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Whose War on Terror?
Posted on May 20, 2011
By Barry Lando
Radical Cuban exile groups also targeted Cuba’s vital tourist industry, warning potential visitors they would turn the island into a free-fire zone. They bombed several Havana hotels, injuring and killing the innocent.
According to Landau, in 1998 Castro gave a letter to Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez to transmit to President Clinton: To stop the violent exile groups, Cuba would be willing to cooperate with the FBI. An FBI team was dispatched to Havana, and the Cubans supplied them with substantial information about exile terrorist activities.
Instead of dismantling those exile groups, the FBI used the information to discover the identities of the undercover agents in Florida working for the Cuban government. On Sept. 12, 1998, five Cuban intelligence officers were arrested in Miami and charged with, among other things, conspiracy to commit espionage and murder. Among the allegations, they were accused of giving the Cuban government the information needed to shoot down the illegal flights of the Brothers to the Rescue.
The arrested Cubans denied that charge but spent more than a year in solitary confinement and—most important—were denied a motion to move the trial from Dade County, an area seething with anti-Castro sentiment. They were found guilty and received maximum sentences; in one case, two life sentences without the possibility of parole. Last October the U.S. Supreme Court turned down their appeal to have the trial remanded for change of venue.
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Meanwhile, in Florida, the most prominent of the radical Cuban exiles—those proudly linked to the campaign of terrorism against Castro’s Cuba—remain free and the toast of many inside and outside the exile community.
Barry M. Lando spent 25 years as an award-winning investigative producer with “60 Minutes.” He has produced numerous articles, a documentary and a book, “Web of Deceit,” about Iraq. Lando is finishing a novel, “The Watchman’s File.”
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