By Larry Daley


... Editors

Now reports are coming out of Cuba that Castro is scared stiff, after all he is on the US State Department terrorist list, and the US is on the war path. Many Cubans in Cuba think that the dictator is so desperate that he wishes to go out in a burst of bloody "glory." Thus a lot of people on the Island are even more scared than Castro.

One thing is as certain as snow in a Wisconsin winter, any time Castro is in difficulties, there are always some in the press who will rush to his aid. We see this now in the example below as Sue Anne Pressely of the Washington Time, decides it is the right time to blacken the name of Cuban-Americans (see full text below):.

First Sue Anne Pressley generalizes from one unique case a good number of decades ago, the Bosch matter. Then in almost complete absence of supporting material she continues with her theme that such circumstances are common. However, even when addressing the Bosch matter, this reporter is forced by reality to use the words, "without being convicted," but she neglects to mention that there were a number of Venezuelan trials which were not able to convict. And thus, because of pressure from the Cuban government --which had caused a great deal of bloodshed in Venezuela-- and despite repeatedly being found innocent, Bosch was held for many years in jail.

Then our courageous reporter continues cite "according decoded spy messages introduced by defense attorneys" while neglecting to mention that these same attorneys were not able to prevent the conviction of these Castro spies. These defense lawyers failed, even when in an extraordinary use of judicial privilege, the judge in this case excluded all Cuban-Americans from the jury.

In other words the Castro spies were found guilty despite the fact that the judge in the case excluded in an "ethnic screening" a large portion of local population from the jury pool. Of course Sue Anne Pressley failed to mention this also, as she did neglect to report that in this trial the defense theme was the similar to her thesis in this article we are discussing here:

'that Castro needed to have spies in the US, not to spy on the US because he means the US no harm but merely to protect himself from these terrible violent Cuban-Americans.'

This spy defense was shot out of the water in that trial when it turned out that Castro not only was trying to keep tabs on Cuban Americans and blacken their reputations, but he was also ordering spying on US bases in Florida.

Of course this too was forgotten by Ms Pressley as was the fact that, as so recently shown, Castro had a spy at the highest levels of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and that this spy was in charge of US intelligence evaluations of the danger of Castro to the US.

Guess what! The Castro spy Ana Belen Montes, is the one who came up with US official reports that Castro was not a danger to the US.

Then in order to justify her theme, Ms Pressley comes up with these "lesser-known exile groups who denounce what they view as the use of terrorism in U.S. policy against Cuba." Now it is quite common knowledge that these "lesser-known exile groups" are the same small pro-Castro groups who's very existence in Miami proves that tolerance exists there even for these followers of that bloody dictator.

What is most surprising of all is not that Ms Pressley wrote this piece, for this kind of pro-Castro propaganda is far too common among a certain section of the US media.

What is surprising that the editors of the Washington Post did not hold this report to the most minimal standards of journalistic integrity.

Larry Daley
Corvallis, Oregon

Footnote 1

Among Miami's Cuban Americans, Terrorism Is a Familiar Story Tactics Used by -- and Against -- Castro Still Stir Debate in Exile Community

By Sue Anne Pressley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 25, 2001; Page A10

MIAMI -- Some among them have received training from the CIA to fight a communist foe. The most extreme among them have been accused of committing atrocities for what they believe is a righteous cause. Exiled, they yearn for a homeland that remains beyond their reach.

In the aftermath of the most brutal terrorist attack ever committed on U.S. soil, one American community says it is in a unique position to debate what constitutes terrorism: the Cuban Americans of South Florida.

Here in greater Miami, one of the most spy-ridden cities in America and the site of numerous bombings during the past 40 years, many Cuban Americans see themselves as victims of terrorism at the hands of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. In their eyes, whatever has been done in retaliation is in many cases justified -- and U.S.-government approved. Although some of the passion involved in exile politics here has moderated in recent years, the city's character is still somewhat shaped by the bitterness and conspiracies related to Cuba.

"This is Casablanca, American style. It's a free-trade zone of intrigue," said Miami-Dade Democratic Party official Arthur Buonamia, 48, at a Saturday conference sponsored by a coalition of lesser-known exile groups who denounce what they view as the use of terrorism in U.S. policy against Cuba.

Certainly, the great majority of Miami-Dade's 650,000 Cuban-Americans avoid the fray. The community is as sickened as others by the events of Sept. 11, and its patriotism was on display Sunday night at a vigil in Little Havana. Thousands gathered to form a human cross in the main intersection, their flashlights and candles and American flags creating a reverent scene. Many in the crowd said the attacks on New York and Washington had summoned painful memories of their own suffering after Castro's takeover of Cuba, of loved ones who were killed and a way of life that was lost.

"We are the victims of a terrorist state. Terrorism here in Miami has been minimal compared to what Castro has been doing all over the world," said the Rev. Francisco Santana, 60, a priest at Our Lady of Charity Shrine and an organizer of the prayer service.

But Miami also has been the home of, and in some quarters backed, such anti-Castro militants as Orlando Bosch, a pediatrician who was held in a Venezuelan jail for more than a decade on charges that he masterminded the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed all 73 people aboard. Released in 1988 without being convicted, Bosch, now 74, resides in Miami.

Most recently, his name surfaced in April at the federal trial of five Cubans accused of spying against the U.S. government. According to decoded spy messages introduced by defense attorneys, Bosch allegedly told a Cuban agent he had sent explosives to Cuba prior to a spate of eight bombings at Havana hotels in 1997-98.

Santana, however, says he believes the exile community at large has "come a long way" in recent years, evolving toward a realization that change in Cuba may best come about from within, and not from Miami.

"Back in the '60s, some Cubans were trained like bin Laden, trained by the CIA to fight during the Cold War against what was perceived as the evil empire," he said. "In that context, some groups here in Miami advocated these violent ways to renounce Cuba. But as time has gone by, there has been a change in the mentality. Now I would say a great majority is in favor of a peaceful solution."

But participants at Saturday's conference -- including Cuban American free-speech and civil liberties advocates, who often don't get much media attention -- said too many in their community still advocated violent tactics. Indeed, one panel discussion was titled "The use of terrorism and sabotage in Washington's policy of aggression against Cuba and its effects in Cuba and in Miami."

To an audience of about 100 people, panel members reeled off a long list of "terrorist acts" executed in or exported from Miami, including the 1973 bombing of the headquarters of a Miami magazine; a 1966 bombing incident in which a Miami radio commentator lost his legs; and most recently, the Havana hotel explosions that killed one.

"We say that terrorism is not good for some and bad for others," said Max Lesnik, leader of the Alianza Martiana, one of the sponsoring groups. "The fight against terrorism should start in Miami, here at home. They don't have to go to Afghanistan to find terrorists."

2001 The Washington Post Company

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