ANITA SNOW (AP) REPORTS ON CASTRO'S TERROR OMITS MANY CRITICAL MATTERS
By Larry Daley
Anita Snow (AP) reports (see below foot, note 1, from Miami Herald) on Castro's campaign to be removed from US State Department terror list omits many critical matters.
First the long list of 40 years of worldwide terror related action by Castro --from Ireland to Vietnam, from Sri Lanka to Spain and Algeria and from Angola to Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Chile and Uruguay,-- is not mentioned. Naturally Castro's support for the old Machetero terror in mainland US and on Cuba's "sister island" of Puerto Rico is also forgotten, all though there were a number of violent deaths in bankrobberies and machine gunnings of US sailors.
However, the central drum beat of the Castro government, the very unfortunate, but 25 year old, airliner bombing of a Cubana plane is given prominence in the article. And yet all the terror activity of the Cuban directed and supported bloody terror in Venezuela at the time is not mentioned, even though the those found guilty of this airline attack were Venezuelan. The Bosch case is dismissed as an acquital after eleven years of imprisonment, while the reality is that Bosch was found innocent several times and still held prisoner until, if memory serves, he escaped.
The much more recent shoot down of unarmed planes of the Brothers to Rescue over international waters, although there is now a judicial process against Castro in Belgium for this matter, does not get a line. This process which asks for the extradition for terror crimes of Castro to the European Union is also reported in the Nuevo Herald (Miami Heralds's Spanish language sister publication, see footnote 2)
The recent planned visit to Cuba by IRA leader Gerry Adams is of course not mentioned, as are Adam's statements to the effect of his "debts" to Castro.
The Cuban government support for the growing war of the Colombian narco-guerrillas is diminished in this report even though Cuba offers, support, safe haven and medical treatment on the island for wounded guerrillas. The recent kidnapping and murder of a prominent Colombian woman by these guerrillas, who supposedly are negotiating with the Colombian government, is not mentioned either.
Anita Snow states:
"U.S. officials concede there is no evidence Cuba has sponsored specific terror acts in recent years. The nation remains on the list for three reasons: U.S. fugitives on the island, Cuba's contacts with Colombian guerrilla groups, and several Basque separatists who are in the country."
However, Ms Snow neglects the fact that Castro spy Ana Belen Montes, was in charge until very recently of the Cuba desk of the US Defense Intelligence Agency and is widely believed to not only have provided intelligence to the Cuban government, but also to have distorted in Castro's favor official US press briefings and evaluations of Castro's danger and intent of harm to the US.
However, one must note in Anita Snow's favor that reporting on such things is very difficult in Castro's police state....
And one must look at this from the good side, Castro is really, really scared, and perhaps that is what Ms Snow is telling us......
From Miami Herald
Cuba recalls own terror, resents place on U.S. terrorism listBy ANITA SNOW
Associated Press Writer
HAVANA -- (AP) -- The black and white photographs of people in mourning bear testimony to what Cubans view as the deadliest act of terrorism committed against their country -- an airliner bombing that killed 73 people.
One image on display at the Interior Ministry Museum shows teen-agers filing past caskets draped with Cuban flags. Others show an older man comforting his sobbing wife, and hundreds of thousands crowding Havana's Revolution Plaza to remember the victims killed 25 years ago this week.
``We have an explosion aboard, we are descending immediately!'' reads the transcript of the pilot's last words with the control tower in Seawell, Barbados. ``Seawell, CU-455, we are requesting immediate landing... . We have a total emergency!''
After last month's terror attacks in the United States, Cubans recalled their own experience with terror on Oct. 6, 1976, when a bomb planted by opponents of Fidel Castro's government blew up the Cubana de Aviacion airliner.
The government has called a rally for the anniversary on Saturday to remember those who died.
Several government officials were among the 57 Cuban victims. But most were civilians, including members of the island's fencing team. Five Koreans and 11 citizens of the South American nation of Guyana also died.
After the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the government sponsored a rally to express solidarity with Americans. It also condemned the attacks but added: ``It is not possible for our people to forget that for more than 40 years they have been the victim of just such actions promoted from the same American soil.''
Few Cubans know their country remains on the U.S. State Department's terrorism watch list with six other nations: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, North Korea and Sudan.
Cuba deeply resents being on the list, especially because it says it stopped actively supporting armed struggle in Latin America and elsewhere more than a decade ago. Earlier, Cuba did provide training, arms and funding to leftist rebels around the world.
``Our country speaks with total moral authority in saying that it would never undertake a terrorist act,'' Cuba's U.N. Ambassador Bruno Rodriguez told United Nations members Monday.
U.S. officials concede there is no evidence Cuba has sponsored specific terror acts in recent years. The nation remains on the list for three reasons: U.S. fugitives on the island, Cuba's contacts with Colombian guerrilla groups, and several Basque separatists who are in the country.
``When Cuba is proclaimed a terrorist state with this type of argument it really hurts the credibility of the American government,'' Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque earlier this year told Radio Progreso, a moderate Cuban-American station in Miami.
Perez Roque said both the presence of Basque separatists on the island and Cuba's contacts with Colombian rebels were approved by the Spanish and Colombian governments. Cuba has sponsored meetings between Colombian representatives and guerrillas as part of that nation's peace process.
In the radio interview, Perez Roque didn't talk about the several dozen American fugitives living in Cuba. But in the past, Cuban officials have noted the country has no extradition treaty with the United States, which severed diplomatic relations in 1961.
The American fugitives include former Black Panther Joanne Chesimard, who lives here under the name Assata Shakur. She was convicted in 1977 of killing a New Jersey state trooper.
Cuba has its own problems trying to extradite people it wants to try for terrorism.
Panama earlier this year refused Havana's request to extradite over Cuban-born Luis Posada Carriles, 72, for trial in the airliner attack and a series of bombings in 1997 on tourist sites. Posada Carriles has denied any role in the airliner attack but has admitted involvement in the bombings.
He has been jailed since Nov. 17 in Panama, where he was arrested after Castro arrived there for a regional summit and declared that his old nemesis was in the country plotting to kill him.
Two Venezuelan men were convicted in the jetliner bombing and each sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in Venezuela. A fourth man, Cuban exile Orlando Bosch, spent 11 years behind bars in Venezuela during a lengthy judicial process but was ultimately acquitted.
European Union suit requesting extradition of Castro for terror crimes.
Publicado el viernes, 5 de octubre de 2001 en El Nuevo Herald
Belgica recibe demanda colectiva contra Castro Consideran la extradicin del gobernante cubano si se lleva a cabo el proceso
ELISA SANTAFE / AFP
Una demanda fue interpuesta ayer ante la justicia belga contra el gobernante cubano, Fidel Castro, por crimenes contra la humanidad, en un momento en que Belgica --actual presidente de la Union Europea (UE)-- impulsa un dialogo politico con la isla.
Un grupo de nueve cubanos, siete residentes en Estados Unidos y dos en Belgica, presento ante la justicia belga una querella colectiva basandose en una ley belga de competencia universal, por la que el lider cubano podra ser condenado a entre 20 y 30 años.
Jose Basulto, Eugenio de Sosa y Marcelino Feal presentaron ayer la demanda en el Palacio de Justicia de Bruselas junto con su abogado belga, Paul Sher, y el estadounidense, Larry Klayman.
Los querellantes se basan en la ley belga de 1993 --ampliada en 1999-- que atribuye competencia universal a la justicia de ese pais por crimenes de guerra, genocidio y crimenes contra la humanidad, independientemente del lugar donde se cometieron y las nacionalidades y lugares de residencia de las victimas y los acusados.
Con base en esta ley han sido demandados varios dirigentes de distintos pases, entre ellos el ex dictador chileno Augusto Pinochet y el actual primer ministro israel, Ariel Sharon.
``Espero encontrar justicia aqu en Europa y tambien en Estados Unidos'', donde se lleva a cabo un proceso, declaro Basulto, presidente de Hermanos al Rescate (Brothers to the Rescue), quien sobrevivio en 1996 a un ataque de aviones de Cuba contra tres aparatos de su asociacion. En el incidente murieron cuatro personas.
``Vamos a poner a Fidel Castro donde debera estar'', asegura Eugenio Sosa Chabau, empresario y editor opositor al regimen de Castro, que fue torturado en prision entre 1960 y 1980.
El medico de 69 años, Marcelino Feal, prisionero politico durante 17 años, se manifesto ``orgulloso de estar en un pais que tradicionalmente respeta la libertad y la justicia''.
Los otros querellantes son la organizacion Hermanos al rescate, Sergio Perodin, Maria Victoria Garcia, Eva Barba y dos cubanos residentes en Belgica cuyos nombres no fueron facilitados por seguridad.
Perodín y García sobrevivieron el 13 de julio de 1994 al hundimiento, a manos de barcos del gobierno cubano, de la embarcacin en la que se dirigan a Florida. En la accion murieron 41 personas, entre ellas el hijo y la esposa de Perodin, y 14 familiares de Garcia. La justicia belga se pronunciar ``en los proximos das'' sobre la admisibilidad de la querella y, en caso positivo, nombrara a un juez de instruccion. Klayman expreso su ``confianza en la justicia belga, que es independiente del gobierno''. Si se lleva a cabo el proceso, se ``evitar que Castro viaje a Europa durante este tiempo'', segn Klayman, que consider ``posible que Castro pudiera ser extraditado a la UE''. El abogado estimo que tanto en Europa como en Estados Unidos hay una ``falta de informacion'' sobre las violaciones de derechos humanos en Cuba y que la UE hace ``un juicio erroneo'' de la situacion, aunque ``obviamente el poder judicial har un juicio diferente''.