Cuban American National Foundation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) is a Cuban exile organization. Established in Florida in 1981 by Jorge Mas Canosa and Raul Masvidal, CANF is an organization with numerous members in the United States and other countries.[1] Following the death of its founder in 1997, CANF began to lose its ideological cohesion provided by Mas Canosa, which led a substantial segment of its membership to split and form the Cuban Liberty Council in 2001.

CANF used to be a strong advocate for isolation of Cuba by the USA but in April 2009 they published an article calling for lifting US restrictions on aid and travel to Cuba, and aiding civil society groups there. The shift might promote a new phase in the USA-Cuba relations[2]

CANF has offices in Miami, Washington, D.C. and New Jersey and chapters in Los Angeles, the greater New York area, Chicago, several cities in Florida, Puerto Rico, New Orleans, and Texas.

For two decades CANF has worked to create a consensus on U.S. policy that is opposed to the current Cuban government. Between 1990 and 1992, it received a quarter million dollars from the National Endowment for Democracy, an organization financed by the US government.

CANF also operates the radio station La Voz de la Fundación which it attempts to transmit to Cuba and led the effort to establish the U.S. Information Agency's Radio Martí (1985) and TV Martí (1990). Radio Martí and TV Martí are official U.S. broadcasting operations directed to the Cuban people.[3]

Controversy[edit]

The Cuban American National Foundation has been accused by the Cuban government of planning and funding terrorist attacks within Cuba, including a September 1997 bombing that killed an Italian tourist in Havana.[4] Most notably, the Cuban-born anti-Castro terrorist Luis Posada Carriles claimed in 1998 that he received financial support from the Cuban American National Foundation for a bombing campaign carried out in 1997, although he has denied ties with the fatal attack.[5] Posada has also been linked with the 1976 bombing of Cubana Airlines flight 455, which killed 73 passengers (all of whom were civilians). In August 1997 CANF released a statement unconditionally supporting terrorist attacks against Cuba; the CANF chairman at the time stated that "We do not think of these as terrorist actions".

Several ranking members of the CANF have been the subject of major drug trafficking prosecutions, and a few even had to step down from leadership positions at the institution due to drug trafficking charges, including Gaspar Jiménez and Rolando Mendoza.[6] Additionally, militants associated with the CANF, such as Luis Posada Carriles (who claims to have been funded by Jorge Mas Canosa) and his Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations (CORU) group, and the Contras (Pepe Hernández having been a Contra combatant, and several CANF members having ostensibly provided them with humanitarian aid), have been accused of large-scale drug trafficking.[7][8]

Jose Antonio Llama[edit]

According to Jose Antonio Llama, former director of the executive board of CANF, the paramilitary role of CANF was established in June 1992 during an annual congress meeting in Naples, Florida.[9][10][11][12][13] The idea was born when a member recommended "doing more than lobbying in Washington" to overthrow the Cuban Communist government of Fidel Castro. Jorge Mas Canosa and Francisco Jose Hernandez, known as "Pepe", were selected as leaders to choose the group for armed operations. Llama has maintained that foundations general board of directors were unaware, including at the time, the board chairman Jorge Mas Santos. With the group established in 1992, the following year brought about more extensive planning, including consideration on what will need to be purchased to carry out their missions. During the 1993 meeting in Puerto Rico, Jose "Pepe" Hernandez was selected as the groups leader due to his "...known record as a fighter in the 2506 Brigade and the Marines."[11][13]

Llama who made a fortune installing air conditioners in Soviet vehicles, admitted in an interview with El Nuevo Herald, the plot to kill Castro and cited other members of CANF as assisting in securing items, funding and participating in the planning. Llama stated he was coming forward because CANF had stolen 1.4 million USD of his own money, between 1994 to 1997, to plan the operation which did not go forward. Llama was considering a lawsuit to recoup his money.[11][12]

Llamas admission came with a list of items acquired for carrying out the task of assassination, these included: a cargo helicopter, 10 ultralight radio-controlled planes, seven vessels and explosives. One of those vessels was the Midnight Express fast boat, meant to take the CANF leader at the time, Jorge Mas Canosa to Cuba if a power struggle erupted or the missions were successful. Another of those vessels was "La Esperanza" which was confiscated by the United States Department of the Treasury following the indictments of four cuban exiles plotting to assassinate Fidel Castro. The weapons and equipment cache on the yacht "La Esperanza" listed:[10][11][12][13][14][15]

  1. (2) .50 caliber sniper rifles
  2. GPS equipment
  3. night-vision goggles
  4. light weight radios
  5. 12 rounds for a .357 pistol

The pistol matching the .357 rounds were never discovered. One of the .50 caliber sniper rifles belonged to Francisco "Pepe" Hernandez, president of CANF. La Esperanza set sail from the private dock of an undisclosed CANF foundation member.[13]

Publications[edit]

Numbered pamphlet series[edit]

  • U.S. radio broadcasting to Cuba: policy implications Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1982 (CANF pamphlet #1)
  • The Cuban Scene: censors & dissenters by Carlos Ripoll Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1982 (CANF pamphlet #2)
  • Fidel Castro and the bankers: the mortgaging of a revolution by Ernesto Betancourt and Wilson Dizard Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1983 (CANF pamphlet #3)
  • U.S. policy options in Central America by Eduardo Ulibarri Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1982 (CANF pamphlet #4)
  • The revolution on balance by Hugh Thomas Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1983 (CANF pamphlet #5)
  • Cuba and the Cubans by Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1983 (CANF pamphlet #7)
  • Castro's Narcotics Trade Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1983 (CANF pamphlet #8)
  • Thinking about Cuba: unscrambling Cuban messages Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1983 (CANF pamphlet #9)
  • Castro, Israel & the PLO by David Kopilow Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1984 (CANF pamphlet #10)
  • Cuba as a model and a challenge by Kenneth N Skoug Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1984 (CANF pamphlet #11)
  • Cuba's financial crisis: the secret report from Banco Nacional de Cuba, February 1985 Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1985 (CANF pamphlet #12)
  • The children of Mariel from shock to integration: Cuban refugee children in South Florida schools by Helga Silva Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1985 (CANF pamphlet #13)
  • The Kennedy Khrushchev pact and the Sandinistas by Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1985 (CANF pamphlet #14)
  • Harnessing the intellectuals: censoring writers and artists in today's Cuba by Carlos Ripoll Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1985 (CANF pamphlet #15)
  • Nicaragua's Slow March to Communism by Joshua Muravchik Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1986 (CANF pamphlet #16)
  • Follow the leader in the Horn by William E. Ratliff Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1986 (CANF pamphlet #17)
  • Reagan on Cuba by Ronald Reagan, intro. by George H. W. Bush Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1986 (CANF pamphlet #18)
  • Political hospitality and tourism: Cuba and Nicaragua by Paul Hollander Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1986 (CANF pamphlet #19)
  • Fidel Castro and the United States press by John Wallach Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1985 (CANF pamphlet #20)
  • Castros Puerto Rican Obsession Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1987 (CANF pamphlet #21)
  • Political imprisonment in Cuba by Amnesty International Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1987 (CANF pamphlet #22)
  • General del Pino speaks: an insight into elite corruption and military dissension in Castro's Cuba by Rafael del Pino Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1988 (CANF pamphlet #23)
  • Towards a New US Cuba Policy Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1988 (CANF pamphlet #24)
  • The Cuban university under the revolution by Eusebio Mujal-Leon Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1988 (CANF pamphlet #25)
  • Narco-terrorism and the Cuban connection by Rachel Ehrenfeld Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1988 (CANF pamphlet #26)
  • Castro's America department: coordinating Cuba's support for Marxist-Leninist violence in the Americas by Rex Hudson Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1988 (CANF pamphlet #27)
  • Is Cuba changing? by Susan Kaufman Purcell Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1988 (CANF pamphlet #28)
  • The Cuban revolution at 30: proceedings from a conference Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1988 (CANF pamphlet #29)
  • Cuba's cloudy future by Susan Kaufman Purcell Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1990 (CANF pamphlet #30)
  • Castro's "special period in a time of peace": proceedings from a conference sponsored by the Cuban American National Foundation, October 11, 1990, The Four Seasons Hotel. Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1990 (CANF pamphlet #31)
  • Bush on Cuba by George H. W. Bush, intro. by Dan Quayle Washington, DC: Cuban American National Foundation 1991 (CANF pamphlet #32)

Other[edit]

  • "U.S. policy and the future of Cuba: the Cuban Democracy Act and U.S. travel to Cuba" joint hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives of the Subcommittee on Economic Policy, Trade & Environment, Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Subcommittee on International Operations of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Washington, D.C., Thursday, November 18, 1993. Miami: Cuban American National Foundation 1993
  • Cuba in crisis: proceedings from a conference sponsored by the Cuban American National Foundation, J.W. Marriott Hotel, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, October 26, 1993. Miami: Cuban American National Foundation 1993
  • Cuba: between the devil and the deep blue sea by Tim Bower Miami: Cuban American National Foundation 1994

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "¿Who founded the CANF?". CANF. 
  2. ^ "Geopolitical Diary: A New Phase in U.S.-Cuban Relations". Stratfor. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  3. ^ "CANF - Sobre La Fundacion Nacional Cubano Americana". CANF. 
  4. ^ Cuba Interior Minister (1997-09-11). "Official statement about terrorist arrest". Prensa Latina. 
  5. ^ "National Briefing". New York Times. April 27, 2006. Retrieved 2009-02-17. "A Cuban militant accused of masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner has applied to become an American citizen, his lawyer said Tuesday. The man, Luis Posada Carriles, has been jailed in El Paso on immigration charges since May. Mr. Posada, a former C.I.A. operative and a fervent opponent of President Fidel Castro, is accused by Cuba and Venezuela of plotting the 1976 bombing while living in Venezuela. He has denied involvement in the bombing, which killed 73 people. Mr. Posada escaped from a Venezuelan prison in 1985 while awaiting retrial on the airline bombing charges, and Venezuela has formally sought his extradition." 
  6. ^ Calvo, Hernando; Declercq, Katlijn (2000). The Cuban Exile Movement. Australia: Ocean Press. p. 63. 
  7. ^ Calvo, Hernando; Declercq, Katlijn (2000). The Cuban Exile Movement. Australia: Ocean Press. p. 59,62,63,64. 
  8. ^ Dale-Scott, Peter; Marshall, Jonathan (1998). Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21449-8. 
  9. ^ "Cuba's Repressive Machinery: XII. International Policy". Human Rights Watch. 1999. 
  10. ^ a b "Castro assassination charges". BBC. 1998-08-25. 
  11. ^ a b c d Jean Guy Allard & Gabriel Molina (2006-06-28). "Scams and scandals among Miami terrorists". Granma International. 
  12. ^ a b c Wilfredo Cancio Isla (2006-06-25). "Former CANF Board member admits to planning terrorist attack against Cuba". El Nuevo Herald. 
  13. ^ a b c d Ann Louise Bardach & Larry Rother (1998-05-05). "Plot On Castro Spotlights A Powerful Group". New York Times. 
  14. ^ Ambassador Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla (2001-11-06). "Measures to eliminate international terrorism". United Nations General Assembly Security Council. 
  15. ^ "Seven Cuban-Americans Charged With Conspiracy to Murder Fidel Castro". United States Department of Justice. 1998-08-25. 

Endnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Key Cuba Foe Claims Exiles' Backing". The New York Times. 1998-07-12. 

External links[edit]

Non-CANF websites

Articles and reports

Further reading[edit]

  • Bardach, Ann Louise and Larry Rohter. A Bombers Tale: Taking Aim At Castro; Key Cuba Foe Claims Exiles' Backing. New York Times. Sunday, July 12, 1998. Late Edition - Final, Section 1, Page 1, Column 1. Abstract available online. Retrieved May 17, 2005.
  • Bardach, Ann Louise and Larry Rohter. A Bomber's Tale; A Cuban Exile Details The "Horrendous Matter" Of A Bombing Campaign. New York Times. Sunday, July 12, 1998. Late Edition - Final, Section 1, Page 10, Column 1. Abstract available online. Retrieved May 17, 2005.
  • The New York Times. Cuban Exiles Say Times Articles Are Baseless. Tuesday, July 14, 1998. Late Edition - Final, Section A, Page 7, Column 1. Abstract available online. Retrieved May 17, 2005.
  • The New York Times. Cuban Exile Says He Lied to Times About Financial Support. Tuesday, August 4, 1998. Final, Section A, Page 7, Column 1. Abstract available online. Retrieved May 17, 2005.

Books

  • Bardach, Ann Louise. Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana. 464 pages. Vintage, October 14, 2003. ISBN 0-385-72052-1. [Chapter 7 contains Posada interview]
  • Bardach, Ann Louise. Cuba Confidencial. Spanish Edition. 544 pages. Plaza y Janes, September 28, 2004. ISBN 0-307-24289-7.