CUBA

Groups call for arrests in alleged Cuba plot

 

jtamayo@ElNuevoHerald.com

Two pro-Havana groups have called for the prosecution of Miami exiles who the Cuban government has alleged were behind a plot by four other men, arrested in Cuba last month, to attack military installations on the island.

The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five and Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) said it also asked the CIA, FBI and State Department for massive amounts of information on militant exiles and terror attacks on Cuba.

“We believe the U.S. government has information” on the four men arrested in Cuba, ANSWER executive director Brian Becker said at a news conference Thursday in Miami.

A Cuban Interior Ministry statement earlier this month said Miami residents Raibel Pacheco Santos, Obdulio Rodríguez González, Félix Monzón Álvarez and José Ortega Amador were arrested April 26 in Cuba.

The statement added that the four confessed their plot was “organized under the direction” of Miami exiles Santiago Álvarez Fernández, Osvaldo Mitat and Manuel Alzugaray, all linked to Luis Posada Carriles. But it gave no other details.

Posada, 86, is a Miami exile wanted by Havana for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 passengers and crew members.

Posada, Álvarez, Mitat and Alzugaray should be arrested and prosecuted, said Gloria La Riva, director of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, which seeks the release of three Havana spies serving long sentences in U.S. prisons.

La Riva said the intelligence agents — two finished their sentences and returned to Cuba — were spying on radical exiles to avert terror attacks on the island. Evidence at their trial showed the “Wasp Network” also monitored U.S. military bases.

The nine-page requests to the CIA, FBI and State Department under the Freedom of Information Act seek all information about the eight men in the alleged April case and about 13 other well-known exiles — a virtual who’s who of Miami militants.

Also requested was any and all information held by the U.S. government on a string of court cases involving Posada, Alvarez and others, plus several organizations, including Alzugaray’s Miami Medical Mission and the Cuban American National Foundation.

“We believe these documents will show the U.S. government knows of, allows and carries out” terrorist activities against Cuba going back to the early 1960s, Becker said at the news conference.

Becker also noted that recent weeks have seen a campaign urging President Barack Obama to improve relations with Havana that includes posters in Washington’s Metro system and a letter to the White House signed by 44 prominent personalities.

Read more Cuba stories from the Miami Herald

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