Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Four arrests in Havana (Updated)

An Interior Ministry note says that four Cuban Americans were arrested April 26 “when they were planning to execute terrorist attacks” in Cuba, specifically attacks on “military installations with the objective of promoting violent actions,” and the note says that they have admitted this.  They are alleged to be linked to Santiago Alvarez and others in Miami who have served jail time on weapons charges, which are recounted here by Café Fuerte.

Since mid-2013, three of those arrested have been traveling to Cuba to prepare for the alleged actions, the note says. 

It is hard to believe that one could find recruits for such a job, or that its leaders would think that the attack would work and then spark additional action.  But stranger things have happened. 

The Interior Ministry note says that Cuba will be discussing the matter with U.S. authorities.  The four are described as “residents” in Miami, all of Cuban origin.  If they do not have U.S. citizenship, there is less likelihood that U.S. consular officers will be able to visit them in jail.

Part of Cuba’s response to the annual U.S. designation of Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism” is to claim that the United States takes no action against persons in the United States who have attacked Cuba.  The designation was renewed last week, Cuba called it “absurd,” and had a point: the State Department’s report gave no evidence that Cuba was organizing, financing, training, supplying, or otherwise participating in terrorist activity.  Cuba’s response is here.

Reuters story on the arrests is here.

Update: from the Herald, on those arrested:

Pacheco, 31, a Hialeah resident, registered a “Cuban Liberation Force Inc.” with the Florida Department of State in 2009 and listed its purpose as helping “the people in Cuba to win back their democracy and their lost liberties.”

The only post on its blog says the organization was “founded at the request of members of the armed forces who are inside Cuba, as well as members of organizations and the people” with its only goal being “the toppling of the regime.”

Rodriguez and Monzón attended some meetings of exile militants in Miami six or seven years ago but were not well known in the community and were not known to be members of any particular anti-Castro organization, said Miami radio host Hector Fabian.

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