factory in Guatemala, were preparing this attempt and the bomb explosions in Havana: “I risked my business and my life and they did nothing,” he said.
July 12 and 13, 1998. In an interview with The New York Times, Luis Posada Carriles admitted to having organized the bomb campaign against Cuban tourist centers. He also acknowledged that the leaders of the CANF had bankrolled his operations and that its chairman Jorge Mas Canosa was personally in charge of overseeing the flow of funds and logistic support to those operations: “Jorge Mas Canosa controlled everything, whenever I needed money he would say that he would give me 5 0000, 10 000, even 15 000 and he did.”
Posada also admitted to having paid Raúl Cruz León for placing the bombs in Havana hotels. Referring to the Italian tourist killed by one of those bombs, he told the Times: “… he was sitting in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
In compiling these reports, the Times used CIA and FBI files, testimony from more than 100 people and more than 13 hours of recorded interviews with Posada Carriles and even documents signed by him.
July 23, 1998. The Miami press published an article entitled “In the United States anti-Castro plots rarely lead to jail”. The article mentions several cases, such as the 1990 acquittal of 6 terrorists who took guns and other weapons to Nicaragua for an attempt on the life of the Cuban President. It also mentions the Rodolfo Frómeta and Fausto Marimóm’s 1994 acquittals of charges of planning to use Stinger antiaircraft missiles and other weapons in terrorist attacks. The article quotes statements too from well-known terrorist Tony Bryant who said that in 1989 the FBI stopped him in a boat loaded with weapons and explosives and they let him go. He added that he had been intercepted in two of his 14 missions against Cuba, but they never did anything to him.
August 2, 1998. Posada Carriles, in an interview for the program Opposing Points of View for CBS news, said that he intended to launch more attacks on Cuban facilities, either inside or outside the island.
August 1998. Even before President Fidel Castro’s announcement that he would attend the Summit of Heads of State and Government of CARIFORUM in the Dominican Republic, several Cuban born terrorists had planned an attempt on his life to be carried out some time between August 20 and 25.
To that end, terrorist Posada Carriles arranged a meeting in the Guatemala City Holiday Inn Hotel one month before the summit to plan how to get weapons and explosives into Santo Domingo.
September 12 1998. Five Cuban patriots were arrested in Miami who were defending both Cuban and U.S. citizens from the terrorist actions which, with total impunity, are organized, prepared and launched against Cuba from the United States territory.
November 17, 2000. A group of terrorists headed by Posada Carriles was arrested in Panama. They had entered Panama with false documents to make an attempt on the life of President Fidel Castro during the X Ibero American Summit of Heads of State and Government. Their weapons, explosives and a sketch of Castro’s route and public meetings were seized from them. The Cuban American National Foundation is paying for the team of lawyers defending the terrorists.
April 26, 2001. Three terrorists of the Commandos Groups F-45 and Alpha 66 tried to land on the north coast of Villa Clara province and, after firing shots at Cuban coastguard troops who had spotted them, were taken prisoner. Four AKM rifles, one M-3 rifle with a silencer, 3 hand guns, a great deal of materiel, night vision equipment and communications equipment were confiscated to them, all of which they intended to use to carry out sabotage and terrorist actions on Cuban soil.
In addition to the plots listed above, our authorities learned of 16 other plots to assassinate the President of Cuba, 8 plots to try to kill other leaders of the Revolution and 140 other terrorist plots hatched between 1990 and 2001. These were foiled, discouraged or prevented by the work of the Cuban Security and Intelligence Services.