Friday, January 27, 2012

The Miami News, September 23, 1968, "Cuban Exiles Living with 'Reign of Terror'" by Terry Johnson King


Miami's Cubans are living with a reign of terror that, so far, has been largely confined to their own neighborhoods and businesses. Almost daily now, incidents are reported locally as anti-Castro factions drown their sorrows and vent their frustrations in dynamite and C-4 plastic explosives.

It has been an escalating war. It started with smoke bombs and tear gas being tossed into festive gatherings among Cubans, set off by malcontents who said the exiles had no business having parties while their country was in the hands of Communists.

From there it grew. Dynamite was tossed into stores that sent drugs to Cuba - they were "trading with the enemy" when they sent badly-needed supplies of penicilin and antibiotics to the aged and infirm in that country.

Then it was C-4 plastic bombs - a sophisticated weapon, and too sophisticated, it turned out, for the clumsy terrorists. It was a long time before they could figure out how to make the things go off.

And finally into such advanced warfare as sniping of a Polish ship in Miami's harbor last week; and the increase in bombings of commercial establishments which do not "cooperate" with the terrorists.

Miami Police Chief Walter Headley says much of the bombing is done for extortion. Merchants are asked to contribute to the counter-revolutionary causes. If they don't, they quickly learn the consequences. Cuban sources say extortion has nothing to do with it - it is simply a "philosophical' method of keeping the community in line, supposedly so it can fight the tyranny of Castro.


Also fanning the flames of near civil war that brews in Cuban neighborhoods are the extreme right-wing exile publications. Chief of these is a newspaper, "Patria," which is commonly supposed to exist on money from Batista.

In addition there are bulletins, magazines, other papers, newsletters - published here, in California, New York and Mexico - which deify the terroristic strikes against non-cooperators, either here or elsewhere.


Copyright (c) 1968 The Miami News

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