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Hurricane Paula Report #2 Print E-mail

Hola everyone:

Thought you'd like to get an update on Hurricane Paula, or, as Jose Rubiera - Cuba's chief meteorologist par excellence called it - "el pigmeo" (the pygmy) because it's such a small hurricane.

As of midnight tonight (Wednesday), the most recent information we have is the following:

Paula is now a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale of 1-5, with sustained winds of 130 kph and Central Pressure of 993. At midnight, it was 45 km from the most western tip of Cabo San Antonio in Pinar del Sur. But because it's so small, with an eye that's only some 14 km in diameter and hurricane winds that aren't even reaching Cabo San Antonio yet and tropical storm winds that only go about 90+ km from the eye - well, that's why it's "el pigmeo".

In other words, although the rains will probably be intense in some local areas and sustained in others, it's anticipated that what it will mainly bring to Cuba - and especially to Pinar del Rio - is rain. But even its rains are lessening.

However, the strong winds coming down from the immediate north of Cuba are continuing to push it a bit more south. The most recent map I have from the Instituto Meterologico is from 6pm, which you'll find in the attachment. Push the line from about mid-northern Pinar del Rio further south, and you'll get an idea of what the midnight map looked like.

In other words, by the time "el pigmeo" reaches the city of Havana, it might well be only a tropical depression or even a low pressure area.

And it's moving slowly - only 6 kph. So the anticipation is that it might well take a full day to go from western Pinar del Rio to eastern Pinar del Rio. Meanwhile, both Pinar del Rio and Isla de la Juventud remain in "Alarma", while the two Habanas (province and city, albeit names have changed for Provincia Habana) and Matanzas are in "Alerta" and the rest of the provinces up to Santa Clara are in "Informativa".

Between 4-5am today (Thursday), it's anticipated that a special "hurricane aircraft" will fly into Paula to get more up-to-date information. Unless "el pigmeo" suddenly becomes "el gigante" (the giant), this will be my "ultimo aviso" (last notice), as they say on the official hurricane announcements once the danger has passed and no more notices are being given.

As I mentioned earlier today, if Paula brings rains and no damages, it'll be very welcome indeed!

Abrazotes para tod@s de Susana


Time for U.S. to Lift the Cuban Embargo Print E-mail

Zhang Xiang, Editor, China Daily, September 21, 2010

At a conference call last week, Julia Sweig, an expert on Latin America at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic Monthly, talked about their lengthy meeting in Havana with legendary Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Goldberg's article, entitled "Fidel: Cuban model doesn't work for us anymore," made headlines and also took a lot of heat after Castro said he was misinterpreted.

It might be worthwhile to find out whether the Cuban model works or not. But a much more critical issue is why the United States continues its 50-year embargo on Cuba, an embargo that hurt millions of Cubans and an embargo that has not worked for US leaders and its people.

Or is this embargo even human?

The answer is "no." The embargo on the island nation, only 144 km from Key West in Florida, has brought enormous hardship to the Cuban economy, society and its people. It has denied the 11 million Cubans of the opportunities to grow their country. It has taken away the necessary supply of food, clean water and medication from ordinary Cubans, women and children included. The embargo has not facilitated, but hindered economic growth in Cuba.

The US tries to justify its embargo as a punishment for the Cuban government. However, the appalling collateral damage inflicted upon the Cuban people can hardly be justified. It would be no exaggeration to call the embargo a humanitarian disaster.

The US has few allies on this issue. Every year since 1992, the UN General Assembly, which is meeting in New York this week, has condemned the US embargo as a violation of international law. Last year, 187 countries supported the vote. Only Israel and Palau backed the US.

Within the US, the call for lifting the embargo has also been growing stronger. Former US secretary of state George Shultz has called the continued embargo "insane."

Still, few Americans seem to think that the embargo is a violation of human rights or international law. US experts who advocate the lifting of the embargo would not describe the sanction as inhuman either.

But given the many protests on a host of issues these days, from immigration to war in Afghanistan, it is surprising not to see mass rallies calling for an end to this absurd Cuban policy.

The secret to the policy is a dirty but open one, since both US political parties have long been hijacked by votes from Cuban Americans in Florida, an important state during US presidential elections. It simply exemplifies how domestic election politics can ruin another country and the lives of its millions of people.

As a Chinese national, I was also not immune to the problems from the embargo. I was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 2004 and I had to give up my planned trip to Cuba since US rules would not allow a J-visa holder to re-enter the US from Cuba.

At that time, the punishment for American citizens was even harsher. Travel to Cuba was totally banned. Violators would be prosecuted. But several of my journalist friends still managed to go to Cuba via Mexico and Canada. The Cuban government would understandably not stamp their passports.

That was under George W. Bush, when US policy on Cuba was among the toughest in history.

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised more engagement with adversaries including Cuba. Last year, Obama eased the restrictions on Cuban Americans to travel and send money to Cuba. The travel ban on all Americans is also expected to be lifted.

Still, this is not the great step forward that people expect from Obama over the issue. He has to show more guts to correct a decades-old policy disaster that has hurt not only Cubans but also US reputation worldwide. Obama should end the embargo completely and immediately.

As for US domestic politics, the timing for ending the embargo is also better than ever. More Cuban Americans now support lifting the embargo. Cuba has also recently released a group of "political" prisoners and announced economic reform.

For 50 years, Americans have been expecting dramatic change in Cuba. That has never happened. What they should really hope and pray now is a dramatic change in the US Cuban policy.

If Obama is a president for change, he should have heard the outcry.

Mr Obama, lift this embargo.


Hurricane Paula Report #1 Print E-mail

Hola tod@s - 

I was just about to sit down and write a little report on Hurricane Paula, when the following article came in which provides such a good summary, that now I only have to make a few updated comments. 

Hurricane Paula is the 18th Tropical Depression, 15th Tropical Storm and 9th Hurricane - assuming that I have my numbers right - of the present Hurricane Season. It is also going to be the first one to hit Cuba. At the moment, it's hitting the western part of Pinar del Rio as a Category 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 160 kph, a Central Pressure of 984 and moving northeast quite slowly, 15 kph. As of 9am this morning, Pinar del Rio Province and Isla de la Juventud are on "Alarma", meaning the phenomenon is upon them. From Provincia Habana, Ciudad de La Habana and all the west east to Santa Clara, we're in "Fase Informativa", the first of three stages of hurricane preparedness. 

Hurricane Paula has some important features which will greatly influence how it affects Cuba: 

1) It is a very small hurricane, with hurricane-force winds only reaching some 34 km from the eye and tropical storm winds only reaching between 90-100 km from the eye. 

2) In the attached image, produced at 5am this morning, you'll notice that it's curving strongly to the northeast. This is because of the strong winds to the north that are pushing it down. These winds may also weaken it a bit. 

3) Depending on how strong the winds are, it may go a bit more north through Straits of Florida, in which case we'll only get rains - heavy or lighter, depending on its distance from our coast. But if the winds to the north of it remain strong, Paula will curve more towards Cuban land, and then we could get either a hurricane or Tropical Storm going all along the northern coast from Pinar del Rio to Santa Clara. It's still a bit too early to tell, but by the end of the day we should have a better idea. 

4) Cuba needs the rains! And especially Havana which is low on water and having serious drought problems in some parts of the city. As you know, our rivers are in the sky, and without rain, they don't do us any good. 

5) At the moment, here in Havana the sky has been overcast all day, with a feeling of rain but still nothing falling. In the meantime, this morning I cleaned out all the drains on the rooftop as well as all the drains in the entrance to the garage and inside the garage. Others have done the same. 

6) My kitties are good barometers of the weather. Normally the two oldest - Mariposita and Luisito - spend the day sleeping outside. But today, all four are inside the house - possibly because they already sense subtle changes in atmospheric pressure and feel safer inside. When the change is quite dramatic, Mariposita goes outside onto the veranda, sits down, and spends hours - still as a statue - looking up at the sky until it starts raining or the wind gets too strong. 

I'll keep you informed of developments, but in the meantime you may want to keep your eyes on Hurricane Paula as it passes either on Cuban land or in Cuban coastal waters. 

Abrazotes y besotes para tod@s de Susana

Continuation of Terrorist Plans from the U.S. Print E-mail

Cuba Debate, October 7, 2010

As news was published that Luis Posada Carriles and various extremist organizations based in the US intend to carry on their plans of violent and paramilitary actions against Cuba, international terrorist Francisco Antonio Chávez Abarca was arrested in Venezuela last July 1st. He is one of the main links of the Central American connection employed in violent actions against Cuba by the notorious criminal, the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) and some of its former members that currently make up the Council for the Liberation of Cuba (CLC).

Posada Carriles, a fugitive of the Venezuelan legal system, remains active and devising anti-Cuban schemes inside and out of the US territory, collecting debts and favors from politicians, officials and local or Central American agents as if he did not remember, mind or care about the hearing to set the date of the trial -or mock trial-he should face early next year, under a minor migratory charge.

Cuba, that has never permitted -and never will-the use of its territory for planning, funding or executing terrorist actions against any other state, has watched for over five decades how its neighbor to the North, and particularly Miami city, has provided safe haven to notorious terrorists, from before and after the triumph of the Revolution; funds are raised and provided, and bank accounts operated to finance their actions and those who sponsor, plan and carry out criminal actions against our country, many of them formerly or currently in the CIA and FBI payrolls, are allowed to use the territory.

Is terrorism no longer fashionable?

Chávez Abarca admits that as of September 2005, there have been plans to murder the Venezuelan President.

As a “guest of honor” of the terrorist organization Alpha ‘66 Annual Congress, held on February 27-28, 2010, Posada proposed to take up the plans of violent and paramilitary actions against Cuba.

Although the leaders of the group indicated that as part of a strategy they should pretend to transform into a political, civilian and peaceful party, they have ratified that terrorism is their main line of action and instrument to destroy the Revolution. Likewise, they recommended raising funds for purchasing new boats and equipping them with machine guns either to land in Cuba or to attack our coasts.

Coincidentally, on March 22, a few days after that congress, the residence of the Cuban ambassador in Guatemala was attacked with explosive bullets shot with grenade launchers causing material damages.

In this context, Congressman Lincoln Díaz-Balart makes news again. He is the number one cheerleader of the worst actions against our people, from the promotion in Capitol Hill of a military aggression on Cuba and the assassination of the Commander in Chief, to the kidnapping of the child Elián González or the encouragement of hunger strikes as a method of struggle of the mercenaries.

About to relinquish his legislative position, Díaz-Balart re-launched at the end of May 2010 the terrorist organization known as La Rosa Blanca, created by his father a few days after the revolutionary victory, and of which he now claims to be President, with the objective of becoming the main boss of the Miami Mafia.

La Rosa Blanca was the first counterrevolutionary organization established in the US by henchmen of Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship who fled Cuba running away from their abuses and crimes. As of 1959, it bonded with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Dominican dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo to organize an uprising in the Escambray Mountains. It is remembered for burning down schools, farmers’ houses, sugarcane fields and textile factories wounding and maiming a number of people and causing large economic damage.

Why is a US Congressman reactivating such an organization in the 21st century? What for?

Díaz-Balart’s new chicanery can’t obscure his intention to receive and channel part of the funds worth millions allocated by the US government for subversion, a booty they all want seize, including other notorious terrorists like Roberto Martín Pérez and his fellow descendants of torturers under Batista’s dictatorship who also took part in the re-founding of La Rosa Blanca.

His colleague Ileana Ros-Lethinen, who won the nickname of ‘the Ferocious She-Wolf’ for her shameful role in the kidnapping of Elián González, is accountable for having done more than anyone else during her 1988 political campaign for the release of Orlando Bosch, a close friend of Enrique Ros, the legislator’s father. Bosch and Posada Carriles were the masterminds behind the action against a Cuban airliner that took the lives of 73 people.

In 1991, under the Administration of George Bush, senior, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lethinen interceded with the President to have three US Air Force type 0-2 planes –the military version of the Cessna used in exploration missions-delivered to the Brothers to the Rescue group headed by José Basulto, a Playa Giron ex-mercenary, a terrorist and CIA agent. On July 19, 1992, as the air operations started, the press for the first time published pictures of the aircraft handed over to that counterrevolutionary group, with the USAF (US Air Force) insignia clearly visible in a report by the editor of the Miami Herald, who made a flight with them.

Incited by members of Congress Ileana Ros and Lincoln Díaz-Balart as well as by other counterrevolutionary organizations in Miami, Brothers to the Rescue staged provocations on Cuban territory to damage the favorable process of talks initiated by the United States and Cuba after the Migratory Accords of 1994 and 1995.

Sponsored by the Miami Mafia, this counterrevolutionary group concentrated every effort in provoking an incident and violated Cuban airspace 25 times in 20 months, including flights over Havana City dropping various objects and leading to the events of February 24, 1996 and the downing of the aircraft.

Again, this provocation strained the Cuban-American relations and encouraged the adoption of the Helms-Burton Act, whose content makes it more difficult to find solutions in the future to the two countries feud, as it turned into law all of the measures related to the US economic, commercial and financial blockade.

In 2008, Ileana Ros headed another effort, this time for the presidential pardon of terrorist Eduardo Arocena, the intellectual author of the murder of United Nations Cuban diplomat Felix García Rodríguez in 1980 and the bomb blasts in US public places. More recently, Ros-Lethinen has played a major role raising funds to pay for Posada Carriles defense attorneys.

“The CANF goals are my own,” she said. This was her early commitment in 1989 with the terrorist organization that put up her candidacy and used all of its economic and political power to ensure her a seat in the US Congress. “I approve the possibility of someone murdering Fidel Castro,” she said to a British BBC documentary maker in March 2006, while she sat peacefully in her Washington office.

Various analysts have addressed the concern and expectations in the US arising from the arrest of Chávez Abarca, particularly among members of Congress and officials whose political careers are very closely linked to Posada, the CIA and CANF. There are rumors that some of the most anxious are anti-Cuban New Jersey Congressmen Bob Menéndez and Albio Sires. The former has usually sponsored terrorists, from the days when his “adviser” for the community was Alfredo Chumaceiro Anillo who, on July 24, 1976, tried to blow up the Lincoln Center Theater during the performance of a troupe of Cuban artists.

Menéndez was a close friend and son-in-law of the late CANF director Arnaldo Monzón Plasencia, who not only made donations to his election campaigns but also contributed $25,000 to partly pay for the terrorist actions of 1997. His personal assistant for the planning and murder of said Cuban diplomat was José Manuel Alvarez, a.k.a. “The Bear.” Others involved in that assassination were the convict Arocena, ex chieftain of Omega 7, and hired assassin Pedro Remón Rodríguez who shot our official. This crime, as many others, is still unpunished.

Another revealing link is attorney Guillermo Hernández, one of the most active among Menéndez’s consultants. He is now acting as an independent council to Posada Carriles to prevent his extradition to Venezuela and to help him face other charges that might be brought against him.

One of Congressman Albio Sires’ closest staff is Angel Manuel Alfonso Alemán, a.k.a. “La Cota”, a member of the terrorist commando detained in Puerto Rico in 1997 on board a CANF vessel on its way to Margarita Island, Venezuela, with the intention of murdering Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, with high power rifles, during the 7th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State. Alfonso Alemán is one of his main contacts with Posada Carriles and the Miami Mafia.

It doesn’t come as a surprise either that the notorious Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), which for a long time sponsored a great number of terrorist groups bent on damaging our interests, both inside and outside of the national territory, is now offering the public -just like the others- an image of moderation, while it funds and supplies resources for the provocative actions of the so-called “Ladies in White” and tries to promote domestic discontent, which they pay for with their own money and that allocated by US entities.

Targeting the Venezuelan elections

If terrorism was no longer fashionable, what was the purpose of Chávez Abarca’s trip to Venezuela? What was he doing during his suspicious movements around Central America? Who are behind his actions? What have the US officials done to prevent them from bringing their terrorist plans to fruition in Miami, El Salvador, Guatemala or Cuba? How effective were the measures adopted by the previous Salvadoran government to restrain their freedom to kill?

The detainee has already admitted the destabilizing plans he would have carried out in that sister nation, attempting to kill leaders of the Bolivarian process or hurt their image in light of the forthcoming elections on September 26. Chávez Abarca has said that it was his purpose “to burn tires, promote street disturbances, and attack a political party to blame the other.”

He has revealed that one of the most important of Posada Carriles current plans is to try to sink ships taking oil from Venezuela to Havana. He also said that CANF has destined nearly $100 million to plans against Venezuela, as it feels that the South American country is the “financial backbone” of Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia and Guatemala.

According to his statements, at the end of September 2005 they had plans to murder President Hugo Chávez. To that end, Posada instructed to use a .50 Barret rifle.

Ever since that mercenary left prison on September 2007, after serving a sentence for trafficking in stolen cars, he started working in coordination with Posada to act violently against Cuba and other ALBA nations, including attempts on the life of President Chávez in exchange for money.

At the time of his detention, and in order to ensure such objectives, he had instructions from his bosses in Florida to undertake intelligence actions in Venezuelan territory leading to the creation of the necessary logistics to implement covert operations.

This mercenary, who has operated with Posada’s support, had taken refuge in Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador.

During the preliminary investigation into the case, the detainee has admitted that he was recruited as a mercenary and trained by Posada Carriles himself, who gave him firsthand instructions and paid $2,000 for every bomb blast in Cuba. He received the instructions during meetings in hotels and other places in El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala where he met the terrorists of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) Arnaldo Monzón Plasencia, Pedro Remón Rodríguez, Guillermo Novo Sampol and Gaspar Jiménez Escobedo. “All of them clearly said that they belong to the Foundation and that Posada is a member of CANF in Miami,” said Chávez Abarca.

With the acquiescence of CIA and friendly presidents

He added that Posada boasted of asking for CIA consent every time he was to carry out one of his violent actions against Cuba, and that on one occasion he had said that the man who had interrupted the conversation was a CIA officer, his handler, who had called him on the phone. He also said that it was easy for him to evade the very few inquiries into his actions conducted by the FBI and the State Intelligence Office in El Salvador.

As to Posada’s personal connections in El Salvador, he said that he had excellent relations with almost every rightwing president before the current government. He mentioned Calderón Sol, Cristiani and Francisco Flores, with whom he used to go fishing. He also mentioned his friend Rodrigo Avila who was police Commissioner twice. “They all visited the Foundation people in Miami,” he added.

Chávez Abarca related that in 1997, when the Cuban TV broadcast a program showing Salvadoran terrorist Raúl Ernesto Cruz León exposing his connection to Posada Carriles and CANF, the former instructed him to kill the members of the man’s family; thus he now fears for the fate of his wife and children.

Chávez Abarca not only recruited and trained other Central American mercenaries previously arrested in Cuba -one Salvadoran and three Guatemalans-but he also set up bombs at the Aché disco and in the 15thfloor of the Meliá Cohíba hotel, on April 12 and 30, 1997, respectively, and another one at the Comodoro hotel, as an International Chess Tournament was taking place with over 40 children. Some of these children could have been killed as they unknowingly played with the bag where the explosive device was camouflaged.

The bomb detected on the eve of May 1st, 1997, in the 15th floor of the Meliá Cohíba hotel contained 1.5 kilograms of the highly-destructive military plastic explosive C-4, capable of razing buildings, bridges and vessels.

In that period, the terrorist ring led by Posada Carriles and the CANF brought into the country over 30 explosive devices -18 of them in less than a year-11 of which blew up in various tourist facilities, including the one that caused the death of young Italian tourist Fabio Di Celmo, injuries to others and large material damage.

Still, there could have been thousands of fatalities if they had materialized plans on usually crowded recreational and tourist centers like the Tropicana cabaret, discothèques, hotels and monuments, all of them frustrated by the Cuban Sate Security with the people’s collaboration.

The CANF and those that from the US government incited and permitted this kind of actions had some obvious objectives: to build the perception that these actions had been executed by domestic opposition groups; to trigger panic and instability; to deal a strong blow to tourism; and, to make the national economy succumb to chaos.

Between 1990 and the first years of the current decade, coinciding with these violent actions, the Miami Mafia implemented more than 25 terrorist actions in the US territory, which included bomb blasts, aggressions with fire weapons, verbal threats and provocations against Cuban interests, immigrants, travel agencies, personalities and organizations supportive of Cuba, and even death threats against President William Clinton and his Secretary of Justice Janet Reno for their decision to return the child Elián González.

Additionally, throughout this decade we had to tackle plans to assassinate the Commander in Chief in practically every Ibero-American Summit held in various capitals and during his travels overseas, as proven by Posada’s and his henchmen’s capture in fraganti in Panama, where in order to murder him they were willing to cause a genocide killing hundreds of university students and other participants in a function chaired by comrade Fidel.

Have such intentions left the minds of Posada Carriles and the bitter enemies of the Revolution that still hold seats in the US Congress? Will the current US Administration be able to curb the impetus and ambitions of the freeloaders and re-founders of old murderous organizations in the US territory? Will the complex US legal system ever put an end to the impunity of Miami, already in its 51st year, and do justice in the case of our Five Heroes who have spent more than 12 years enduring a cruel imprisonment?

Will there be an end to the reproduction of mercenaries when the threat of the coups is a reality in the region as tangible as weapon-trafficking, drug-trafficking and the proliferation of all sorts of gangs?

Although unjustly and inexplicably included in the list of state sponsors of terrorism, Cuba has given plenty of evidence to the US that it fights that scourge seriously and steadily. Despite the state terrorism that has been Washington’s official policy through five decades, there have been valuable bilateral exchanges of information on this issue, from the Cuban alert on a plan to murder President Ronald Reagan in 1984 to Posada Carriles’ intentions to revisit in 1998 an action similar to the Barbados crime, this time against airlines operating between Central America and Cuba.

At that time, June 16-17, 1998, talks were held with an FBI delegation which visited Havana and its airport facilities, received firsthand information of the documents available on plans, evidence, and personal information on the terrorists; their exact addresses and connections in the US and Central America; theirmodus operandi and false names used in their immigration documents; the places where they hid the boats for their actions; explosives and devices seized or the remains of those that exploded.

Impunity and injustice as a response

The US delegation took back home almost ten dossiers, hundreds of pages of stunning and irrefutable evidence, in addition to those discussed with them during a number of hours of exchanges with chiefs and experts of the Ministry of the Interior. Before they left, the FBI officer heading the mission and the chief of the US Interests Section in Cuba promised to respond within 15 days on the results of their inquiries.

Twelve years later, the only response is the impunity of the culprits of those repulsive actions who walk free and even march through the streets of the United States, and the injustice of keeping in prison five young anti-terrorist fighters who contributed to the detection of and timely alert on such plans. Their only “crime” is having prevented the loss of more human lives and larger material damage. The first result of those talks was the arrest of our comrades and the sudden stampede of the perpetrators of such crimes.

Cuba has described impunity and double-standard as unacceptable in the fight on terrorism, and has reiterated its commitment to the struggle against such actions. Our country condemns every terrorist action, method and practice in every form and expression wherever they are committed, no matter by whom or against whom, and regardless of motivation. This has just been ratified at the UN General Assembly where we have also denounced the most abominable State terrorism of which we have been victims for over half a century.

The current US government has inherited a gloomy and dangerous history with a combination of intelligence services and unscrupulous officers; terrorist organizations and notorious criminals and mercenaries; rigged trials and investigations; corrupted detectives, prosecutors, judges, members of Congress and former government officials.

Washington has enough information to unearth the hidden truths that the courts need to do justice in the case of Posada Carriles and a number of other terrorists who walk free in the US; indispensable elements to clarify and put an end, once and for all, to their impunity and the injustice committed with our five compatriots.

The world needs the truth to prevail. It’s in the hands of the current US Administration, its intelligence services and legal authorities to declassify and release all the necessary documents to expose and punish the culprits, and to prevent new terrorist actions against Cuba, Venezuela and other member countries of ALBA, which are still the targets of this scourge.

Such effort cannot underestimate or ignore the revelations made by detainee Chávez Abarca concerning the plans against the forthcoming elections in Venezuela; the involvement of Miami terrorists in the coup d’état dealt in that fraternal nation and in Honduras as the investigations show or the new plots against democratic governments in Central America, mentioned by the detainee that give rise to questions on possible connections of members of the extreme right, the CIA and the Mafia in Florida.

Punishing Posada Carriles is only as fair and necessary as releasing the Cuban Five heroes, that is, if Washington wants to be consistent with its alleged commitment to the anti-terrorist struggle.

Cuba has plenty of reasons to defend itself and to continue in the struggle for justice and against terrorism. The 3,478 dead and 2099 compatriots physically disabled by State terrorism and the continuation of the plans of its main authors and promoters reaffirm our determination not to give in to such threats.


34 Years of Impunity Print E-mail

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5, October 7, 2010

On October 6, 1976 a civilian Cuban airliner took off from the coast of Barbados towards Cuba. Among the 73 passengers on board was the Cuban Junior Fencing team who were proudly returning to their island with gold medals. Along with them were 11 humble students from Guyana who were to begin studying in Cuba, five passengers of the Democratic Republic of Korea, among them a young girl. There were 57 Cuban passengers and flight crew on that plane. But flight 455 never made it to its destination. Its 73 passengers died a horrible death when a bomb, ordered to be placed in the plane by the international terrorists Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, blew up in mid air.

For the last 5 years the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has officially demanded from the United States the extradition of the criminal Posada Carriles who has been a fugitive from justice for the plane bombing and for other crimes committed in that country. After 34 years since that criminal act 73 families and an entire people continue to demand justice.

The Cuban government yesterday declared October 6, the "Day of the Victims of State Terrorism." This declaration by Cuban President Raul Castro is an unconditional statement concerning this open wound of this small island nation as well as a symbol of the impunity of the US and the unwavering efforts of Cuba to fight terrorism.

The Committee of the Family of the Victims of the Barbados Crime, has sent an open letter to Obama demanding a trial and punishment to Posada and for the freedom of the Cuban 5.



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