Thursday, December 15, 2011

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

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