Cuba: War on Terror Warrants Action not Rhetoric


In the aftermath of 9/11, the U.S government’s real efforts to fight terrorism are not evident. The fierce rhetoric and the actions carried out by the White House show a growing divergence.

The cynical behavior, typical of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Negroponte and Rove, dangerously continues to influence high ranking military discourse. A multinational workshop to analyze “regional and national strategies against terrorism”, carried out on October 18-20 in Florida, was evidence of this.

The news service of the US Department of State’s International Information Programs Office was faced with the immediate task of selling the “event’s success,” mostly given by high ranking officers from the Special Operations Command, SOCOM, who said “participants learned more about the effective US initiatives against terrorism.” Are SOCOM’s spokespeople talking about their plans along with covert CIA agents to eliminate leaders of social movements throughout the Western hemisphere?

According to the event’s organizers, progress in the widely announced world war against terrorism has its basis in the integration of all capacities to fight it. These include demanding countries establish better information strategies and the neutralization of individuals who may be considering committing criminal acts.

Can SOCOM or other institutions linked to US security or defense offer evidence of Washington’s good will to fight terrorism in our region? Examples to the contrary abound.

Let’s recall June 1998, when after a wave of bombings of Cuban hotels, the island informed FBI officers visiting Havana of possible criminal actions against US commercial aircraft that would be perpetrated by right wing Cuban exiles in the South of Florida with the direct participation of the Cuban born terrorist, Luis Posada Carrilles.

Posada was the mastermind of the heinous 1973 Barbados crime that took 73 lives. And what was the response from the FBI?

On September 12 of that same year, five Cuban men were arrested in Miami, charged with monitoring and informing the Cuban government of terrorist plans being plotted in Florida. The intelligence information was in fact part of the dossier Cuba provided to the highest US authorities.

On May 20, 2005, Fidel Castro made public the document titled “A Different Behavior” that disclosed to the world the details of efforts by Cuba to seek collaboration with Washington on the fight against terrorism, which led to the Havana meeting with FBI officers.

Six months later the White House response is more of the same. The Cuban Five: Antonio, Gerardo, Rene, Fernando and Ramon continue incarcerated, in spite of the ruling by a three judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals of Atlanta that declared the 2001 trial and subsequent sentences null.

Meanwhile, notorious criminal Luis Posada Carriles waits in Texas for a presidential pardon and in Miami, terrorists continue to receive protection from the Bush administration.

Along the line of a SOCOM proposal to create an international reward program for information, one of ! the officers, Steve Mavica, expressed that in certain cultures giving information on terrorists is a civic duty.

In Washington that doesn’t appear to be the case.