1976: Cuban Airliner Bombed
10/6/1976 a Cuban Airliner was bombed, perpetrators were trained by CIA (while Bush Sr. was head), pardoned by Bush Sr. and today walk free in the United States.
Bush Jr: "One of the things we will do is enforce the doctrine that says, if you harbor a terrorist, you're just as guilty as a terrorist"
Anyway that's what the couple of news items and comments (from a list-serve I'm on) say:
When passenger airliners were used as weapons of terror two years ago, the
whole world was horrified. But this wasn't the first time --although it was
the first time the victims were from the United States. Actually, the first
time was 27 years ago today, the victims were primarily Cubans -- a third of
them young members of Cuba's medal-winning fencing team -- and the men who
masterminded the repulsive act were Cuban exiles
trained by the CIA.
That was 1976. The same year other Cuban exiles murdered Chilean Orlando
Letelier with a car-bomb that exploded while he was driving down Washington,
DC's Embassy Row.
The year George H.W. Bush was director of the CIA.
The masterminds of that bombing were apprehended in Venezuela and tried
there, but with help from the CIA and the Cuban American National Foundation
(CANF), were able to escape prison (one through bribed and intimidated
judges, the other by literally walking out of the prison). One, Orlando
Bosch, lives happily as a "hero" to the ultra-right in Miami -- thanks to
George H.W. Bush, who as president, overrode the Justice and Immigration
Department objections to allowing this known terrorist to reside in the US.
The other remained on the CIA payroll for some time longer, despite
revelations that he was one of those operating the drugs-for-guns operation
between El Salvador and Nicaragua (Iran-Contragate). His name is Luis Posada
He has continued to use bombs as his weapon of choice, interrupted
temporarily by his incarceration in Panama, where he and some of the other
murderous thugs trying to bring back the glory of the Batista years (all
with long histories of cowardly attacks, including one of those
convicted --but later released on a technicality -- for the Letelier murder)
were caught trying to bomb the University auditorium where Fidel Castro was
scheduled to speak.
I send you the following article in memory of the 73 passengers and crew of
the Cubana de Aviacion airliner who died that October 6.
Article: Cubana Victims' 'Sacrifice Not In Vain' Date:
Monday, October 06th, 2003
Source: www.NationNews.com -Barbados Daily Nation
The 73 passengers who lost their lives in the Cubana
Airlines bombing 27 years ago were not martyrs, but symbols
in the struggle against terrorism.
So said Cuban Ambassador to Barbados, Jose Alvarez Portela,
during a special ceremony at the monument erected in honour
of the victims at Paynes Bay, St James, yesterday.
He said the sacrifice of their lives was not useless and
this act must be a wake-up call for all governments to
search for ways for a real and lasting eradication of
Portela said the brutal act of terrorism claimed the lives
of 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese and five Korean officials from
Cuba's Ministry of Culture.
"Except for the people of Barbados and a handful of
friendly personalities and institutions, nobody shared our
sorrow . . . . There were neither meetings in the United
Nations Security Council, nor imminent threats of war or
unilateral action to combat terrorism.
"At that time nobody could imagine that 25 years afterwards
a terrorist attack would be carried on, equally cruel and
repulsive, which would cost the lives of thousands of
innocent persons in the United States."
Portela continued: "In both cases, the immense emptiness
and the infinite anguish was suffered by relatives and
friends as well as the profound indignation and unbearable
pain in both peoples."
October 6th, 1976:
Why Cuba Needs People like the Miami Five
by Ed Newman
Members of Cuba's Junior Fencing Team who lost their lives
in the bombing of the Cubana airliner.
October 6th, 2003
Twenty-seven years ago on October 6th, 1976, Cubana
Airlines flight 455 took off from Barbados bound for Havana
via Jamaica. Nine minutes later the pilot, in a desperate
call to the Seawell air traffic control tower of Bridgetown
airport from which he had just taken off, reported that
there had been an explosion on board. The aircraft's black
box gives us its final moments:
COCKPIT: This is CU455 we have an explosion on board!
Descending immediately! SEAWELL: CU455, go ahead COCKPIT:
This is CU455 we have fire on board! Request immediate,
immediate landing! SEAWELL: CU455 you are cleared for
landing COCKPIT: Close the door! Close the door! COCKPIT:
That's worse! COCKPIT: Put us in the water! Put us in the
Then, tragic silence.
All 73 people on board - including Cuba's entire junior
fencing team returning from a competition in Venezuela
where the plane had originated - perished as the stricken
airliner plunged into the Caribbean off the coast of
Evidence later revealed that two bombs were placed on board
the flight by two Venezuelan passengers who boarded the
Cubana flight in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. They
apparently set the plastic explosive devices during the
short, 32-minute flight to Bridgetown, Barbados, where they
got off the plane. One bomb exploded in the forward
passenger cabin and the second in the restroom area,
located to the rear of the aircraft.
From the recordings of radio transmissions between the
pilot, co-pilot and the air traffic control tower in
Bridgetown it was determined that the explosion and the
resulting smoke and fire incapacitated the flight crew
within a few minutes -- although they struggled to return
the burning plane to the airport from which they had just
Two Cuban-born terrorists who were living in Venezuela --
Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles -- were arrested a
few days later in Caracas, along with the two Venezuelans
-- Freddy Lugo and Hernan Ricardo. The four were indicted
on charges of sabotage -- Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada
Carriles were charged with being the masterminds of the
horrendous crime and providing the other two with money and
explosive devices. Bosch was eventually acquitted and
Posada Carriles later "escaped" from a Venezuelan jail --
with a little help from his friends in Washington and
The bloody record of terrorists Orlando Bosch and Luis
Posada Carriles includes not only the mid-air destruction
of the airliner, but more than at least 50 violent attacks
in the United States, Cuba, and other parts of the Americas
Over the past four decades there have been many acts of
sabotage against Cuban targets - both in and out of Cuba.
There have been bombings of Cuban diplomatic missions,
airline offices and press service bureaus in, among others,
Panama, Colombia, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico.
There have been bombings of hotels and department stores in
Cuba, of offices in Miami doing business with Cuba, of
radio talk show hosts not towing the right-wing line in
Florida - of anyone and everyone supporting Cuba's right to
On September 11th, 1980 a diplomat at the Cuban Mission to
the United Nations was gunned down in broad daylight. Felix
García Rodríguez was shot through the open window of his
car on a busy street in Queens -- becoming the first UN
diplomat ever assassinated in New York.
In all of these activities, and many more too numerous to
mention, the Central Intelligence Agency played a key role
one way or another. The CIA trained most of those who
carried out the terrorist attacks against Cuba. Some were
veterans of the failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs
in 1961. Others worked directly with the CIA or other
intelligence agencies of the United States government.
Such is the case of those involved in the bombing of the
Cubana airliner 26 years ago - Luis Posada Carriles is a
long-time CIA agent -- going back to before the days of the
Bay of Pigs.
Receiving military training at the School of the Americas
at Fort Benning, Georgia in the early 60's -- shortly after
he left Cuba and began his terrorist career -- Luis Posada
Carriles was involved in numerous actions against the Cuban
Revolution, most notably a number of plans to assassinate
President Fidel Castro.
Following his arrest and conviction in the Cubana sabotage,
Posada Carriles spent some time in a Venezuelan jail -- but
managed to walk out undetected, with a little help from his
good CIA contacts with terrorist organizations in Miami.
The Cuban-American National Foundation reportedly put up
$26,000 to bribe a couple of prison guards and make sure
Posada Carriles could get out of Venezuela and continue his
activities as a career terrorist.
Soon after his "escape," Posada Carriles reappeared in El
Salvador supervising the Contra resupply flights under the
direction of his old friend Felix "Max Gomez" Rodriguez,
who had been the CIA operative present at the murder of Che
Guevara. He worked on the project with the now infamous
Oliver North until October 1986, when an old plane from the
CIA fleet was downed over Nicaragua, exposing the Reagan
White House and the entire Iran-Contra operation.
When the scandal started making headlines, Luis Posada
Carriles disappeared from El Salvador and later turned up
in Guatemala. In 1994, he reportedly planned an
assassination attempt against Fidel Castro during a trip to
In 1997, following a series of bombings in hotels and
tourist facilities carried out in Havana by paid
mercenaries from El Salvador and Guatemala, Luis Posada
Carriles publicly -- and proudly -- admitted that he was
the brains and the money behind them. One of the
explosions, at the Copacabana Hotel in August, killed a
young Italian tourist. The others -- a total of five or six
-- injured a number of hotel workers and guests and caused
extensive damage. Posada Carriles -- the man behind the
brutal murder of 73 men, women and children on board the
Cubana passenger flight 26 years ago -- told The New York
Times that the bombing campaign against the Havana hotels
five years ago was to terrorize tourists from traveling to
Two years ago, in Panama City, Posada Carriles was arrested
for planning to assassinate Fidel Castro. He and three
others were apprehended with C-4 explosives and diagrams of
the University of Panama -- where the Cuban leader was
scheduled to speak the next day, addressing hundreds of
Panamanian students. Had their plans to blow up the
university building not been stopped, hundreds of people
would have been killed.
Orlando Bosch -- the other mastermind of the terrorist
bombing on October 6, 1976 -- was a close collaborator of
Luis Posada Carriles. They studied the fine art of making
bombs together at Fort Benning, Georgia at the School of
the Americas... also known as the School of Assassins.
Orlando Bosch worked hand in glove with the repressive
Chilean military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and was
involved in the murder of former Chilean foreign minister
Orlando Letelier and his American secretary, Ronnie Moffit,
on the streets of Washington, DC -- in September 1976 --
just weeks before the Cubana airlines sabotage.
Bosch is now walking the streets of Miami... having
received a full presidential pardon from the father of the
current U.S. president, George Bush. According to reliable
reports, including published stories in The New York Times
in August 1989, ultra rightwing Cuban-American
congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen met with President Bush
Sr. to negotiate Bosch's release from jail. Her campaign
manager and the president's youngest son, Jeb Bush, who was
running for the office of governor of Florida, arranged the
meeting. Bush, Sr. issued a presidential pardon for Orlando
Bosch on July 18, 1990 and Jeb was handed a gubernatorial
victory in November of that year. Bosch, the terrorist and
murderer, has been a close friend of the Bush family ever
since. He has not renounced terrorism but, on the contrary,
to this day continues to espouse violent actions against
Cuba in an effort to bring down it's government.
On this, the 27th anniversary of the ruthless murder of 73
people, it is interesting to note that terrorists continue
to be welcomed with open arms in the United States and
given presidential pardons in the midst of Washington's
so-called "war on terrorism". We are reminded of George W
Bush's own declaration two weeks after the September 11th
attacks at a White House press conference on September
28th, when he said: "One of the things we will do is
enforce the doctrine that says, if you harbor a terrorist,
you're just as guilty as a terrorist".
Cuba's own war on terrorism continues, and five of its own
are serving lengthy prison sentences for fighting
terrorists such as Bosch and Posada Carriles to prevent
other acts of wanton destruction of Cuban life for the
twisted political motives of Miami terrorists and their
protectors in Tallahassee and Washington, who are doing
absolutely nothing to enforce Bush's doctrine where it
relates to Cuba.
Be sure to go to the actual page because there you
will find additional links and documentation on this: