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

Monday, January 23, 2012

Evening Independent, September 20, 1968, "Cuban Power Names Head" by The Associated Press

MIAMI - A blackhooded figure identified as "Ernesto," mastermind of the mysterious exile terrorist band, Cuban Power, announced the appointment today of anti-Castro militant Orlando Bosch as the group's spokesman.

The announcement was made at a midnight news conference to which reporters were taken blindfolded. They were driven around aimlessly through streets for 30 minutes before being led into a room where the hooded "Ernesto" sat. After the session, newsmen were blindfolded again and driven away.

Ernesto said Cuban Power has been bombing ships and planes of countries dealing with Cuba but disclaimed any part in an epidemic of explosions in Miami, New York, Los Angeles and other cities.

Ernesto told his news conference that he would now "go to some country in this hemisphere to fulfill a certain mission."

Bosch is the leader of a group called the [Insurrectional Movement of Revolutionary Recovery] - MIRR. He has a long record of U.S. arrests for anti-Communist activity, but no convictions.

Copyright (c) 1968 The Associated Press

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

St. Petersburg Times, September 17, 1968, "A Little Cannon Blast Dents Docked Freighter" by Times Wire Services

MIAMI - A freighter from Poland was shelled by a small cannon while docked in Miami yesterday and the leader of a secret terrorist group, Cuban Power, promptly claimed responsibility.

The Coast Guard said the hull of the 407-foot freighter, Polanica, was hit about seven feet above the waterline by a missile that caused a dent the size of a pie plate. Nobody was hurt.

Several hours after the shelling, a telephone caller who said he was the mysterious "Ernesto" of Cuban Power, said his group had fired the shell "as the only response from freedom loving people to the atrocious invasion of Czechoslovakia by the imperialist Communists."

"I've just arrived from Mexico and I personally fired the shot," the caller told a Spanish-language radio station in Miami (WFAB).

In another mysterious phone call, "Cuban Power" claimed the weapon employed was a 57-millimeter recoilless rifle.


Copyright (c) 1968 St. Petersburg Times

[More from The Miami News]
The Miami News, August 9, 1968, "Cuba Group Claims Bombing of British Cargo Ship"

A British cargo ship here was blasted by an explosion yesterday afternoon, and Cuban exiles immediately took credit for the incident. The 210-foot Caribbean Venture, out of Newcastle, England, was tied to Pier 3 at the time.

Miami Fire Chief Henry Christen said the blast which injured none of the crew - may have been caused by a plastics explosive called C-4.

Later, a spokesman for the Cuban exile organization that calls itself "Cuban Power" phones news media and claimed it had mined the ship. The mine, he said, was supposed to go off ofter the ship had gone to sea, but exploded prematurely.

The blast ripped a hole in the hull causing the ship to take on water and settle six feet, but the Coast Guard said there was no danger of its sinking.

Cuban exiles here are bitter at Britain's continued trading with Fidel Castro's government.

Copyright (c) 1968 The Miami News