November 7, 2001

Yes, Cuba is a terrorist nation

Published Wednesday, November 7, 2001 in The Miami Herald

Harvard scholar and former New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said that everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. Not a bad concept to keep in mind now that Cuban government officials claim that the reason for including Cuba on the list of terrorist nations is total nonsense; that the inclusion of Castro's Cuba among Iraq, Libya, Iran and other unsavory characters is motivated by U.S. domestic politics.

Sixteen anti-embargo activists, including Princeton professor Alejandro Portes and John Hopkins University visiting professor Wayne Smith agreed, charging that Castro is on the terrorist list due to the unwillingness of the United States to offend elements of the Cuban-American community.

Is Castro's Cuba a terrorist state?

Biological weapons are of no minor concern for Americans today. Castro's bankrupt regime has spent more than $1 billion to set up a scientific infrastructure that, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen said in 1998, could support an offensive biological-warfare program. In 1995 the U.S. Office of Technological Assessment included Cuba among 17 countries believed to possess biological weapons.

Last year Ken Alibeck, former deputy director of Biopreparat, the Soviet Union's biological-weapons program, revealed that a few years after Castro's visit to the Soviet Union in 1981, Cuba had one of the most sophisticated genetic-engineering labs in the world.

A few days ago the University of Miami School of International Studies released a report, Castro and Terrorism: A Chronology. It says that:

Castro refused to join the other Ibero-American heads of state in condemning ETA terrorism at the 2000 Ibero-American Summit in Panama and slammed Mexico for its support of the summit's statement against terrorism.

This summer Colombian officials arrested IRA members Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan and accused them of training the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Connolly had been living in Cuba as the representative of the IRA for Latin America.

Argentine-born Cuban intelligence agent Jorge Massetti helped funnel Cuban funds to finance Puerto Rican terrorists belonging to the Machetero group. The Macheteros hijacked a Wells Fargo truck in Connecticut in September 1983 and stole $7.2 million.

Illich Ramírez Sánchez, known as Carlos the Jackal and responsible for numerous terrorist acts in Europe in the 1960s and '70s trained in Cuba.

Black Panther leaders in the 1960s received weapons training in Havana.

Does any of that have anything to do with the influence of Cuban Americans? Were exiles responsible for the expulsion of Castro's diplomats from Paris and London who were linked to Carlos the Jackal? Do exiles explain why Castro supported Puerto Rico's Macheteros, charged with terrorist acts there and on the mainland? Were exiles responsible for his training of the Faribundo Marti Front, El Salvador's terrorist group, or for Uruguay's Tupamaros, known for targeting Americans?

One day the archives of Cuba's intelligence service will be opened just like the KGB's and East Germany's Stasi's. Then details will be known, as well as the names and activities of Castro's "agents of influence'' in the United States. But if history is any indication, they will say they fell for the romance of the revolution, that they could not have imagined such a regime and such a tyrant. They will go on with their lives, just like the old Stalinists who saw no difference between Stalin's Russia and Great Britain and who claimed, while it mattered, that Stalin's terror was simply an invention of the Russian exiles in Paris.

Frank Calzón is executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba in Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2001 Miami Herald

Related links

Secretary Cohen forwards Cuban threat assessment to Congress / US Department of Defense

Defense Secretary's letter to Thurmond on Cuban threat /

Cuba: possible threat to the national security of the United States through non-conventional military methods


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