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Cuban government officials have accused the United States Government of being an accomplice and protector of terrorism against Cuba on many occasions.[1][2] [3] According to Ricardo Alarcón, President of Cuba’s national assembly "Terrorism and violence, crimes against Cuba, have been part and parcel of U.S. policy for almost half a century.”[4] The claims formed part of Cuba's $181.1 billion lawsuit in 1999 against the United States on behalf of the Cuban people which alleged that for over 40 years, "terrorism has been permanently used by the U.S. as an instrument of its foreign policy against Cuba," and it "became more systematic as a result of the covert action program."[5] The lawsuit detailed a history of terrorism allegedly supported by the United States. The United States has long denied any involvement in the acts named in the lawsuit.[6]

The claims centre around allegations of CIA knowledge and involvement in operations against Cuba from the early Sixties to mid-Seventies, notably the bombing of Cubana Flight 455 in 1976 which killed all 73 people aboard and a series of attacks on tourist sites in the 1990s.[7] The allegations also claim U.S. involvement in the paramilitary group Omega 7, the CIA undercover operation known as Operation 40, and the umbrella group the Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations. Cuban Counterterrorism investigator Roberto Hernández testified in a Miami court that the bomb attacks were "part of a campaign of terror designed to scare civilians and foreign tourists, harming Cuba's single largest industry."[8] In 2001 Cuban Ambassador to the UN Bruno Rodriguez Pauuilla called for UN General Assembly to address all forms and manifestations of terrorism in every corner of the world, including - without exception - State terrorism. He alleged to the UN General Assembly that 3,478 Cubans have died as a result of aggressions and terrorist acts.[9] The Cuban government also asserted that in the 1990s, a total of 68 acts of terrorism were perpetrated against Cuba.[9]

The Cuban Government, its supporters and some outside observers believe that the group Alpha 66, whose former secretary general Andres Nazario acknowledged terrorist attacks on Cuban tourist spots in the 1990s[10] and conducted training sessions at a secluded camp near the Florida Everglades,[11] have been supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, the US International Development Agency and, more directly, the CIA.[12]

The Cubans also cite the admission by Luis Posada Carriles that he was recruited by the CIA becoming a trainer of other paramilitary forces in the mid 1960s.[13] Posada, alongside Orlando Bosch, is accused by Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Cuba and Venezuela of organising the terrorist bombing of the aircraft Cubana 455,[14] and according to Peter Kornbluh of the U.S. National Security Archive, "is a terrorist, but he’s our terrorist", referring to Posada's relationship with the U.S. government. In 2006, the U.S. Justice Department described Posada as “an unrepentant criminal and admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and attacks on tourist sites.” Though the Bush administration has yet to prosecute Posada for the admitted crimes.[15] The Cubans also cite the involvement of FBI attaché Joseph Leo, who admitted multiple contacts with one of the convicted bombers of Cubana 455, Hernan Ricardo, before the attack.[16]

On May 18, 2005 The U.S. National Security Archive posted additional documents that claim to show that the CIA had concrete advance intelligence, as early as June 1976, on plans by Posada to bomb the airliner. The archive also alleges that he remained in contact with the CIA until June 1976.[7] When questioned on the matter Posada stated "The FBI and the CIA don't bother me, and I am neutral with them," he said. "Whenever I can help them, I do."[17] The Cuban ambassador to the U.N. claimed that Posada had been "doubly employed by the Government of the U.S." both before and after the bombing of the Cubana aircraft.[9] After escaping from prison in Venezuela, Posada, who boasted of his attack on the plane, went to work alongside CIA operative Felix Rodriguez under Richard Secord supplying the Contras.[18]

Luis Posada at Fort Benning, Georgia, 1962

After serving 10 years for his role in the Cubana bombing and other terrorist attacks, Orlando Bosch was released from jail in Venezuela and given permission to reside in the United States with the assistance of Otto Reich, then US ambassador to Venezuela. On his arrival in Miami in 1988, Bosch was honored with an "Orlando Bosch Day" celebration, organized by Florida congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Despite decisions made by the justice department and FBI to deport Bosch, they were overruled by President George H. W. Bush and he was allowed permanent residency.[19]

In a series of interviews with the New York Times, Posada claimed responsibility for the bombings at hotels and nightclubs in Cuba in 1997 in which an Italian tourist died and scores more were injured. Posada said his activities were directly supported by Jorge Mas Canosa, founder of the Cuban-American National Foundation.[17] In 1998 the Cuban government charged The Cuban American National Foundation, which was founded in 1981 at the initiative of the Reagan administration and receives U.S. government funding [20] with the continued financing of anti-Cuban terrorist activities [21] They also claim that U.S. senator Mel Martinez was meeting with Cuban American terrorists and sponsoring them via CANF.[22] In 2006 a former board member of CANF, Jose Antonio Llama testified that leaders of the foundation had created a paramilitary group to carry out destabilizing acts in Cuba.[23]

The Cuban government have also condemned the U.S. for actions which they describe as "protecting terrorists". These allegations follow a decision in the U.S. to refuse to put on trial or to extradite Luis Posada Carriles, Guillermo Novo Sampol, Pedro Remon, and Gaspar Jimenez to Cuba or Venezuela, although they are accused of having perpetrated terrorist acts. [24] In an interview in 2001, Ricardo Alarcón stated:"The most quoted phrase by President Bush or ever repeated by him refers to the same idea every time he speaks. "Those who harbor a terrorist are as guilty as the terrorist himself"[25]

  1. ^ "Fidel Castro meets Caricom leaders". BBC. Retrieved 2007-02-02. 
  2. ^ The United States is an accomplice and protector of terrorism, states Alarcón Granma News
  3. ^ Terrorism organized and directed by the CIA Granma
  4. ^ "Cuba's View of Bush's War on Terrorism Counterpunch". CounterPunch Newsletter. 
  5. ^ "Cuba's case against Washington". Workers World Newsletter. 
  6. ^ Cuba sues U.S. for billions, alleging 'war' damages. CNN news.
  7. ^ a b CIA and FBI Documents Detail Career in International Terrorism; Connection to U.S.
  8. ^ Investigator from Cuba takes stand in spy trial Miami Herald
  9. ^ a b c Cuba Statement to the United Nations 2001 since the Cuban revolution
  10. ^ Alpha 66 says it carried out bomb attacks Cuba solidarity
  11. ^ Anti-Castro Alpha 66 still fighting for Cuba Palm Beach Post Florida
  12. ^ Alpha 66 expands its offices and training camp granma
  13. ^ Life With Luis Posada. The Atlantic online.
    ° Posada's CIA ties uncovered in papers. Miami herald.
  14. ^ Cuban official demands action on Posada
  15. ^ Castro Foe Puts U.S. in an Awkward Spot New York Times
  16. ^ The Posada File. The Nation.
  17. ^ a b "Posada "I'll kill Castro if it's the last thing I do"". Hartford Web Publishing (Republished). 
  18. ^ National Security archives
  19. ^ Jose Posada Carriles: Hero or Hardened Killer?.CNN.
  20. ^ "Review of Department Identified Contracts and Grants for Public Relations Services" (PDF). United States Department of Education: Office of Inspector General. 
  21. ^ "Cubanews From radio Havana Cuba". Radio Habana Cuba. 
  22. ^ "Scams and scandals among Miami terrorists". Cuba State News: Granma Internacional Digital. 
  23. ^ "Top exiles in fight over anti-Castro plot funds". Miami Herald. November 26, 2006. 
  24. ^ Sanchez, Marcela (September 3). "Moral Misstep: Some Terrorists Get a Hero's Welcome". Washington Post.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  25. ^ Interview by Saul Laundau with Ricaro Alarcon 13 February 2003