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U.S. complicit in international terrorism

Published May 26, 2005 12:59 AM

Cuban President Fidel Castro has revealed that the United States, under pres sure from right-wing terrorists based in Miami, rejected Cuban offers of an anti-terrorist accord between the two countries.

Speaking on May 20 to over 200,000 Cubans gathered at the U.S. Interest Section in Havana, President Castro contrasted Washington’s claim that it is fighting a global war on terrorism and its support of right-wing terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

The Cuban president also discussed the case of the Cuban Five. The United States tried, convicted and imprisoned these Cuban anti-terrorist experts as “spies” after they provided the U.S. government with information on terrorist plots hatched in Miami against the Cuban people.

Castro outlined the history of the Cuban government’s attempt to cooperate with the U.S. intelligence community to combat terrorism against Cuban civilians. A series of bombings against Cuban tourist establishments began in the spring of 1997. These bombings were planned by Luis Posada Carriles and funded by the extremist Cuban American National Foundation based in Miami.

Cuban officials made several attempts throughout the late 1990s to establish a formal protocol with the United States for sharing information regarding terrorist threats against the Cuban people. Colom bian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez took on the task to establish contact with the Clinton administration in order to communicate a message from President Castro.

Marquez eventually met with U.S. officials in 1998. He was granted an audience with White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, Richard Clarke of the National Security Council, and James Dobbins, head of the State Department Cuba Desk.

Garcia Marquez said the meeting was cordial. U.S. officials thanked him, he said, for the information communicated in Castro’s letter. The U.S. government expressed its willingness to analyze Cuban intelligence to prevent individuals in the United States from organizing terrorist activities against Cuban interests.

Less than two months later an FBI team arrived in Havana, according to President Castro. Cuba turned over information detailing the plans and location of anti-Cuban terrorists. Many of these terrorists were living in the United States. Others, such as Posada Carilles, would eventually make their way back to the United States.

Months went by without the expected response from U.S. intelligence.

In September 1998 the United States arrested the five Cubans responsible for collecting the information given to the FBI for analysis, and charged them with conspiring to spy. They were tried, convicted and given prison terms ranging from 15 years to life in prison.

FBI Miami Bureau chief Hector Pes quera was the primary culprit responsible for the breakdown in intelligence sharing and the arrest of the Cuban Five. Pesquera has close ties to the right-wing Cuban community of Miami. His actions give the lie to Washington’s claim that it is concerned about civilians and committed to fighting actual terrorism.

The arrest of the Cuban Five revealed more than just the U.S. government’s disdain for Cuba’s efforts to protect its citizens from terrorism. The U.S. intelligence community’s obeisance to Miami extremists demonstrated a lack of concern for its own civilians.

“No less than 14 of the 19 responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks on New York’s Twin Towers and other targets were living and training exactly in the area for which Pesquera was responsible, and right under his nose,” said President Castro. The FBI chose to focus on U.S. imperialism’s policy of destroying the Cuban revolution by any available method.

Pesquera’s actions confirm the purpose of the United States armed forces and intelligence agencies: to safeguard not the masses of working people, but the property interests of the rich ruling class.

When Posada Carilles resurfaced in Miami earlier this year, U.S. officials initially denied that he had entered the United States. It took weeks of joint pressure from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the revolutionary government of Cuba before the U.S. government admitted that Posada was in Miami.

Chavez has publicly called for the extradition of Posada to Venezuela to stand trial for the 1976 Cubana Airline bombing that resulted in the loss of 76 lives. Castro recently led a rally of over a million Cubans to expose U.S. hypocrisy about terror ism, and to support Venezuela’s extradition request.

Posada carried out his terrorist activities while on the CIA payroll. Instead of immediately extraditing him to Venezuela where he would stand trial for his crimes of terrorism, the Immigration and Naturalization Service took Posada into custody.

The only charge he currently faces is illegal entry into the United States. The U.S. government appears willing to give Posada a free ride in order to cover its own record of state-sponsored terrorism against Latin American movements and countries.