Who is Orlando Bosch?

Orlando Bosch, a former pediatrician, lives a quiet life in a beige stucco Miami home, his family close at hand. He’s been well treated by the authorities. In 1983, the city declared an “Orlando Bosch Day.”

However, Bosch is a confessed terrorist and murderer. And in a recent interview on Miami’s Channel 41, he attempted to justify his killings.

Reporter Juan Manuel Cao asked about a Cuban airliner downed off Barbados 30 years ago. Bosch and fellow terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, whom the U.S. government refuses to extradite to Venezuela, planned the 1976 attack that killed 73 passengers.

Declassified documents show the CIA knew beforehand about the attack.

Afterwards, Bosch served time in a Venezuela jail, awaiting trial for the crime. Otto Reich of the U.S. State Department arranged for his release in 1987.

Here is an excerpt from the Channel 41 interview:

Cao: Did you down that plane in 1976?

Bosch: If I tell you that I was involved, I will be inculpating myself … and if I tell you that I did not participate in that action, you would say that I am lying. I am therefore not going to answer one thing or the other.

Cao: In that action 76 persons were killed [actually 73].

Bosch: No chico, in a war such as us Cubans who love liberty wage against the tyrant, you have to down planes, you have to sink ships, you have to be prepared to attack anything that is within your reach.

Cao: But don’t you feel a little bit for those who were killed there, for their families?

Bosch: Who was on board that plane? Four members of the Communist Party, five North Koreans, five Guyanese [actually 11] … concho chico, four member of the Communist Party, chico! Who was there? Our enemies.

Cao: And the fencers [Cuban fencing team]? The young people on board?

Bosch: I saw the young girls on television. There were six of them. After the end of the competition, the leader of the six dedicated their triumph to the tyrant, etc. She gave a speech filled with praise for the tyrant. We had already agreed in Santo Domingo that everyone who comes from Cuba to glorify the tyrant had to run the same risks as those men and women that fight alongside the tyranny.

Cao: If you ran into the family members who were killed in that plane, wouldn’t you think it difficult?

Bosch: No, because in the end those who were there had to know that they were cooperating with the tyranny in Cuba.

According to a variety of U.S. and Cuban sources, Bosch, after leaving Cuba in 1959 and settling in Florida, ran a CIA training camp for anti-Cuba paramilitaries. He organized hit squads directed at Cuban diplomats and sympathizers. Among the targets were embassies, consulates, tourist facilities and ships heading for Cuba.

Bosch set up the group Poder Cubano to carry out 44 attacks in 1967-68; Accion Cuba with 18 hits (including the airliner) in 1974-75; CORU, 19 attacks in 1976-77; and Omega 7 with 14 assaults. He performed three high-profile assassinations for the Pinochet regime of Chile, including that of ex-diplomat Orlando Letelier in Washington in 1976.

In 1987, Bosch headed for Florida where he was jailed for a 1974 parole violation (in connection with a previous conviction for using a bazooka against a Polish freighter). After heavy Cuban American lobbying, George H.W. Bush pardoned him on July 18, 1990.

Since then, he visits with friends, paints and appears regularly on Miami talk shows. That’s the sort of future that lawyers and friends of Luis Posada Carriles see for Bosch’s colleague in mayhem.

For the U.S. empire, some terrorists are honored guests.