Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ocala Star-Banner, June 7, 1968, "Anti-Castro Organization Issues Trading Ultimatum" by The Associated Press.

MIAMI - Cuban Power, the secret anti-Castro terrorist band, announced today it has issued an ultimatum to several nations to stop trading with Cuba or have their ships and planes blown up.

The exile organization said it sent the ultimatum by cablegram to Spain, Generalissimo Franco, Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz and British Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

The Cuban Power bulletin, signed "Ernesto" said its representatives in Washington had delivered the same ultimatum by telephone to the ambassadors of Japan and some other countries.

Last week Cuban Power claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Japanese freighter Asaka Maru docked at Tampa, Fla. and the British vessel Greenwood south of Key West, Fla. The FBI said it is investigating the explosions which damaged both ships.

Cuban Power said it cabled the Spanish and Mexican heads of state a "war ultimatum to your government to suspend all trade with the Communist Cuban regime. Otherwise you will be the only one responsible for Spanish and Mexican planes and ships being dynamited."

Cuba Power said they cabled Wilson that dynamite of the Greenwood on May 5 "is the initial punishment by the heroic Cuban people against the British government which trades with the Castro tyranny."

The cablegram added, "You will have to pay with much British blood if trade with Cuba continues."

The news bulletin said the Japanese ambassador has been warned that "forces of Cuban Power in any part of the world are ready to light the airs and seas with explosives until Cuba is free." In the case of Mexico, Ernesto said, "it is more for its (diplomatic) relations with Cuba than its trade."

Cuban Power said its communications to the nations "are of a military nature and with the format of an ultimatum."

There has been a chain of Latin-flavored bombing incidents in the Miami area over a six month period. Cuban Power has claimed responsibility.

Copyright (c) 1968 The Associated Press
The Miami News, June 1, 1968, "Cubans Claim Ship Bombings"

Cuban Power, an exile terrorist organization based in Miami, claimed today it waas responsible for bombing a Japanese freighter yesterday at a Tampa dock and a British ship off Key West.

A spokesman, identified only as Ernesto, added that "other ships are going to explode." He said Cuban Power is warring against trade with Cuba. "Explosives were placed about the vessel Asaka Maru many days before the explosion occurred," he claimed.

The Asaka Maru was rocked by an explosion in a stern compartment that houses the ship's steering mechanism. The freighter, docked at a phosphate terminal at the Tampa port, would have sunk had it been at sea at the time of the explosion, officials said.

No injuries were reported and damage was estimated at $100,000. Hillsborough County Deputy Fred Crane said witnesses reported smelling something similar to gunsmoke after the explosion. "The odor of gunpowder indicates some sort of bomb was responsible," said Crane.

The FBI was investigating the case today.

Copyright (c) 1968 The Miami News

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Miami News, March 1, 1968, "Plot to Hijack Cuban Ship Fails" by Bob M. Gassaway.

A Cuban exile said today his group dispatched a heavily armed war party to hijack the Communist ship that rammed its own lifeboat carrying three crewmen fleeing to asylum in the United States. The effort was called "Operation Pueblo."

Dr. Orlando Bosch said U.S. government agents arrested four of the raiders and seized one arms-laden boat for violating federal laws. Later, another member of the group said six men in a second boat returned to Miami without attacking the ship.

Bosch said the 10 men were sent yesterday to hijack the Cuban freighter 26 de Julio which rammed the lifeboat 10 miles off the Virginia Coast Tuesday when three men called "traitor crewmen" by the Fidel Castro government attempted to flee the vessel.

The raiders, Bosch said, "knew where the ship was going and the way it was taking. They could very well have attacked the 26 de Julio if the U.S. government had not interfered."

Fred L. Patton, supervising U.S. customs agent in Miami, confirmed the four men named by Bosch were arrested in a boat carrying arms. Patton said, "they made no statement" about their intentions. The four were jailed on charges of illegal arms exportation.

Patton said the boat was seized off Miami Beach at government cut, an entrance to Biscayne Bay from the Atlantic Ocean.

Bosch told the Associated Press the hijackers "carried weapons and grenades and a 20-millimeter cannon. You can say we assume the responsibility. We were going to hijack the 26 de Julio." He said the boats departed from the Florida Keys.

Bosch, who is secretary general of an exile alliance called the Insurrectional Recovery Movement - Commandos L, identified the quartet as Jorge Gonzalez, Barbaro Balan, Marcos Rodriguez and Andres Garcia. The four were held at the Dade County jail.

Copyright (c) 1968 The Miami News
The Miami News, February 14, 1968, "Fingerprint Test Leads to Arrest" by Milt Sosin and Bob Wilcox.

A Cuban exile was arrested early today by a Miami police intelligence squad and charged with one of a series of bombings attributed to the "Cuban Power" terrorist organization.

Police identified him as Ricardo Morales Navarette [or Navarrete], 29, and said he was arrested at a house at 921 SW 5th St. in Miami's "Little Havana" section where he lived with his wife and three children.

Sgt. Everett Kay of the Miami criminal intelligence division said Morales is a member of the Cuban Power organization and that two hand-written Cuban Power handbills and a pencil-type military detonator were found in his house.

Morales told newsmen at police headquarters that he knew nothing of any bombings. "The only thing I know about Cuban Power is what I have read in newspapers," he added.

Morales was asleep when Lt. Havard Swilley, head of the Miami intelligence unit and Sgts. Kay, Eugene McCracken and John Weaver knocked on the door at 6:15 a.m. They had staked out his house last night for several hours but Morales had not returned while they were there, and the officers returned this morning.

Morales was specifically charged with "placing [a] bomb in a place of business at 3526 W. Flagler St. This was one of three Miami establishments bombed on the early morning of Jan. 25.

A plastic explosive known as "C-4" was used in all three bombings. Police sources said that in the Flagler Street bombing, in which a policeman was injured, a second charge was found in an envelope at the scene.

The envelope was subjected to a process developed by Robert Worsham of the Metro Crime Laboratory which utilizes traces of body chemicals left on surfaces to bring out fingerprints.

Workable prints came out and experts of the Miami police fingerprint division headed by Joe Musial went through records of exiles who are fingerprinted as part of their immigration processing - to find matching prints. Police said Morales' prints matched those on the envelope.

Three days before the bombings of the three business places, a Mexican airplane was damaged by a blast at Miami International Airport.

Bombing of the plane brought the FBI into the investigation, and the Metro intelligence unit also participated and cooperated with Miami police.

Following the bombing of the plane, a "communique" was issued by an organization styling itself Cuban Power. It claimed responsibility for the plane bombing and warned that similar measures would be taken against all persons and businesses engaged in sending packages of medicine, food and clothing to Castro Cuba.

At police headquarters today, the stocky, black-haired Morales said, "I am not connected with any bombing. If my mother was in Cuba I would send her things. This is a humanitarian thing. I couldn't be against that."

Morales left Cuba in 1959, he sid, because he was against communism. He came to the United States, but in 1964, he said, he fought in the anti-Communist Fifth Congolese Brigade in Africa. He said he held the rank of captain and was in a paratrop unit whose job was to rescue captives from rebel forces.

Police said Morales has been under surveillance for two weeks. Other suspects are being watched and further arrests are expected. Morales said he has worked as a salesman but presently is unemployed and had planned to look for a job today. He was held in county jail pending the setting of bond.

In the Jan. 25 bombings, two of the targets were the Flagler Street office and store of Servicios Especializados, operated by Jose Valdez, and All Cargo Transport, 1707 Coral Way. Both specialized in shipments of food and medicines to Cuba.

At the Flagler Street address, Miami Police Sgt. Russell Leasburg was injured by the explosion of a detonator set in the envelope of C-4 which did not go off.

On the early morning of the same day - Jan. 25 - a paint and body shop at 333 SW 17th Ave., was blasted. The owner, Jesse Tobar, said he had no connections with Cubans.

There was a pause in the bombings, then, on Feb. 1, a bomb believed to have been fashioned from an artillery simulator awakened the family of Rafael Reyes Spindola, Mexican consul-general in Miami, at their home, 912 SW 74th Ave. Reyes Spindola went outside to find that his auto had been damaged.

Last Friday came the latest bombing. Explosives were set off at the base of the garage at the home of the British Consul in Miami, Francis J. Pelly, 4400 Anderson Rd., Coral Gables, while Pelly, his wife and 15-year-old daughter were sleeping in the house.

One auto was wrecked and a second badly damaged.

Copyright (c) 1968 The Miami News
The Miami News, January 25, 1968, "Many As 2,000 Parcels Go to Cuba Monthly" by Dick Holland.

Between 1,000 and 2,000 packages a month are sent by Cuban exiles to relatives in their homeland, U.S. officials here said today. The volume of shipments surges tremendously before such holidays as Christmas, they said.

U.S. Customs Officer Joe Boyett said two or three private companies here specialize in shipping the parcels to Cuba. None go directly to Cuba; they all are routed by way of Mexico, Spain or Canada.

"Most of the packages get through," said Boyett. "But the length of time varies considerably - and the problem is all on the other end."

At Miami International Airport, where a package-bearing Mexican airplane was bombed last Saturday, there is no problem in finding a plane to take them out, Boyett said. Both Pan American Airways and the Dutch KLM Airline frequently carry such packages, he said. "But getting the stuff actually, physically into Cuba is sometimes a problem.

"Only Cubana Airlines, the official Cuban government line, can pick up the packages and fly them into Cuba. And the capacity of Cubana is very limited."

Exile sources here said a package frequently reaches a relative in the homeland in two weeks. But, it was learned today, the packages often pile up at some place such as Merida, Mex., for three months before they are picked up and flown into Cuba. This was confirmed by Boyett.

One U.S. official said it evidently depends on someone in Havana making arbitrary decisions. Cuban officials inspect every package arriving from the U.S. "All of a sudden, they will say that no inspectors are available," the official said.

Customs processes the great majority of the packages sent from here. For some time, the U.S. Post Office has not accepted anything for Cuba except medicines and regular letters.

Postmaster Eugene Dunlap in Miami said such mail also has been seriously delayed at intervals, and he has contacted the Department in Washington about it. So far, Dunlap said, there has been no change in instructions.

Restrictions imposed by Customs limit such packages to $100 in declared value, with a limit of a single package at a time from any one individual or organization. "These shipments are all 'gift' shipments," said Boyett. "That is, food, medicines, sundries, clothing things that you'd normally consider as gifts."

Canned foods, aspirin and shoes turn up in most of the packages, he said. And just before Christmas, there were many baby toys and other children's gifts. The parcels may be sent only from individuals or charitable institutions and organizations, Boyett said. And the same restrictions apply to the addressees.

U.S. officials said they were surprised by the bombings, apparently directed at the package shipments, because the great majority of exiles here have always been sympathetic to the package shipments.

Copyright (c) 1968 The Miami News

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Miami News, January 25, 1968, "Exiles Can't Carry Wars to Our City, Gerstein Says" by Ian Glass.

State Attorney Richard Gerstein said today of the bombing of the three Cuban businesses: "These militant anti-Castro organizations are going to have to learn that if they are going live here, they cannot conduct their inter-fraternity wars in our streets. Stringent steps are going to have to be taken to apprehend and prosecute."

Gerstein said that, if the violence continues, law enforcement agencies will have to infiltrate the exile groups. "That is the only way to weed out the guilty," he said.

Ironically, Gerstein this morning had appeared on a panel in the courthouse which had discussed the upsurge of violence and ways to combat crime. The panel was sponsored by the Florida State Committee on Law Enforcement.

Also on the panel was Miami Police Chief Walter Headly, who confessed that, at that time, he had no knowledge of the bombings, and said he was surprised at the Cuban violence.

"So far, the refugees' crime record has been lower generally than other segments of the population. Most complaints we have about them are mostly irritation: they move several families into a house and the neighbors get mad. They play their radios loud and congregate in the street, things like that."

Headley, who recently stepped up the war on crime here with additional dog patrols, would not comment on what plans he had for curbing Cuban violence until he knew all the facts of the bombings.

Miami Mayor Stephen P. Clark termed the incidents "most unfortunate. This is no way to conduct any type of movement in our community. Violence like this in future will be met in an appropriate manner by our police agencies."

The bombings were loudly denounced by the city's Negro leaders, who pointed out ironically that most violence in the streets is attributed to Negroes.

Typical reaction was that of City Commissioner M. Athalie Range, who said: "It's the Cubans you're going to have to watch in future for violence. Negroes talk a lot but they don't march around with protest signs - and they don't resort to bombings."

The Rev. Theodore Gibson said "I can understand the anguish of Cubans and their feelings towards Castro, but they do not have the right to take the law into their own hands.

"I hope these people recognize that incidents like these do not help their cause."

Copyright (c) 1968 The Miami News
The Miami News, January 25, 1968, "'Cuban Power' Is War Cry of Exile Terror Group" by Milt Sosin.

"El Poder Cubano!"

The words stirred a furor today in Miami's Cuban Community as bombs damaged two agencies shipping food packages to Cuba and a garage with no apparent Cuban connections.

The words mean "Cuban Power," a terror organization which claimed responsibility for the bombing of an airplane at Miami International Airport last Saturday and warned, in its "Communique No. 1" of its intent to move against any business dealing with Castro Cuba.

Along SW 8th Street and on Flagler Street and in the side streets between the two where many thousands of Miami's Cuban exiles live, it was [freely] predicted in the food markets and at the street front coffee counters that "Communique No. 2" would be issued today and would claim "credit" for the bombings early today.

And it was just as freely predicted that the bombings would increase. The big question was: "Who is Ernesto?"

Communique No. 1 was signed in behalf of El Poder Cubano by "Ernesto."

Investigators had many candidates in mind for the leadership, but there was no clear cut indication of his identity. There were too many possibilities.

Felipe Rivero, leader of the militant anti-Castro Cuban Nationalist Association, who was released last Oct. 30 on $10,000 bond after spending 171 days in Dade County jail pending appeal from an Immigration Service order excluding him from the United States, was told by a newsman today that it had been suggested that he was the leader of El Poder Cubano.

"No. I am not Ernesto," the 43-year-old Rivero said.

"If our organization had been in back of these bombings, I would not have hidden behind any name like that. I would have said we had placed the bombs and told why - just as we did when we attacked the Castro embassy in Ottowa and the warehouse in Montreal filled with material stolen by Castro.

"These people who are bombing those places to stop packages from going to Cuba are accomplishing only one thing - depriving a lot of old ladies and babies in Cuba of food, medicine and clothing.

"They are not hurting the Castro economy one bit. The place to strike at Fidel Castro is in the economy that provides him with dollars - not take away food and medicine from old ladies and babies.

Rivero said that although Cuban Power claimed to have been born in Havana, he did not believe this was true. "This group came to life in Miami," he said. "Somebody liked the sound of the words "Black Power' so they adopted Cuban Power.

He and other Cubans said they did not believe the organization was very large. It was pointed out that they must be in possession of funds to purchase the C-4 plastic explosive.

Rivero said there has been for a long time an active black market for the plastic explosive, possession of which supposedly is limited to military authorities.

Several other leaders of military-type anti-Castro organizations were queried about possible affiliation with Cuban Power. All denied such ties.

"It's going to be a tough one to infiltrate," said the chief of one intelligence organization which exercises surveillance on underground organizations."

Grim Score: 70 Bombings in 12 Years

Dade County has been a happy hunting ground for bombers during the past 12 years. Tom Brodie, the sheriff's bomb expert, said 70 bombs have been set off here during that period. There have been seven since Jan. 1, including the three last night. Last year there were 21 blasts.

The first bombing involving Cuba politics was in 1959 when two training planes were damaged by explosives. The planes had been bought by the Cuban government before Fidel Castro seized power. After the Castro takeover the planes, still on the ground here, were bombed.

Over the years, bombs here have hit schools, synagogues, stores and homes. Explosives have been used in labor disputes and to wreck cars in gang wars.

Copyright (c) 1968 The Miami News
Daily News, January 21, 1968, "Cuba-Bound Airplane Damaged by Explosion" by The Associated Press.

MIAMI - A converted B25 loaded with food, clothing and medicine for Cuba was damaged by an explosion at Miami International Airport Saturday. A Cuban revolutionary group claimed it planted the bomb to keep the goods away from Fidel Castro.

One of the engines was destroyed and part of the wing was damaged, but no one was injured. A piece of cowling landed 75 yards from the plane.

A man who declined to give his name told the Associated Press by telephone that the bomb was planted by a secret organization called Cuban Power, made up of several revolutionary groups with headquarters in Cuba.

The spokesman also called prior to the blast and warned "something is going to happen." He said Cuban Power has representatives in exile to carry on commando tactics against Fidel Castro and that his organization aims to overthrow the Communist regime.

He said the freight operation carrying packages to Cuba transfers them at Merida, Mexico, to a DC4 Mexican plane for the final leg of the journey.

The caller said a middleman in Mexico who handles such goods has to pay Castro $3 for each package sent to Cuba. The caller also said clothing, shoes, automobile tires, spare parts and other items [go] to Cuba, from the United States, Mexico, Spain, Canada and other countries in approximately 5,000 packages weekly with a value of $11 million annually. And he charged Castro confiscates any goods that would help his administration's economy.

John Puccerella, ramp supervisor at Miami, said the plane was registered to Ramon [Masso] of Merida, Mexico, and was loaded when the explosion occurred.

Copyright (c) 1968 The Associated Press

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Miami News, January 20, 1968, "Bomb Rips Plane Here; Cargo Bound For Cuba" by Bob Wilcox.

An explosion - apparently a bomb - severely damaged an engine of a converted B25 bomber loaded with CARE packages for Cuba today while the aircraft was parked at Miami airport.

The blast at 3 a.m. did not injure anyone. The twin-engine plane was in a parking area to the NW corner of the airport.

R. Napoles, a customs agent, said the plane was fully loaded with medicines, food and clothing that was to have been flown to Merida, Mexico, and then on to Cuba. The loading was completed late yesterday afternoon and the aircraft was to have taken off today. Napoles said that blast looked like a bomb job to him.

The FBI took over the investigation and would not make a statement. Other officers, however, speculated that the bombing may have been connected with one of Miami's many anti-Castro Cuban groups.

John Puccerella, ramp supervisor, said he understood the explosion was at 3 a.m. but the damaged plane was not discovered until about 8 a.m. Whatever caused the explosion, it blew out the rear end of the engine mounted in the left wing of the plane. Pieces of twisted metal were scattered nearby.

The plane is registered to Ramon Masso of Merida. Jorge Erales was listed as the pilot and Pastor Coello as co-pilot. Both are from Merida. The aircraft arrived here yesterday from Mexico.

B25s were first produced in World War II as medium bombers but soon were dropped [to] light bombers when the heavier planes rolled off the assembly lines.

Gen. James H. Doolittle, then a lieutenant colonel, led a flight of 16 B25s in a raid on Tokyo, Nagoya and Kobe. The planes took off from the deck of the aircraft Carrier Hornet on April 18, 1942, when the ship was 688 miles from Tokyo.

Copyright (c) 1968 The Miami News

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

St. Petersburg Times, January 3, 1968, "Cuban Bomb Case Is Dropped as Witness' Value Questioned" by United Press International.

MIAMI - Federal Judge C. Clyde Atkins dismissed yesterday bomb plot charges against Orlando Bosch and five other members of a militant Cuban exile organization because the government's chief witness destroyed the prosecution's case.

Dismissal of the three-count indictment against the men, accused of "conspiring to bomb British, Canadian, Spanish and other ships carrying supplies to Cuba," came at the request of Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Bierman as the case was called to trial.

Bierman told the judge that the government's chief witness had had "conversations" with Bosch after the indictments were returned last July 19 and thus destroyed his value as a prosecution witness.

The witness was later identified as Arthur Girteit, 25, a private pilot who was believed to be somewhere in Pennsylvania yesterday.

The indictment said that last January, two Cubans and Girteit, were arrested at Tamiami Airport as they were about to board Girteit's twin-engine Piper Apache.

Custom agents and deputy sheriffs made the arrest to climax a plot that began the previous December, according to Bierman.

The plane, Bierman said, was loaded with three 100-pound bombs, three one-gallon jugs containing phosphorous and water - an incendiary mixture - an M1 rifle and 80 rounds of ammunition, a .45 caliber automatic pistol and 22 rounds of ammunition.

After dismissal, Bosch told newsmen Girteit had contacted him by telephone in early August and told him he was willing to testify he had been acting as an undercover federal agent to get evidence against Bosch and other members of the Cuban Exile organization which Bosch heads.

Bosch said he informed his attorney of the call and met and talked with Girteit on Aug. 4 at a Miami restaurant.

The federal government also has conspiracy charges pending against Bosch in Georgia.

Winning the dismissal yesterday besides Bosch were Marcos Rodriguez Ramos and Barbaro Balan Garcia, the two men arrested with the armed aircraft; Louis Bertot, Jose Antonio Mulet and Jose Diaz Morejon.

Copyright (c) 1968 United Press International
The Morning Record, July 20, 1967, "Cubans Held in Plot to Bomb Ships" by The Associated Press.

MIAMI - A federal grand jury said Wednesday a group of Cuban exiles practiced bombing missions out of Miami and conspired to bomb British, Canadian and Spanish ships "of any others loaded with supplies for Cuba."

Six other residents of Cuba, including Orlando Bosch, head of the revolutionary organization, Insurrectional Recovery Movement (MIRR), were named in an indictment charging they conspired to drop the bombs.

A second count charged two exiles with conspiracy to export arms and a third that they conspired to export an airplane.

Named with Bosch in the bombing conspiracy charge were Marcos Rodriguez Ramos, Barbaro Balan Garcia, Louis Bertot, Jose Antonio Mulet and Jose Diaz Morejon.

The indictment, returned before U.S. District Judge C. Clyde Atkins, said that on Jan. 15, 1967, Rodriguez and Balan and an American pilot, Arthur Girteit, were arrested at Tamiami Airport as they were about to board Girteit's twin-engine Piper Apache.

Customs agents and deputy sheriffs made the arrest to climax a plot that began last December, according to Donald I. Bierman assistant U.S. attorney.

Bierman said that the plane was loaded with three 100-pound bombs, three one-gallon jugs containing phosphorous and water (an incendiary mixture), and M1 rifle and 80 rounds of ammunition.

Bierman said the plot started when Rodriguez and Balan approached Girteit and asked him to fly the bombing missions. Girteit agreed, but notified customs and the agency went along with the plan.

They flew several practice missions, Bierman said, and "when the night came for the real thing, they were arrested."

Bosch was found innocent last year after a trial on a charge of threatening death to other Cuban exiles unless they gave him money to fight Fidel Castro.

Copyright (c) 1967 The Associated Press
The Miami News, December 19, 1966, "Bosch, Aide Innocent of Extortion Charge" by Frank Murray.

Dr. Orlando Bosch and a top lieutenant have been found innocent here of charges they threatened death to other exiles if they did not contribute money to anti-Castro war funds.

Bosch, 40, a former pediatrician, and Marcelino Garcia [Jimenez], 55, were acquitted after eight hours deliberation by an all-male federal court jury which had been locked up during the seven-day trial. The trial continued over the weekend and the verdict was returned late last night.

Federal Judge Charles B. Fulton ordered the defendants discharged from bail.

Both men went on the witness stand and denied government charges that they mailed three extortion letters, followed up by telephone calls and personal visits to raise $21,000.

Bosch showed the jury a microphone and wires he said were found in the headquarters of the anti-Castro group he heads - Insurrectional Revolutionary Recovery Movement (MIRR). He said the office was bugged by federal officials.

An FBI documents examiner from Washington testified that a typewriter from Dr. Bosch's office in a hospital here was used to type one of the extortion letters. The defense produced an expert who said the letter could have been typed on a different machine.

One witness, Mrs. Roberto Mendoza, said Dr. Bosch was the mysterious voice who telephoned her many times, once threatening to burn her husband alive for working with the FBI.

Mendoza's office in the Seybold Building was burned, the $200,000 home of architect Alberto Vadia in Coral Gables was sprayed with bullets in a midnight raid and an unexploded bomb was found there, the plush island home of Julio Iglesias in Fort Lauderdale was bombed. All of the attacks took place during the fall of 1964 when the extortion attempts were underway.

There was never any question the extortion attempts were made, but the government was trying to prove Bosch and Garcia made them.

Bosch said he frequently asked wealthy exiles to contribute to this program of attacks on Castro's Cuba. He said he never used threats, however.

Bosch's attorney, Melvyn Greenspahn, had successfully argued against admission of possible identifications of Bosch by one witness and succeeded in showing that another had previously been unsure of her identification.

MIRR has often claimed successful raids by air and boat on the Castro regime.

Copyright (c) 1966 The Miami News

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Palm Beach Post, October 6, 1966, "Anti-Castro Leader Guilty of Arms Count" by The Associated Press.

NAPLES - An anti-Castro exile leader was convicted Wednesday of transporting dynamite bombs which he admitted were to be smuggled into Cuba.

Dr. Orlando Bosch, head of the Revolutionary Insurrectional Recovery Movement (MIRR), gave newsmen a statement bemoaning "harassment of our right to fight." He said he suspects a conspiracy between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The 38-year-old former Cuban physician was released without bond pending a pre-sentence investigation.

Bosch won a mistrial on another charge - possessing explosives. The six-man Circuit Court jury which had convicted him on that charge, with a recommendation of leniency, misnamed the charge in its verdict.

Bosch and two other MIRR men were intercepted by Collier County deputies east of Naples April 22 in an automobile in which the officers said they found six dynamite-packed bombs.

The slim, bespectacled MIRR leader has been charged frequently with weapons and explosive law violations and each time has spoken out sharply against what he considers unwarranted interference with efforts to overthrow Fidel Castro. The MIRR has claimed several boat and airplane raids against Cuban installations.

Wednesday night Bosch said "despite being impressed with how justice operates in this country, we believe that this new effort of the federal authorities is part of a conspiracy between Washington and Moscow to decide about the destiny of different parts of the world."

The reference to federal authorities, which he did not elaborate, was not clear. The charges against him were state charges.

Bosch said "these new harassments against our right to fight not only for the liberty of our country but for the dignity of human beings and also for American democracy will not stop us."

Copyright (c) 1966 The Associated Press
Daytona Beach Morning Journal, June 6, 1966, "Acquittal for Bosch" by The Associated Press.

ORLANDO - Dr. Orlando Bosch, head of an anti-Castro fighting organization, and three compatriots were acquitted Saturday of plotting to export bombs for a raid on Cuba.

A U.S. District Court jury returned the verdict five hours after retiring in the trial's fifth day.

Bosch, a bespectacled, 38-year-old former Santa Clara, Cuba, physician, told Judge George C. Young "we leave Orlando deeply impressed with American justice."

Bosch continued - as his lawyer, Ed Kirkland, tried to shush him - "we were inspired by the process we found, in spite of the unfair treatment we received several times from government officials who know we fight against communism and for the liberation of our country."

Judge Young cautioned Bosch and his co-defendants against laying themselves open to further charges of violating the U.S. Neutrality Act and the law against exporting munitions. Such "would be a gross act of ingratitude," said the judge.

Copyright (c) 1966 The Associated Press
The Herald-Tribune, June 5, 1966, "Jury Has Case of 4 Accused of Plot to Smuggle Bombs" by United Press International.

ORLANDO - An all-male jury began deliberating Saturday in the trial of Cuban exile leader Orlando Bosch and three other exiles accused by the federal government of trying to smuggle weapons of war outside this country.

U.S. District Judge George C. Young [handed] the case to the 12-man panel at 11 a.m.

Bosch, Marcos Rodriguez Ramos, Jose Dize Morejon and Gerulio Guiterrez were indicted by a federal grand jury following their arrest in June 1965.

The four men were charged with conspiring to export 18 aerial bombs by a rented World War II bomber in an attempt to commit an act of war against Cuba by dropping them on a Shell Oil refinery in Havana.

Bosch told newsmen during a recess in the trial, "We are planning more attacks right now. I would say three or four at least."

He said he would continue his activities "anytime, anywhere" even if convicted on the federal charges brought against him and the other three exiles.

"I don't believe in my heart we are violating a law when we seek to stamp out Castro and his Communist system. But, that's for your government to decide.

"Me, I will continue my activities from Miami, inless they put me in jail for this," he vowed.

Bosch testified Friday the bombs seized at a house in Zellwood, Fla., along with aerial maps of Havana and a life raft were part of a Central Intelligence Agency plot to bomb the oil refinery.

He told the court a man he identified as Bill Johnson, whom he called a CIA agent, had contacted him in Miami last year and told him of plans to destroy the refinery. Bosch said he told Johnson he was not interested because he lacked money, bombs and a plane.

Bosch testified the man approached him a short time later and offered the three items. He said he expressed interest and helped arrange a transfer of munitions to the Zellwood home of Frank Swanner, a pilot who had earlier testified for the prosecution that the defendants tried to hire him for the bombing.

Bosch claimed the CIA had given hima a "green light" for the mission. His attorneys argued that since the raid was to be carried out from a Caribbean base, it did not violate U.S. neutrality laws.

Copyright (c) 1966 United Press International

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Herald-Tribune, January 20, 1966, "Exiles Plan New Attacks on Cuba" by The Associated Press.

MIAMI - Militant exile bands say a new phase is emerging in their anti-Castro campaign - resumption of U.S.-forbidden raids on Cuba, but on a coordinated basis.

"If we can't unite, we'll coordinate," said Ernesto the last of the Cuban Exile Representation - RECE - one of three groups participating in the last announced hit and run attack against Fidel Castro's island. Until the U.S. government halted them, such raids occurred frequently.

Representatives of rival anti-Castro organizations meet weekly in secret plotting chambers in the "New Havana" section on West Flagler Street.

"We sit at the table at the same level, there is no leader and ever group keeps its own identity," Freyre said.

"Our plan is not for an occasional attack, but periodic action, one action after another. If we harass Castro that way, he will have less time to organize aggression against other countries."

Resolution to proceed in the face of the U.S. moratorium on such sniping was general among leaders of half a dozen groups sitting in.

"The United States should bless us rather than be mad at us for fighting our common enemy, communis[m]," Freyre said.

A State Department official disagreed.

"Hit and run raids have no value, and on the contrary they are harmful," he said. "They cause the Cuban government to take precautions that would not be taken otherwise. Cuba can say, 'look at us, how we are being abused.' And they can cause hardship for people inside Cuba with reprisals."

The official continued: "We can stop them, and will stop them. If laws are violated, we will act accordingly."

Some exile leaders said they wanted no entanglement with the United States, that they would launch their raids from bases outside this country.

The State Department official said: They must involve some country, and I believe no country wants to be embarrassed this way. And exiles leaving this country must have a re-entry permit if they want to return."

In November, commandos of RECE and of factions of two other action groups, which are split - Commandos L and the 30th of November - shelled Havana harbor. Their targets were a police station; the Riviera Hotel, which reportedly lodges Russians; and the home of President Osvaldo Dorticos. Havana radio acknowledged some damage.

Among other groups reported preparing for renewed action are Second Front - Alpha 66, whose guerrilla leader, Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, was captured inside Cuba in 1964; MIRR, whose militant head, Dr. Orlando Bosch, has continually been in hot water with U.S. authorities; and the Revolutionary Student Directorate, which set off a chain of raids in 1962.

Copyright (c) 1966 The Associated Press
The Herald-Tribune, November 26, 1965, "Two Exile Chiefs Cited" by The Associated Press.

MIAMI - Two leaders of a Cuban exile group were arrested today and charged with conspiring to extort money from other Cubans.

The FBI said Dr. Orlando Bosch Avila was held in lieu of $15,000 bond at Hartford, Conn., after a hearing before a U.S. Commissioner there. The FBI said Marcelino Garcia Jimenez would be given a hearing in Miami this morning.

Bosch, 29, and Garcia, 57, are officials of the Insurrectional Movement for Revolutionary Recovery (MIRR). It has raided Cuba several times.

The FBI said a federal grand jury in Miami accused the pair in indictments Tuesday of trying to extort sums totaling $25,000 from Cubans in Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Clewiston.

Copyright (c) 1965 The Associated Press.
Ocala Star-Banner, June 22, 1965, "Cuban Exile Chief Says His Group Being Persecuted" by The Associated Press.

MIAMI - Dr. Orlando Bosch, Cuban exile leader charged with trying to smuggle aerial bombs for a reported plan to bomb Cuba, says his anti-Castro organization "is the object of persecutions by American officials."

Bosch told newsmen Monday night that microphones and recording devices were hidden inside the walls of his headquarters in Miami, He showed newsmen some of them that he said were found there.

"We are going to protest to the President of the United States and to the Organization of American States," Bosch said.

Bosch, head of the Revolutionary Recovery Insurrectional Movement (MIRR), also claimed that his commandos tried to wreck a Cuban freighter, the Arcelio Iglesias, in the Panama Canal 10 days ago but failed.

The [plan] failed when the Cuban vessel brushed against a Norwegian ship at the entrance of the canal, Bosch said.

The exile leader and three other Cuban refugees from Miami were arrested some days ago near Orlando and charged with conspiracy to export arms. Bosch was released after fasting 72 hours in jail to dramatize his anti-Castro cause.

Copyright (c) 1965 The Associated Press
The Miami News, June 12, 1965, "Exile Group Blasts U.S. Cuba Policy" by Bob Kilgore.

A Miami-based anti-Castro group, whose leader was jailed on charges of attempting to smuggle bombs out of the country has bitterly denounced the United States.

"The U.S. is taking an imperialistic attitude toward the Cuban people who want to get rid of Castro," said George Gutierrez, spokesman for the Revolutionary Recovery Insurrectional Movement (MIRR) here last night.

The organization's 38-year-old leader, Orlando Bosch, was one of six men arrested in Orange County yesterday on the bomb charge.

"The Russians are helping Castro," said Gutierrez at MIRR headquarters at 1661 W. Flagler St. "All we want is to be able to fight."

He said Bosch and three other Cuban exile men arrested with him will go on a hunger strike unless they are freed within 72 hours.

Two Americans, identified as William J. Johnson and Frank Rafferty, also are being held.

Bosch and his companions asked fellow exiles not to try to raise money for his release on bond. A letter written from his Orlando jail cell by Bosch, and read at last night's MIRR press conference said:

"Here in the jail of our allies, four Cubans who will never desert their banner are singing the hymn of Bayamo (Cuban national anthem)."

Bosch wrote that MIRR will continue to work for overthrow of Castro's regime "even if my flesh and that of my companions should rot behind these macabre bars."

He said the FBI, Customs and the CIA were continually trying to infiltrate the MIRR.

Gutierrez said the 60-pound bombs and other arms and ammunition seized in yesterday's were going to be used to destroy military installations in Cuba in a "master blow."

Copyright (c) 1965 The Miami News
St. Petersburg Times, June 12 1965, "Six Seized on Charges of Cuba Assault Plans" by United Press International.*

ORLANDO - Two Americans and four Cuban exiles, charged with preparing for an apparent air assault on Communist Cuba, were arrested near here Thursday night by customs agents who confiscated 18 "aerial bombs."

The Americans, identified by Deputy U.S. Marshal Jack F. Peeples as William J. Johnson, 34, and Frank Rafferty, 40, were released following a hearing before a U.S. commissioner after posting $1,000 bond each.

The Cubans, described as members of the Revolutionary Insurrectional Recovery Movement (MIRR), were held in federal custody when they failed to post a total of $8,000 bail.

Dr. Orlando Bosch, MIRR leader and mastermind of a series of raids and attempted raids against the Fidel Castro regime, was among those being held. His bond was set at $5,000 compared to $1,000 each for his Cuban companions.

All six men were believed to be from the Miami area where the MIRR has headquarters.

A spokesman at the State Department's Cuban affairs office in Miami said no information about the two Americans was immediately available except that Johnson "appears to be' the same William Johnson who was formally warned by government against pro-exile activities.

Cuban sources claimed that the bombs, seized in a house in the Zellwood area of Orlando, were to be loaded aboard a B26 for an air raid on Cuba.

Federal authorities said no aircraft of any kind was seized in the raid. "However, it is to be assumed that a plane was going to figure in this thing," a federal official commented.

The MIRR has been one of the most militant exile groups, staging both air and sea raids on Cuba over the past three years.

It reported two previous raids so far this year, one in January and the other in February. Both were against sugar mills in Pinar del Rio province.

Bosch, who protested last summer that he and his men were "being persecuted by customs aginst who trail us night and day," said at the start of 1965 that this would be a "now of never year" for toppling Castro.

Bosch's three Cuban companions were identified as Jose Diaz Morejon, 23; Gerulio [or Gervelio] Gutierrez, 29; and Marcos Rodriguez Ramos, 21.

The four remained in the custody of the marshall's office. The case is slated to go before a Grand Jury, probably at Tampa, officials indicated.

Copyright (c) 1965 United Press International

*[Additional information added from Associated Press article.]

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wilmington Morning Star, February 16, 1965, "Exile Group Claims Raid on Cuba" by United Press International.

MIAMI - A Cuban exile leader said Monday he had been warned by U.S. authorities of "most serious consequences" if his group attempts another attack against Cuba.

Orlando Bosch, secretary of the Insurrectional Recovery Movement (MIRR), indicated, however, the group has no intention of stopping its raids. He denied having any bases inside the United States.

"The United States must know that if the men of Cuba want to liberate their country, nothing and nobody can stop them," said Bosch.

He said he was warned about the raids by a U.S. custom official following an air strike Saturday claimed by the MIRR against a sugar mill in Pinar Del Rio Province. The MIRR also claimed a raid on another mill in the same general area Jan. 18.

Bosch said the Saturday raid against the Bahia Honda mill was by a B26 plane. He said the plane's crew was unable to observe whether the bombs landed on target but that the organization had film of flames around the objectives following the raid.

The exile leader said the plane dropped three napalm bombs of 100 pounds each, a 200-pound high explosive bomb and phosphorous incendiary devices.

"After the attack, our plane came back to its base without suffering any damages. Nobody in the crew was wounded. The enemy did not respond to our attack," Bosch said.

Copyright (c) 1965 United Press International

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Evening Independent, June 27, 1964, "Anti-Castro Group Watched?" by The Associated Press.

MIAMI - A 60-car U.S. government surveillance detail has been placed on leaders of an anti-Castro group whose plane was shot down in a raid over Cuba last week, the head of the organization said today.

"Eight of the cars have been assigned to watch me personally," said Dr. Orlando Bosch, of Revolutionary Recovery Insurrectional movement.

"They are custom men. I talked to one of them and he said he had orders to follow me." Supervising customs agent Fred Patton said, "I can say nothing about this."

Bosch also reported that the windshield of a car owned by Luis Diaz, pilot killed in the raid, was splattered with eggs. "Undoubtedly Communists did it," Bosch said.

Copyright (c) 1964 The Associated Press
The Spokesman-Review, June 21, 1964, "Cuba Claims U.S. Plane Shot Down" by The Associated Press.

WASHINGTON - Cuba said Saturday a "pirate plane" from the United States bombed one of its sugar mills Friday and was shot down. A few hours later the U.S. State Department reported a private U.S. plane is missing from Florida.

The department said it is not known whether the missing Florida plane is the craft reported downed over the north coast of Las Villas Province.

The announcement was made after a Havana protest was delivered to the State Department. The Cuban Armed Forces Ministry claimed the plane dropped three bombs on a sugar mill near Caibarien.

Rented in Miami

Department press officer Joseph W. Reap said: "The department has been informed by the Federal Aviation Agency in Miami that a plane which left West Palm Beach at 7:30 a.m. Friday is missing.

"The plane which was leased from a rental company in Miami was piloted by a person named Louis Diaz Lopez. "We do not know that this is the plane the Cubans claim to have shot down. Our investigation is continuing."

Plane Missing

The missing plane was identified as a Cessna, No. N8365Z, which was rented in Miami and then flown to West Palm Beach before it disappeared.

In Miami, a Cuban exile leader expressed fear that it was "our plane" which had been downed. The anti-Castro leader, Orlando Bosch, did not say from where the craft had taken off.

Copyright (c) 1964 The Associated Press
The Victoria Advocate, December 30, 1963, "Cuban Exile Boat, Bombs Seized by U.S. Officials" by The Associated Press.

MIAMI - Seizure by U.S. authorities of a Cuban exile boat carrying bombs described as ticketed for Fidel Castro was reported Sunday by American and refugee sources.

Dr. Orlando Bosch, head of an anti-Castro revolutionary organization, said his men were taking the arms to a secret Caribbean base to be placed aboard two planes to bomb Havana.

The plan, Bosch said, called for dropping the bombs on Revolutionary Plaza next Thursday while Castro addresses a throng there celebrating his fifth anniversary as Cuba's leader.

David Cardoza, U.S. regional Customs director, said Customs agents aided by the Coast Guard, seized the 18-foot motorboat Saturday night, detained 4 Cubans aboard and confiscated 4 bombs.

Bosch said there were 12 bombs, 6 for each plane. His men threw eight overboard to avoid confiscation, he added.

Cardoza said the men were released without charge. Investigation of possible violation of U.S. Neutrality laws continued, he added.

He said a second boat also was seized. Bosch said it was not connected with his group, the [Insurrectional Movement of Revolutionary Recovery].

Cardoza said the bombs were homemade and averaged 100 pounds. Also confiscated, he said, were detonators and blasting caps.

Bosch said "we planned something big, something to which Castro would react violently, which would command international attention and could spark internal uprisings in Cuba.

"We first planned to bomb Havana during Khrushchev's intended visit there. When this visit was cancelled, we aimed at the Jan. 2 celebration. There will be many thousands of communists there for the event."

Bosch, so disappointed that he wept, told a news conference, "We protest this confiscation of our property by the United States. The United States will let only those on its payroll fight Castro. All Cubans should have the privilege of fighting for their country."

Bosch said his boat was in international waters, 15 miles off the southeast Miami coast. Cardoza said the seizure was made approximately 5 miles east of Miami.

Copyright (c) 1963 The Associated Press

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Evening Independent, September 13, 1963, "New Raids Slated Soon - Fidel 'Treasury' Target of Exiles" by Miami Herald Service.

MIAMI - Cuban exile leader Dr. Orlando Bosch reported Tuesday his group has three twin-engine planes poised in Central American for additional bombing missions against the Castro regime.

The next raid will be "very soon," he maintained. Each attack, he estimated, costs $5,000.

Bosch, general coordinator of the [Insurrectional Movement of Revolutionary Recovery] (MIRR), said primary targets will be sugar mills, Russian troops encampments and ships carrying cargo to Cuba.

The MIRR has claimed credit for four bombing raids over Cuba, the latest early Sunday against the Jaronu sugar mill in Camaguey, one of [the] biggest on the island.

"We will continue hitting the sugar mills because they are the source of Castro's income," said Bosch, a 36-year-old former pediatrician from Santa Clara.

"From Oct. 1 on we are going to attack by air and sea any ships we find going to Cuba, especially Greek ships because they do more business with Castro than anybody else," he said.

Bosch declined to reveal the MIRR's Central American base. He conceded, however, that the flights were being undertaken with the knowledge of the host country.

The bombing crews are composed exclusively of Cuban exiles, he said.

"If we used any Americans and the plane was shot down, Castro would scream that the Central Intelligence Agency was behind it all," said Bosch.

The United States, he contended, was not helping the MIRR materially or morally.

Bosch said he differed with other exile action groups who are following a strategy of building up an invasion force with an apparent purpose of striking a full-scale blow at Castro.

"The main thing is to keep hitting Castro consistently and rattle him, then he will do something crazy," commented Bosch. "We know from letters we have received from Cuba that our raids have frightened the militia."

He further favors the infiltration of small commando units to train and equip the anti-Castro underground.

Two months ago, he said, five members of the MIRR smuggled 35 pieces of armament to sympathizers in Oriente Province.

"Presently, the anti-Castro underground movement is weak because of the repression and the fact everybody is watched all the time," Bosch declared.

He reported the MIRR totals only about 100 men - "but all of them are active; we don't believe in having members sitting around in coffee houses."

Copyright (c) 1963 Miami Herald Services
Sarasota Journal, September 9, 1963, "Cuban Exiles to Hit Greek Ships" by United Press International.

MIAMI - A militant Cuban exile group has warned it will attack Greek ships found near Cuba after Oct. 1, and vowed to continue to fight Premier Fidel Castro "until victory or death."

At the same time, the Revolutionary Recovery Insurrectional Movement (MIRR) released photographs Monday showing two of its members working on six homemade bombs which the group said were dropped on a Camaguey sugar mill Sunday.

The raid was directed against Cuba's largest sugar mill, Haronu in Camaguey. The group said "we believe that's the one we hit, but whatever we hit, we destroyed it."

There was no anti-aircraft fire, according to the leaders of MIRR, Marcelino Garcia and Orlando Bosch.

Havana radio has not acknowledged the attack.

Bosch warned that MIRR would attack "by sea or air" any Greek ships found near Cuba after Oct. 1. Greece was singled out, he said, "because they, more than any other vessels at the moment, are helping to supply Castro."

Copyright (c) 1963 United Press International
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, September 9, 1963, "Plane Bombs Cuban Mill, Says Report" by The Associated Press.

MIAMI - An anti-Castro group said Sunday a twin-engine bomber destroyed a sugar mill in Camaguey Province, in eastern Cuba Saturday night.

Dr. Orlando Bosch, head of the Revolutionary Recovery Movement (MIRR) said the plane dropped six 50-pound bombs on the mill. Four, he said, hit the target.

Bosch said the plane, flying from a concealed base in Central America, was over Cuban territory for about an hour. He said it received only a sprinkling of anti-aircraft gunfire, apparently from guards at the mill. Otherwise, the craft was unmolested.

The MIRR, which claimed credit for a similar raid Aug. 16 on mill in Camaguey, said anti-Castro propaganda pamphlets were dropped as the plane left its target site.

Copyright (c) 1963 The Associated Press

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Miami News, September 9, 1963, "Raider Says He Destroyed Cuban Mill."

A low-flying exile raider dealt such destruction to a sugar mill in Cuba's Camaguey Province that the ground explosions rocked his plane, a refugee leader said here today.

Dr. Orlando Bosch, head of the [Insurrectional Movement of Revolutionary Recovery] (MIRR), said the pilot dropped six 50-pound bombs on the mill in eastern Cuba Saturday night, wrecking it.

"The blasts shooks his plane, he was flying so low," Bosch said. The pilot of the two-engine aircraft reported directly to his organization here after returning to his secret base in Central America, Bosch said.

Copyright (c) 1963 The Miami News
Toledo Blade, August 16, 1963, "More Attacks Vowed on Cuba" by The Associated Press.

MIAMI - An anti-Castro group which claims credit for the bombing and strafing of a Cuban sugar mill and oil refinery, said yesterday that it plans more attacks this weekend.

"We will destroy 16 fundamental objectives in Communist Cuba, including two missile launching pads," said Dr. Orlando Bosch, secretary of the [Insurrectional Movement of Revolutionary Recovery] (MIRR).

"We are planning other attacks in the course of a few days, soon," he said. "The Castro regime will be overthrown."

Mr. Bosch said two MIRR planes flew to Cuba early yesterday. One dropped two of six bombs it carried on a sugar mill in Moron, Camaguey Province. Mr. Bosch said other bombs were not dropped because the power plant at the mill failed, extinguishing lights, and the anti-Castroites didn't want to risk missing their targets.

The second attack, to take place in Matanzas Province, was suspended due to engine trouble, but as the plane changed course and flew over a Havana petroleum refinery, it drew anti-aircraft fire.

Mr. Bosch said that attacks represent the beginning of subversive and direct attacks by the MIRR and other organizations.

In Havana, Cuban authorities announced the attacks. The armed forces ministry, without specifying the nationality of the intruders, blamed pirates, "organized, armed and directed by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States."

Copyright (c) 1963 The Associated Press

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Brief Timeline

In 1988, Orlando Bosch's wife, Adriana D. Bosch, published a book ('Orlando Bosch: The Man I Know') which included a brief timeline of important events in Orlando's life. Below is a portion of that timeline relevant to this blog, including one important date found in Enrique Encinosa's (1994) book 'Cuba at War: History of the Anti-Castro Opposition 1959-1993' related to Bosch's group, MIRR.
  • 1960 - Upon his exile Orlando Bosch is appointed General Coordinator of the Insurrectional Movement of Revolutionary Recovery (MIRR). Bosch obtains help from the United States for those men who continue fighting in the Escambray [Mountains of Cuba].
  • 1963 - On August 15, MIRR completes their first aerial attack on Cuba causing incendiary damage to Central Cunagua. Additional attacks follow on August 18th and September 8th. (Encinosa, 1994)
  • 1964 - Bosch is arrested and jailed on five occasions by Federal Courts for his anti-Castro activities.
  • 1968 - Bosch creates the group El Poder Cubano/The Cuban Power. In the month of October he is found guilty of firing a bazooka at the Polish cargo ship "Polanica." He is sentenced to 10 years in prison, four of which are at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.
  • 1972 - Bosch receives conditional release from prison and returns to Miami.


The goal of this blog will be to document the militant activities of Orlando Bosch Ávila (1926-2011) during the period from 1963 to 1968 mainly using archived news articles from that period. Additional sources will be used to provide context to Bosch's illegal attacks and provocations against the Cuban government from United States territory. (Caution: The documentation should not be considered exhaustive.)

Since his exile to the U.S. from Cuba beginning in 1960, Orlando Bosch was determined to attack and overthrow the Cuban government using many forms of sabotage. His activities throughout the 60's repeatedly ran afoul of the law, especially with the 1962 founding of his group Movimiento Insurrecional de Recuperacion Revolucionaria/Insurrectional Movement of Revolutionary Recovery (MIRR) and Poder Cubano/Cuban Power in 1967, but ended with his arrest on October 11, 1968.

During this period, Miami, Florida was the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency's clandestine operations against the Cuban government (JMWAVE), and considered "the largest CIA station in the world after the headquarters in Langley, Virginia," possibly employing some 300 to 400 agents, and maybe running some 300 to 400 front companies (Bohning, 2005). JMWAVE officially ended in 1965.

According to sources, Bosch during this period had indirect ties to the CIA, but mostly operated independently. Nevertheless, by June 1963 the U.S. government had given its full support to several Cuban exile militant groups to engage in "general sabotage and harassment" against Cuba. According to Bohning, these U.S.-supported covert actions resulted in "many negative consequences" for years to come, such as:

"... spawning a cadre of Cuban exile terrorists perpetrating murder and mayhem far in excess of their relatively small numbers." (p.255)