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US Terrorism Against Cuba

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Issue: 6 Section: Accounts cuba Topics: chomsky, terrorism

August 23, 2003

US Terrorism Against Cuba

An excerpt from International Terrorism: Image and Reality

Anti-Cuban terrorism was directed by a secret Special Group established in November 1961 under the code name "Mongoose," involving 400 Americans, 2,000 Cubans, a private navy of fast boats, and a $50 million annual budget, run in part by a Miami CIA station functioning in violation of the Neutrality Act and, presumably, the law banning CIA operations in the United States. These operations included bombing of hotels and industrial installations, sinking of fishing boats, poisoning of crops and livestock, contamination of sugar exports, etc. Not all of these actions were specifically authorized by the CIA, but no such considerations absolve official enemies.

Several of these terrorist operations took place at the time of the Cuban missile crisis of October-November 1962. In the weeks before, Raymond Garthoff reports, a Cuban terrorist group operating from Florida with US government authorization carried out "a daring speedboat strafing attack on a Cuban seaside hotel near Havana where Soviet military technicians were known to congregate, killing a score of Russians and Cubans;" and shortly after, attacked British and Cuban cargo ships and again raided Cuba, among other actions that were stepped up in early October. At one of the tensest moments of the missile crisis, on November 8, a terrorist team dispatched from the United States blew up a Cuban industrial facility after the Mongoose operations had been officially suspended. Fidel Castro alleged that 400 workers had been killed in this operation, guided by "photographs taken by spying planes." This terrorist act, which might have set off a global nuclear war, evoked little comment when it was revealed. Attempts to assassinate Castro and other terror continued immediately after the crisis terminated, and were escalated by Nixon in 1969.

Such operations continued after the Nixon years. In 1976, for example, two Cuban fishing vessels were attacked in April by boats from Miami, the main center of anti-Cuban terrorism worldwide. A few weeks later, the Cuban embassy in Portugal was bombed with two killed. In July, the Cuban mission to the UN in New York was bombed and there were bombings aimed at Cuban targets in the Caribbean and Colombia, along with the attempted bombing of a pro-Cuban meeting at the Academy of Music in New York. In August, two officials of the Cuban embassy in Argentina were kidnapped and Cubana airlines offices in Panama were bombed. The Cuban embassy in Venezuela was fired upon in October and the embassy in Madrid was bombed in November. In October, CIA-trained Cuban exiles bombed a Cubana civilian airliner, killing all 73 aboard, including Cuba's gold-medal-winning international fencing team. One of the agents of this terrorist operation, Bay of Pigs veteran Luis Posada Carriles, was sprung from the Venezuelan jail where he was held for the bombing; he mysteriously escaped and found his way to El Salvador, where he was put to work at the Ilopango military airbase to help organize the US terrorist operations in Nicaragua. The CIA attributed 89 terrorist operations in the US and the Caribbean area for 1969-79 to Cuban exile groups, and the major one, OMEGA 7, was identified by the FBI as the most dangerous terrorist group operating in the US during much of the 1970s.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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