Cuba continues to support terrorism
BY FRANK CALZON
President Donald Trump's strong opposition to terrorism, during his
successful campaign, his recent speech to Arab leaders in Riyadh, and
comments following the Manchester bombing, are welcome. Now, media
reports indicate the administration is reevaluating U.S.-Cuba policy. It
can be hoped that as Trump will look south to Cuba, he factor in that
the island nation has long supported terrorism and terrorists.
Gen. Raúl Castro, succeeded his late brother Fidel, who for many years
sent agents to sow terrorism in Latin American and Europe. Today, Cuba
continues to harbor a convicted American terrorist: Joanne Chesimard.
She is a fugitive on the FBI's Most Wanted list. Indeed, the FBI is
offering $1 million for information leading to her capture and arrest.
In 1977, Chesimard was convicted of the cold-blooded murder of a New
Jersey state trooper, sentenced to life in prison, but fled to Cuba
where Fidel Castro granted her "asylum."
As we know, President Obama acquiesced to Raúl Castro's request to
remove Cuba from the State Department's list of countries supporting
terrorists in a deal to restore diplomatic relations. Chesimard has not
been returned to United States to face American justice. Instead, she
speaks to American college students visiting Havana. She, of course,
speaks glowingly about the Castros' dynasty.
She's not the only terrorist to be welcomed in Cuba. Oscar Lopez Rivera
is a Puerto Rican terrorist whose sentence was commuted by Obama. Raúl
Castro sent his congratulations and invited him to visit the "socialist
island nation." Lopez Rivera spent more than 35 years in U.S.
penitentiaries for his role in a series of deadly bombings in New York
City and Chicago. He is one of the militants of the infamous FALN (Armed
Forces for National Liberation) that in 1975 blew up Fraunces Tavern in
Manhattan. Four died, scores were injured.
Chesimard claims to be an American "exile." Lopez Rivera says he was "a
This is not all. A summary of Havana's support for terrorism should
include the heist of $7 million from Wells Fargo in West Hartford,
Connecticut, in 1983. The money was taken to the Cuban Embassy in Mexico
and turned over to the regime. Castro's Cuba has also been associated
with the infamous terrorist Carlos, who in 1975 kidnapped 70 hostages in
Vienna (three people were killed) at a meeting of oil ministers from
OPEC. "Carlos" who committed several murders in France was, according to
The Guardian, provided by Cuba "with passports, money and five
apartments in Paris." As a result, the Quai d'Orsay expelled several
In 2014 Obama pardoned a convicted Cuban spy, who was serving two life
sentences in the United States, for his role in planning with Cuba's
military the 1996 shoot-down of two small single-engine planes in
international airspace over the Florida Straits. Four men — three
American citizens and a legal resident born in Cuba — died. Raúl Castro,
then minister of the armed forces, pinned medals on the MIG pilots who
murdered them. Upon his release and return to Cuba, the spy was given a
hero's welcome and continues, to this day, to be part of Havana's
anti-American disinformation campaign.
Then there was Fidel Castro's 1976 speech, in which he denied Cuba
engaged in terrorism while issuing a threat to the world, and to the
United States in particular: "If the Cuban state were to carry out
terrorist acts and respond with terrorism to terrorists, we believe we
would be efficient terrorists. Let no one think otherwise. …The mere
fact that the Cuban Revolution has never implemented terrorism does not
mean we renounce it. We would like to issue this warning" —which became
President Trump and his administration should take heed. Raúl Castro
exerts total control over Cuba, but has never renounced or contradicted
his late brother. The regime continues to support and protect
terrorists. A tough global counter-terror policy must drop Obama's
exemption for Cuba.
FRANK CALZON IS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR A FREE CUBA, BASED
IN WASHINGTON, D. C.
Source: President Trump should take into account that Cuba continues to
support terrorism | Miami Herald -