The news that Obama has an "imminent inclination" to remove Cuba from a State Dept. -based "sponsors of state terror" list almost makes for sarcastic laughs. It certainly has the media and many political pundits yapping, but mostly about the wrong issues. While hysterics and the historically-challenged believe this to be a seriously bad idea, most of us who aren't brainwashed really want to know how the dopes missed the true issue: Cuba has been the historical victim of U.S. state-sponsored terror but never instigated any against the U.S.
The true fact here? Cuba was the victim of the worst state-terror attack in the western hemisphere before 9/11 and it came from the U.S. This was instigated by the CIA on Oct. 6, 1976 using a Venezuelan- based former CIA asset (Luis Posada) to blow up Cubana Airlines Flight 455 killing all 73 on board.
Certainly the event is just as emblazoned in Barbadian neurons as the 9-11 attack for those in New York. Maybe worse, since the scale of Barbados is radically smaller than New York, or the U.S. On a national scale of devastation, that Cubana Airline bombing took out a percentage of people equal to 0.03% of the total populace, while numerically as a %, 9-11 took out roughly 0.0001%. Thus, in purely proportionate numerical terms, Cubana 455 was much deadlier. But sadly, it's not on most citizens' radar - certainly not in the US Of A.
I was at the Paradise Beach on the southwest coast of the island with my five nieces when it occurred. We witnessed the plane come down, and wondered what the hell had happened – then watched in horror barely an hour and a half later as bloody body parts began to wash ashore. Even now, as adult women, they're unable to venture anywhere near that particular beach.
The prevailing thought at the time was some malfunction occurred and the plane just blew up more or less by accident. It was only years later that it was ascertained that the two questioned in Barbados were hired thugs commissioned by anti-Castro extremist Cubans and the CIA . As former federal agents Warren Hinckle and William Turner noted in their excellent book, ‘Deadly Secrets: The CIA-Mafia War Against Castro and the Assassination of JFK’ (p. 384, Thunders Mouth Press, 1992):
“Two men who had deplaned in Barbados, Freddy Lugo and Hernan Ricardo Lusano, were interrogated after joking about the bombing in a Barbados taxicab. The two were employed by Luis Posada…and confessed that Posada and (Orlando) Bosch had supplied them with two bombs, which they planted on the Cubana aircraft.”
Luis Posada - state-sponsored (by the U.S.) Venezuealan terrorist, who was allowed U.S. sanctuary by George Bush Jr. and never extradited for trial in Venezuela.
According to a secret CIA cable dated Oct. 14, 1976, intelligence sources in Venezuela relayed information about the Cubana Airlines bombing that tied in Alpha 66 terrorist Orlando Bosch, who had been visiting Venezuela, and Posada, who then served as a senior officer in Venezuela’s intelligence agency, DISIP. On his arrival, Bosch was met by a CIA operative and Posada, according to the report. Later, a fundraising dinner was held in Bosch’s honor. “A few days following the fund-raising dinner, Posada was overheard to say that, ‘we are going to hit a Cuban airplane,’ and that ‘Orlando has the details,’” the CIA report said.
Meanwhile, those of us living in Barbados at the time had no remote notion of the bloody act to come, nor of the U.S. complicity in it, or that the same right wing Cuban renegades - whose associates conspired in the JFK assassination - were part of it. The CIA Report went on to read:
“Following the 6 October  Cubana Airline crash off the coast of Barbados, Bosch, Garcia and Posada agreed that it would be best for Bosch to leave Venezuela. Therefore, on 9 October, Posada and Garcia escorted Bosch to the Colombian border, where he crossed into Colombian territory.”
(Note the CIA's sanitizing of language, the use of "crash" instead of bombing, or what we call "collateral language.)
Meanwhile, Venezuelan police began rounding up suspects. Two right wing Cuban exiles, Hernan Ricardo Lusano and Freddy Lugo, who got off the Cubana plane (Flight 455) in Barbados, confessed that they had planted the bomb and they named Bosch and Posada as the architects of the attack. A search of Posada’s apartment in Venezuela turned up bomb-making instructions, some materials as well as Cubana Airlines timetables and other incriminating documents.
Posada and Bosch were charged in Venezuela for the Cubana Airlines bombing, but the case soon became a political tug-of-war, since the suspects were in possession of sensitive Venezuelan government secrets that could embarrass President Andres Perez. Posada escaped from a Venezuelan prison where he was awaiting trial in 1985. In his autobiography, Posada thanked Miami-based Cuban activist Jorge Mas Canosa for the $25,000 that was used to bribe guards who allowed Posada to walk out of prison. Another Cuban exile who aided Posada was former CIA officer Felix Rodriguez, who was close to then-Vice President Bush.
To make a long story short, Posada became the beneficiary of assistance of not only a somnolent, uninterested media (which expressed more outrage at the Pan Am 103 downing in 1988) and a friendly Bush Junior Administration - but also Miami's Cuban community which provided safe harbor for a number of years while investigations were ongoing.
Years earlier, the U.S. had planned massive terror attacks not only on Cuban soil but in the U.S. - to blame on Fidel Castro, in order to foment a full scale war and invasion of the island. We have the records that document the extent of it, e.g.
This was none other than Operation Northwoods. In Operation Northwoods the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military planned a campaign of terror, to include the sinking of refugee boats (carrying Cuban refugees) on the high seas, as well as the killing of innocent citizens on American cities’ streets, plus random bombings carried out in Washington, DC, Miami and other places. What was the motivation? Author James Bamford shows (Body Of Secrets, pp. 82-83) it was to incite an invasion and war against
But the documents to support suspicions of this (failed) conspiracy were only released years later – though many smelled a ‘rat’. When I first heard of Northwoods, I had trouble processing how any
Flash forward to Obama's announcement which is more than welcome by the dozens of Latin American nations that already have diplomatic and trade relations with Havana, and who never could understand the U.S. isolationist stance. We do well to applaud this advance but also bear in mind the generosity here is not all on the part of the high and mighty U.S. but also the Cuban people who have been able to forgive the diabolical attack on their own nearly 40 years ago.
See also the video: