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

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