Ten Reasons Cuba's Regime Remains a Sponsor of Terrorism

Sunday, May 31, 2015
From Notes From the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Ten reasons that Cuba under the Castro regime should have remained on the list of terror sponsors

 The regime in Cuba has a long history of sponsoring terrorism and training terrorists that the Obama administration has sought to minimize and ignore in its drive to normalize relations with the Castro dictatorship. Despite evidence that the Castro regime is linked to drug trafficking and engaged in the smuggling of weapons to an outlaw regime (North Korea in July 15, 2013) and to terrorist guerrillas (Colombia in February 28, 2015) the Obama administration today removed Cuba from the list of state terror sponsors. Below is a top ten list that also provides some context into the Castro regime's long history of sponsoring and engaging in international terror.

1. Caught smuggling heavy weapons and ammunition to Colombian terrorist guerrillas on February 28, 2015. 

2. Linked to international drug trafficking along with client state Venezuela on January 27, 2015. The Castro regime has been engaged with drug trafficking rings for at least four decades.

3. Caught smuggling weapons and ammunition in violation of UN international sanctions to North Korea on July 15, 2013.

4.Victims of the Castro regime will no longer be able to seek damages from Cuba's frozen assets in the U.S. under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. 

5. Remaining terror sponsor state Iran has taken an American hostage and placed him on trial to extract concessions from the Obama administration copying a tactic successfully carried out by the Castro regime with Alan Gross. Incidentally, Fidel Castro in an address at the University of Tehran on May 10, 2001 made a call for unity: "Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, can bring America to its knees." ... "The U.S. regime is very weak, and we are witnessing this weakness from close up."

6. In 2012 there were reports in the media of Cuban, Iranian and Venezuelan officials meeting in Mexico to discuss cyber attacks on U.S. soil allegedly seeking information about nuclear power plants in the United States

7. Current leadership of the Castro regime ordered an act of international state terrorism on February 24, 1996 that claimed four lives, three of them U.S. citizens blown up in international airspace by Cuban MiGs.

8. The Cuban government sent instructions to its WASP spy network agents to engage in acts of terrorism on U.S. soil during the Clinton Administration. The Cuban "WASP" spies arrested in 1998 used coded material on computer disks to communicate with other members of the network. Their primary objective was "penetrating and obtaining information on the naval station located in that city." In the final excerpt operatives discuss plans to prepare a "book bomb" so that it evades post office security while at the same time phoning death threats to a man they describe as a CIA agent living in South Florida then having him killed via the mail bomb. Under President Obama's watch all five spies were freed and returned to Cuba by December 17, 2014 including Gerardo Hernandez who was serving a life sentence for conspiracy to commit murder in the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down.

9. The Castro regime has a long history of sponsoring terrorism beginning in the 1960s with the Tricontinental meetings where terrorism was viewed as a legitimate tactic. The University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies in 2004 published a chronology of Cuban government involvement in terrorism covering between 1959 and 2003. For example, their report lists how in 1970 the Cuban government published the "Mini Manual for Revolutionaries" in the official Latin American Solidarity Organization (LASO) publication Tricontinental, written by Brazilian urban terrorist Carlos Marighella, which gives precise instructions in terror tactics, kidnappings, etc. translated into numerous languages which were distributed worldwide by the Cuban dictatorship. There is a chapter on terrorism that defends it as a legitimate tactic.

10.On March 1, 1982 the Cuban dictatorship was placed on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. This was less than three months after the US State Department confirmed that the Castro regime was using a narcotics ring to funnel both arms and cash to the Colombian M19 terrorist group then battling to overthrow Colombia’s democratic government. Despite the Castro regime's denials, it has a long and well documented history of sponsoring and taking part in terrorism, including utilizing the tactic in the struggle against dictator Fulgencio Batista. On New Year’s Eve in 1956 members of Castro's 26th of July movement set off bombs in the Tropicana, blowing off the arm of a seventeen-year-old girl. From bombings, killings, and arson in 1957 to a botched hijacking to smuggle weapons to Cuban guerrillas that led to 14 dead and the night of the 100 bombs in 1958.

 As was the case with both Libya and North Korea during the Bush administration the decision to remove Cuba from the list of terror sponsors is not based on a change of regime behavior but political calculations. The change and status did not improve regime behavior in either case. Taking Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terrorism will provide them with more resources to engage in more mischief that will cause more harm and that is cause for sorrow.