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)