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Castro Says U.S. Implicated in 1976 Airline Bombing

Using evidence recently declassified by the CIA and FBI and posted on the Internet, the Havana government says that the U.S. knew of plans to bomb a Cuban airliner beforehand, and that the U.S. now protects one of the men who did the job.

By Jean-Guy Allard, Special to Granma International

May 20, 2005

Original Article (english)    

THE U.S. government knew that CORU – the group led by Orlando Bosch and that included Luis Posada Carriles – planned to assassinate former Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier, and destroy a Cubana Airlines passenger plane in mid-air in June, 1976.

Ricardo Alarcón, president of Cuba’s National Assembly, yesterday displayed three declassified documents that were made public on Thursday by the National Security Archive at George Washington University, that provide additional irrefutable evidence that the CIA was an accomplice to the terrorist crimes carried out by Bosch and Posada in Cuba, the United States and other countries.

— NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE: Luis Posada Carriles - The Declassified Record

Alarcón was participating in a special roundtable discussion with President Fidel Castro at the Karl Marx Theater to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the death in combat of National hero Jose Martí on May 19. [Editor’s Note: Jose Marti fought for slave freedom and an end to Spanish colonialism].


"Those three documents are even more revealing that the previous ones made public a few days ago," Alarcón affirmed.

“One of the documents shows that the U.S. government knew of a plot by a group, led by Orlando Bosch, to blow up a Cubana Airlines passenger plane in June of 1976 … that is, a few months before that atrocious act took place in the skies over Barbados," he noted.

— AP NEWS VIDEO: Castro Demands Extradition of Posada, Says U.S. Protects Him, 00:01:18

A large part of another document describes the links between the U.S. Embassy in Caracas and Hernán Ricardo, one of the individuals who planted the explosive devices on the plane. "Among other things, they had given him a visa to visit the United States five days before the plane blew up," Alarcón said.

"The third document," he explained, "reveals how Bosch publicly boasted of the attack on the Chilean foreign minister and his U.S. assistant -- in the presence of a CIA informant -- at a banquet to celebrate the assassination. He then announced more acts of terrorism.

"I ask myself how Orlando Letelier’s and Ronnie Moffit’s relatives would feel, knowing that the U.S. government was aware, even before their deaths, that Orlando Bosch was involved in their murders, but also that he bragged about doing it and celebrated it as well," the parliamentary leader commented.

"This document refers to a banquet that took place in the city of Caracas to raise funds, where Orlando Bosch said during a toast: “Now that our organization has come out of the Letelier job looking good, let’s get going on something else …” In those days, these crimes were proclaimed!"

In this document, the CIA informant also says that he heard the voice of Bosch’s friend, Luis Posada Carriles, "making a comment to someone," Alarcón noted.

"And now I quote him: ‘We are going to strike a Cuban passenger plane and Orlando has the details …’"

But it was not just Orlando who had them.

"Mr. Kissinger had them, because this document is a report by the FBI and an analysis by the Department of State, addressed to the secretary of state; from Mr. Harold Saunders to the secretary, who at that time was Mr. Kissinger …"

Alarcón added, "If Miss Rice looks in her files, she will find it, with the advantage that she should have a complete version, given that this recently declassified one is full of deleted passages … The U.S. government has dedicated itself to protecting Posada, to protecting Bosch and all of these murderers; this is the proof!" he stated.


In his turn, President Fidel Castro affirmed that "the empire must be buried with these truths, or at least the extreme right-wing, murderous and shameless clique of cronies in Miami." [Editor’s Note: This is a reference to Miami’s influential Cuban-exile groups].

"All of the evidence must be found, and then we’ll see how they are going to defend themselves," he commented, noting how with Posada’s arrest, "they are in it up to their necks, and with both feet, I believe, not just one …"

And he noted, "They didn’t disappear him – it wasn’t likely that they would disappear him – they didn’t kill him, because it didn’t suit them to have this man dead, and now they have him there with the paperwork, the processes; it remains to be seen what they give him to eat, it remains to be seen because they are capable of using anything …  it remains to be seen what procedures they have for killing …"

Humorously, he compared the White House resident [George W. Bush] with that Roman emperor who appointed his horse as Consul [An official that resides in a foreign country to represent the emperor]: "I have never seen anything more like that than appointing (Roger) Noriega, Otto Reich and (John) Bolton to foreign policy posts, in the United States … I think there are horses that know more than the individuals they have appointed!"

Referring to the most recent events involving Luis Posada Carriles [He was arrested on May 18], he commented that, "international opinion will oppose all of these maneuvers, these intrigues, all of these tricks for protecting a terrorist on the part of a country that has already killed more than 100,000 people, has waged a war that has cost more than 100,000 lives."

"The world will not remain indifferent," he affirmed.


Previously, Alarcón explained how the U.S. authorities "have managed to reduce Posada to a wetback," in reference to the derogatory term used to describe Mexican immigrants mercilessly pursued by U.S. immigration authorities, who deport tens of thousands of them per year.

Posada Carriles is now in a jail in El Paso, Texas, where thousands of immigrants try to cross the border into U.S. territory every year, he noted.

"Posada’s crimes are being reduced to that of a person who entered without a visa … " And they are giving him the opportunity to present himself before a judge to see if he can be let out on bail, and they are giving him an appointment to discuss his migratory status," the President of Parliament said.

"Where is the war against terrorism? Where are the obligations of the United States to pursue terrorists?" he asked, referring to various international treaties obliging Washington to extradite the dangerous criminal.

"They have reduced him to a wetback … but not just any wetback. Wouldn’t the wetbacks like to be in his shoes! He is “very satisfied” with the treatment he is receiving. Posada has said this through his buddy, Santiago Alvarez, who is violating U.S. law by protecting an illegal."

Alarcón then commented that he would like to know if any Latin American government can think of, "the name of a single person, a single citizen from one of their countries who has tried to enter the U.S. and has been arrested - without being handcuffed - who is “very satisfied” with his treatment, and for whom they have announced a hearing within a month to clarify what he did."


"Within a month, they kick them out … How many Haitians are cast into the sea, how many Mexicans, how many Latin Americans, every day? He is an illegal immigrant, but a first-class one, because he is a friend of Bush!" the Cuban leader exclaimed, adding that, "millions are victims of abused by that same immigration service, and nobody is given that opportunity."

"We are talking about millions of people whom nobody has accused of terrorism. And Posada, an assassin, is charged merely with having entered without a visa!"

When the roundtable was over, President Fidel Castro made a surprise announcement that an important revelation is to be made today before 100,000 Havana citizens, whom he called on to attend the José Martí Anti-imperialist Tribunal in the capital.

"It’s going to be a little surprise," the Cuban president said, adding that he would offer information "regarding the history of our conduct and our acts against terrorism."

"It will be a strong blow against the treachery and the felony of these bandits, that indescribable mafia, that government that has amassed the most incredible collection of cynical and stupid people and, what is worse, that is the most powerful empire in history," Fidel commented.

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