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.]