Friday, February 17, 2012

Daytona Beach Morning Journal, November 16, 1968, "Cuban Exiles Guilty of Blasting Ships" by The Associated Press

MIAMI - Nine Cuban exiles, including former Havana pediatrician Orlando Bosch were found guilty in federal court Friday of conspiring to blast ships of foreign countries which trade with Cuba.

In addition, Bosch was adjudged guilty on three counts of sending telegrams to the heads of state of Spain, Mexico and England, threatening that the mysterious Cuban Power organization would bomb their ships.

Bosch and two other refugees - Barbaro Balan and Jose Diaz Morejon - were convicted of firing on the Polish Freighter Polanika while it was in the Port of Miami.

Bosch, frequently afoul of United States neutrality laws in previous plots against Fidel Castro's Cuban government, could be sentenced to a total of 28 years in federal prison.


Asst. U.S. Atty. Donald Bierman during the trial described Bosch as "a man with a clear contempt for the U.S. system of justice."

The defense, however, contended the nine Cuban refugees were brought to trial for the sole purpose of prosecuting Bosch. Lawyer Melvyn Greenspahn charged the government would not be satisfied "until they put him away."

In a statement after the trial, Bierman praised his key witness, Ricardo Morales [Navarrete], an exile who infiltrated Cuba Power and reported on its activities.


"His conduct was patriotic and motivated by a desire to stop what he believed was a fraud upon the Cuba people perpetrated by the leaders of Cuban Power. He believed that the activity of Cuba Power in relation to foreign shipping was nothing more than a wanton destruction of the property of our allies Britain, Spain and Japan, which in no way served to hinder or even inconvenience the government of Fidel Castro," Bierman said.

Morales testified that he supplied Bosch with fake dynamite furnished him by the FBI. He reportedly was placed under guard for protection from fellow exiles after having testified.

Copyright (c) 1968 The Associated Press

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