Our Readers' Opinions
October 11, 2011
SVG/Cuba Friendship Society remembers Cubana Bombing

Tue, Oct 11. 2011

It is with continuing feeling of the pain, sorrow and anger that the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Friendship Society recalls, the twin losses suffered by the Cuban people in the space of less than a decade (1967-1976). On October 9, 1967, one of the heroes of the Cuban Revolution, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, was executed in Bolivia by hirelings of the American Central Intelligence Agency, the notorious CIA.{{more}} Nine Years later, other hirelings of the same agency carried out the worst act of terrorism experienced in the Caribbean, when a Cubana Airways plane was bombed just after leaving Barbados.

The latter act resulted in the death of the entire group of passengers and crew, 73 in all, including 11 Guyanese citizens. The willful murder of these innocents was part of a heightened series of attacks against Cuba, which at the time had been giving critical support to the liberation movements in Southern Africa and in the fight against apartheid. The Governments of Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, had formally established diplomatic and normal relations with Cuba and Barbados had allowed its airspace and territory to be used by the Cuban military to provide support to the liberation movements fighting against the US-backed apartheid government in South Africa.

When political and economic pressures did not succeed, there was resort to terrorism. A botched attempted to blow up a Cubana jet in Jamaica, (Cubana then had a weekly service to the Caribbean), failed when the bomb in a suitcase failed to detonate. The Guyanese embassy in Port of Spain was bombed, causing serious damage, while the Barbados office of the Trinidad national airline, BWIA, agents for Cubana, also suffered terrorist bomb damage.

A Cuban exile terrorist organisation, called the United Revolutionary Organisation, claimed responsibility for these acts. One of its leaders, Luis Posada Carriles, an acknowledged terrorist, and another Cuban exile, Orlando Bosch, were accused of the heinous crime after two Venezuelan mercenaries, Freddy Lugo and Hernan Ricardo Lozano, confessed to the bombing. They were on the Cubana flight from Trinidad to Barbados, where they got off after planting the Bomb.

The most despicable part of the whole affair is that in spite of overwhelming evidence and several arrests, neither Bosch nor Posada Carriles have up to this day had to pay for their murderous acts. The power of US imperialism has protected them, either through lenient courts or official pardons, as that granted by Jeb Bush, brother of the former president of the USA, acting in his capacity as Governor of Florida.

The Cubana bombing and the execution of Che Guevera are part of the inglorious war waged against the Cuban people and Government by the most backward elements of the US power structure. They cast a slur on the proud history of the American people in their own struggle for freedom and must question the sincerity of the claims of ‘fighting terrorism’. The Cubana tragedy of October 1978 is the bloodiest act of terrorism in our hemisphere, yet it remains unpunished and the perpetrators allowed to be living free.

We in the SVG/ Cuba Friendship Society on this occasion reiterate our unstinting solidarity with and support for the Cuban people and would like to this opportunity to again call for the release of the imprisoned’ Cuban Five’ and for an end to the half a century blockade against our sister Caribbean people who have contributed to much to our collective development.