lunes, septiembre 21, 2015

Carmelo Ruiz: Unfinished business between Cuba and the USA

A memorial erected in recognition of the 73 passengers and 5 crew killed in the crash of Cubana Flight 455 in October, 6. 1976. Photo by BCF.
A memorial erected in recognition of the 73 passengers and 5 crew killed in the crash of Cubana Flight 455 in October, 6. 1976. Photo by BCF.
Even with the resumption of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana, the two countries have unfinished business to take care of.
There is the issue of terrorism — the terrorism that U.S.-based exile extremist outfits perpetrated against Cuba.
These groups sought for decades through violence and terror to prevent a rapprochement between Cuba and the United States. Their attacks included arson, bombings and targeted assassinations and claimed many Cuban lives. Declassified documents show the CIA trained a lot of these terrorists in the early 1960s as part of the failed Bay of Pigs landing and the violent Operation Mongoose directed toward regime change in Cuba.
Cuban exiles participated in the infamous Operation Condor, set up by South American dictatorships to eliminate their foes abroad. It included the 1976 murder of Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier in the streets of Washington, D.C., a crime that Cuban expatriates carried out.
The vilest of all acts that these U.S.-based extremists committed was the 1976 bombing of a Cuban passenger airliner in Barbados, in which all 73 occupants were killed. Exile militant Luis Posada Carriles has been directly linked to this crime in declassified CIA and FBI documents. He is currently free and living in Miami, and the Cuban government is requesting his extradition.
While the U.S. government has tolerated right-wing terrorism against Cuba, it has also funded political dissent in the island to the tune of millions of dollars per year through entities such as the National Endowment for Democracy. This seemingly harmless support is in blatant violation of international norms, which frown upon such meddling in the internal affairs of foreign nations.
The Obama administration needs to acknowledge these legitimate grievances of Cuba. Otherwise, true reconciliation between the two nations will still be a long way away.
Carmelo Ruiz is a Puerto Rican author and journalist who directs the Latin America Energy and Environment Monitor ( and runs a bilingual blog on journalism and current affairs ( His Twitter ID is @carmeloruiz, and he currently lives in Ecuador. He can be reached

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