'AS AT THIS DATE - THE WORST TERRORIST ATTACK EVER COMMITTED IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE - WHO DID IT ??? - THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - 6 OCT 1976 - ABOVE LEFT - BAGHDAD - 20 MCH 2003'
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CUBANA FLIGHT 455
Cubana Flight 455 was an Air Cubana flight from Barbados to Cuba that was brought down by a CIA-linked terrorist attack on October 6, 1976. All 73 people on board the Douglas DC-8 aircraft were killed in what was then the most deadly terrorist attack in the Western hemisphere. Two time bombs were used, variously described as dynamite or C-4.
Evidence implicated several CIA-linked anti-Castro Cuban exiles and members of the Venezuelan secret police DISIP. Political complications quickly arose when Cuba accused the US government of being an accomplice to the attack. CIA documents released in 2005 indicate that the agency had prior knowledge that the bombing was going to take place. Posada Carriles denies involvement but provides many details of the incident in his book "Caminos del Guerrero" (Way of the Warrior),
Four men were arrested in connection with the bombing: Freddy Lugo and Hernan Ricardo Lozano were sentenced to 20-year prison terms; Orlando Bosch was acquitted because of technical defects in the prosecution evidence, and now lives in Miami, Florida; and Luis Posada Carriles escaped from prison and eventually fled to the United States, where he is was being held on charges of entering the country illegally but was released on the 19th April 2007.
On October 6, 1976, Flight CU-455 was scheduled to fly the following route: Guyana to Trinidad, Trinidad to Barbados, Barbados to Kingston, Jamaica, and finally Kingston to Havana, Cuba.
At 17:24, nine minutes after takeoff from Barbados's Seawell airport and at an altitude of 18,000 feet, a bomb located in the aircraft's rear lavatories exploded. The captain, Wilfredo Pérez Pérez, radioed to the control tower: "We have an explosion aboard, we are descending immediately! ... We have fire on board! We are requesting immediate landing! We have a total emergency!"
The plane went into a rapid descent, while the pilots unsuccessfully tried to return the plane to Seawell Airport. A second bomb exploded during the following minutes, causing the plane to crash. Realizing a successful landing was no longer possible, it appears that the pilot turned the craft away from the beach and towards the Atlantic Ocean, saving the lives of many tourists. This occurred about eight kilometres short of the airport.
All 48 passengers and 25 crew aboard the plane died: 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese, and five North Koreans. Among the dead were all 24 members of the 1975 national Cuban Fencing team that had just won all the gold medals in the Central American and Caribbean Championship; many were teenagers.
Several officials of the Cuban government were also aboard the plane: Manuel Permuy Hernández, communist party director of the National Institute of Sports (INDER); Jorge de la Nuez Suárez, communist party secretary for the shrimp fleet; Alfonso González, National Commissioner of firearm sports; and Domingo Chacón Coello, an agent from the Interior Ministry .
The 11 Guyanese passengers included 18 and 19-year-old medical students, and the young wife of a Guyanese diplomat.
The five Koreans were government officials and a cameraman.
Hours after the explosions, Trinidad authorities arrested Freddy Lugo and Hernan Ricardo Lozano, two Venezuelan men who had boarded the plane in Trinidad and checked their baggage to Cuba but who had exited the plane in Barbados and flown back to Trinidad. Ricardo had been travelling with a false identity under the name of José Vázquez García.
Lugo and Ricardo confessed, and declared to be acting under the orders of Luis Posada Carriles. Their testimony, along with other evidence, implicated Carriles and another Venezuelan, Orlando Bosch.
On 14 October, 1976, Posada and Bosch were both arrested in Caracas, Venezuela and the offices of Investigaciones Comerciales e Industriales C.A. (ICICA), a private investigator's company owned by Posada, were raided. Weapons, explosives and a radio transmitter were found. Ricardo was an employee of ICICA at the time of the attack, while Lugo worked as a photographer for the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons.
On October 20, authorities of Trinidad, Cuba, Barbados, Guyana and Venezuela held a meeting in Port of Spain, during which the decision was taken to hold the trial in Venezuela, since the four accused were citizens of that country. Shorty after, Lugo and Ricardo were deported to Venezuela.
On August 25, 1977, Judge Delia Estava Moreno referred the case to a military tribunal, charging all four co-conspirators with treason.
In September of 1980, a Venezuelan military judge acquitted all four men.
The prosecutor appealed, arguing that a military court was the wrong forum to try the case for two reasons: none of the men were military personnel in 1976, and the crime of qualified homicide or aggravated homicide cannot be tried by a military tribunal. The Military Court of Appeals agreed and surrendered jurisdiction, rendering the acquittal moot. The Judge ruled that the accused "are civilians and the crimes imputed to them are governed by the penal (and not the military) code... Civilians and common law crimes are not subject to the dispositions of the Code of Military Justice..."
The four were then charged with aggravated homicide and treason before a civilian court.
On August 8, 1985, Venezuelan judge Alberto Perez Marcano of the 11th Penal Court convicted Lugo and Ricardo, sentencing them each to 20 years in prison. The judge reduced the penalty to its lowest limit "due to the extenuating circumstance of no prior criminal records." Orlando Bosch was acquitted, because the evidence gathered by the Barbados authorities during the investigation could not be used in the Venezuela trial, as it was presented too late and had not been translated into Spanish.
Posada fled from the San Juan de los Morros penitentiary on the eve of the pronouncement of his sentence. He had been confined in this prison following two previous failed escape attempts. Allegations were made that Venezuelan authorities were bribed to help him escape. No verdict was entered against Posada because, according to the Venezuelan Penal Code, judicial proceedings cannot continue without the presence of the accused. The court issued an arrest warrant against him which is still pending as of November, 2005.
A different judge then ordered the case reviewed by a higher court. The Venezuelan government declined to appeal the case any further, and in November 1987 Bosch was freed. He had spent 11 years in jail despite having been acquitted twice.
Lugo and Lozano were released in 1993 and continue to reside in Venezuela.
Posada fled to Panama, then to the United States. In April of 2005, a new warrant for Posada's arrest in connection with the bombing was issued by Venezuela by the government of Hugo Chávez. In September of 2005, a US immigration judge ruled that Posada should not be deported to either Cuba or Venezuela because he could be subject to torture.
Freed from Venezuelan charges, Bosch went to the United States, assisted by US Ambassador to Venezuela Otto Reich; there, he was ultimately arrested for a parole violation. Bosch was pardoned of all American charges by President George H.W. Bush on July 18, 1990 at the request of his son Jeb Bush, who later became Governor of Florida; this pardon came despite objections by the then President's own defense department that Bosch was one of the most deadly terrorists working "within the hemisphere." [TVOTW Insert - George H. W. Bush is an ex CIA Director as well.] Although many countries seek Bosch's extradition he remains free in the United States. The political pressure to grant Bosch a pardon was begun during the congressional campaign run by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, herself a Cuban American, and overseen by her campaign manager Jeb Bush.
FBI and CIA knowledge
Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban-born naturalized Venezuelan, was the Director of Counterintelligence at Venezuela's FBI equivalent, the DISIP, from 1967 to 1974. A U.S. Government document released through FOIA also confirms Posada's status with the CIA: "Luis Posada, in whom CIA has an operational interest - Posada is receiving approximately $300 per month from CIA". Posada was heavily involved with right-wing anti-Castro groups, in particular the Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF) and the Coordinadora de Organizaciones Revolucionarias Unidas (Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations - CORU), led at the time by Orlando Bosch.
A declassified CIA document dated October 12, 1976, quotes Posada as saying, a few days after a plate fund-raising meeting for CORU held around September 15, "We are going to hit a Cuban airliner... Orlando ['Bosch'] has the details" (Source Comment: The identites of "We" and "Orlando" were not known at the time.) .
A declassified FBI document dated October 21, 1976, quotes CORU member Secundino Carrera as stating that CORU "was responsible for the bombing of the Cubana Airlines DC-8 on October 6, 1976... this bombing and the resulting deaths were fully justified because CORU was at war with the Fidel Castro regime." Carrera also expressed his pleasure over the attention paid to the United States over the bombing, as it was taking attention off of himself and his associate. 
Documents released by the National Security Archive on May 3, 2007 reveal the links Posada had to the 1976 Cubana airline bombing and other terrorist attacks and plots, including a British West Indian Airways office in Barbados and the Guyanese Embassy in Trinidad.  These provide additional proof of Posada's involvement in violent efforts to undermine Castro's communist government, said Peter Kornbluh, director of the National Security Archive's Cuba Documentation Project. The Archive is an independent research organization located at George Washington University.
The Cuban Government claims that Flight 455 is just one of many terrorist plots committed against Cuba by the United States.   A monument was erected in Barbados to the memory of the people killed in the bombing, and it was visited several times by Fidel Castro, including a visit during the CARICOM meeting in December 2005 during which Cuban officials called for Posada "to be brought to justice so as to bring closure to this egregious incident that caused so much pain to the people of the region."
AND THEN TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY - THE U.S. HONOURS THE CIA BOSCH AS SHOWN HERE:-
TERRORIST HONOURED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI, ACADEMICS EXPRESS OUTRAGE TO SHALALA
LETTER TO DONNA SHALALA, PRESIDENT OF THE UM
Honorable Donna E. Shalala,
University of Miami
Dear President Shalala,
We, U.S. academics and University of Miami alumni, are writing to you to convey our outrage at an event held on October12th of 2010 at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICAAS) of the University of Miami. This event included an homage to convicted terrorist Orlando Bosch.
Orlando Bosch has been arrested, tried and convicted for innumerable terrorist acts in Venezuela, the United States and other countries. In 1968, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for firing a bazooka against a Polish ship anchored in Miami. He served 10 years in jail in Venezuela for bombing a Cuban airplane and killing 73 people on board on October 6 of 1976. U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh referred to him as an unrepentant terrorist, while Acting Associate Attorney General Joe D. Whitley considered him a threat to National Security, both under George H. W. Bush administration (Exclusion Proceeding for Orlando Bosch Avila; see attached documentation).
CIA and FBI recently declassified documents (accessible online) offer solid proof for the Attorneys points. For example, a 1979 document reported Boschs view on the plane bombing when he said: At times you cannot avoid hurting innocent people" [Appendix to Hearings]). An October 14, 1976 FBI cable reports Luis Posada Carriles (Boschs partner in crime) saying that Orlando knew all the details of the soon-to-be hit plane (Intelligence Information Cable).
We urge you to launch an inquiry into the homage paid to this man, to which the University of Miami lent its name and its banner, thereby becoming a sponsor. The University of Miami, as an institution of higher learning, has an educational mission and a social responsibility. Certainly, promoting a terrorist as a community role model goes against everything that academia stands for.
Note: The signatories of this letter are from academia and do not necessarily share similar opinions on the political system in Cuba, the United States policy of embargo or other U.S.-Cuba related issues. However, they all agree on the fact that terrorism should be condemned, regardless the ideologies or politics that motivate it.
María Isabel Alfonso, PhD. Assistant Professor of Spanish. St. Josephs College, New York. (University of Miami Alumnus).
Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor, Retired. MIT.
Luis Duno-Gottberg, PhD. Associate Professor of Caribbean and Film Studies, Duncan College Master, Texas.
John Walton Cotman, PhD. Associate Professor of Political Science. Howard University, Washington.
David Carlson, PhD. Assistant Professor of Latin American History. The University of Texas-Pan American, Texas.
Rick Miller, PhD. Associate Professor of Art. St. Josephs College, New York
Lisa Glidden, PhD. Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics, Latin American Studies. SUNY College at Oswego, New York
Iraida H. Lopez, Ph.D. Professor of Spanish. Ramapo College of New Jersey, New Jersey
Arturo Lopez-Levy, Lecturer. PhD Candidate. Josef Korbel School of International Studies. University of Denver, Colorado.
Kenneth E. Bauzon, Ph.D. Professor of Political Science. St. Josephs College, New York
Emilio Bejel, Distinguished Professor of Latin American Studies. University of California at Davis, California
Miren Uriarte, PhD. Professor of Human Services. University of Massachusetts Boston
David L. Strug, PhD. Professor of Social Work. Yeshiva University, New York
Dionisio Márquez Arreaza, Professor. Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela (University of Miami Alumnus)
Judith A. Weiss. Research Professor and Professor Emerita. Mount Allison University, Canada
Liliam Dominguez, PhD Candidate. Barry University, Florida. (University of Miami Alumnus).
Mirella Landriscina, PhD. Professor of Sociology. St. Josephs College, New York
Douglas Friedman, PhD. Associate Professor of Political Science. College of Charleston, South Carolina
Samuel Farber. Samuel Farber. Professor Emeritus, Political Science. Brooklyn College of CUNY, New York
Dick Cluster, Associate Director. University Honors Program. University of Massachusetts at Boston
Fernando Coronil. Presidential Professor. Graduate Center. CUNY, NY.
Zoya Kocur, PhD Candidate. Middlesex University. London. NYU, New York, NY.
William Van Norman, Jr. PhD. Assistant Professor of Latin American History. James Madison University, Virginia
Alejandro de la Fuente, PhD. UCIS Research Professor. University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Antoinette Hertel, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Spanish. St. Joseph's College, New York
Susan Eckstein, PhD. Professor of Sociology and International Relations. Boston University, Massachusetts
Tania Triana, PhD. Assistant Professor of Spanish, University of Oregon
Ana M. López, PhD. Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs. Tulane University, Louisiana
Eduardo González, PhD. Professor. Director of the Spanish and Latin American Subdivision. The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Trevor H Whitbread. M.A. Spanish Candidate. University of Oregon
Francisco A. Scarano, Ph.D. Professor of History. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin
Antonio Lauria-Perricelli, PhD. Adjunct Professor. Gallatin School, New York University, New York
Enrique Sacerio-Gari, PhD. Dorothy Nepper Marshall Professor of Hispanic and Hispanic-American Studies. Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania
Antonia Darder, PhD. Distinguished Professor of Education. University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Illinois.
Edwin Murillo, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Spanish. Penn State University-Berks, Pensylvannia (University of Miami Alumnus)
Beatriz Calvo Peña. PhD. Researcher. University Carlos III, Madrid. (University of Miami Alumni)
Julie Skurski, Ph.D. Distinguished Lecturer of Anthropology. CUNY Graduate Center. New York
Leslie S. Offutt, PhD. Associate Professor and Chair, Department of History. Vassar College, New York.
David J. Vázquez, PhD. Assistant Professor of English. University of Oregon, Oregon
Ricardo Pérez, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Anthropology. Eastern Connecticut State University, Connecticut
TVOTW - ICOPO
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