Critics of the resentencing this month of three of the Cuban Five prisoners in U.S. jails focused once more on U. S. “double standards.” They cite U.S. government hypocrisy in calling itself the leader of a global war on terror while prosecuting and persecuting the Cuban Five, who were fighting against terrorists.
The Cuban Five were in Florida to defend Cuba against terrorist attacks emanating from southern Florida. At the time they were arrested 11 years ago, Cuba had been besieged for decades by murderous attacks and sabotage engineered by Cuban-American paramilitary groups based in the Miami area.
A new flurry of reports has cropped up recently that the U.S. government itself promoted terrorist attacks, especially in Latin America. For U.S. government agencies to be responsible for criminal attacks constitutes a far more serious indictment than mere hypocrisy. And besides, “Cuban-American terrorists continue to enjoy total impunity,” said the three resentenced Cuban Five prisoners, in a joint statement.
For example, declassified documents released in October by the National Security Archives (NSA) confirm Luis Posada Carriles’ ties with the CIA and the Cuban American National Foundation. His completion of preparations for bombing Soviet and Cuban ships in Veracruz, Mexico in 1965 is noted approvingly in a CIA report. The NSA previously released extensive documents outlining Posada’s arrangements to bomb a Cuban airliner in 1976, in the process killing all 73 passengers aboard. The U.S. government has refused to extradite Posada, as requested, to Venezuela, where much of the bombing plot was hatched. He lives undisturbed in Miami.
Writing in the Cuban daily Granma, Jean-Guy Allard recently took note of the former Batista partisan Armando Valladares’ new role in propping up the Roberto Micheletti, coup regime in Honduras. He had slipped away from his post in New York as head of the Human Rights Foundation, allegedly linked to the CIA, once its ties to murderous plotters against Bolivian President Evo Morales were exposed last April.
Allard also reported on declassified U.S. intelligence documents published last month by the Spanish Daily El Mundo. They demonstrated prior knowledge by the CIA, U.S. State Department, and Spanish intelligence services of U.S. trained soldiers’ impending attack in El Salvador that in 1989 would kill seven Jesuit academicians, their housekeeper, and her daughter.
On December 2, Raúl Álzaga of the “Truth and Justice Commission of Puerto Rico” released a report that declassified U. S. intelligence documents confirmed FBI knowledge of preparations by Reynol Rodriguez and other Miami based Cuban-Americans to kill Puerto Rican independence leader Juan Mari Brás. In the end, terrorists killed his son Santiago Mari Pesquera on March 24, 1976, leaving the father alive. Reynol Rodriguez is currently military chief of Alpha 66, a southern Florida paramilitary Group.
Inquiries by the San Juan Daily Sun, directed at Miami FBI spokesperson Judy Orihuela, revealed little about FBI involvement. Interviewed by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in 2004, Orihuela stated that “terrorists in Miami are not a priority” for the FBI. A year before, she indicated all investigations of Luis Posada, in jail then in Panama, were closed. Shortly thereafter FBI documents and evidence relating to Posada were destroyed as part of “routine cleaning.”
Then there is the matter of passing off responsibility for murder onto the innocent, in this case Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Cuban Five.
Reporting last month on interviews and on its survey of declassified federal documents, Florida CBS4 news service claims Washington could have prevented the deaths of four pilots of two Cessna planes downed by Cuban fighter planes on February 24, 1996. Gerardo Hernandez received one life sentence for conspiracy to murder those pilots.
Clinton Cuba advisor Richard Nuccio suggested Miami based Brothers to the Rescue flyers were carrying out “a political agenda of harassing and threatening the Cuban government by over flights.” Cuban protests against repeated flights over Cuban territory were well documented, as were U.S diplomats’ firsthand knowledge of the infractions.
José Basulto, head of the Brothers to the Rescue, complained that federal authorities issued no meaningful warnings. “We wouldn’t have flown that day had we known,” he said. Uncharacteristically, no United States military jets took off to intercept the Cuban aircraft, according to the report.