Thursday, April 7, 2016

Partial Chronology of Cuban Diplomatic Malfeasance 1962 - 2015

The case against opening Cuban Consulates in the United States

Cuban diplomats denied U.S. re-entry visas following this plot being discovered
Cuban diplomats for more than 50 years have plotted and facilitated terrorist attacks, beaten up peaceful protesters, threatened and bitten protesters using homophobic language, and participated in the cover up of extrajudicial killings. In the ongoing conversation surrounding engagement with the Castro dictatorship some inconvenient facts are being overlooked.

Castro's Cuba even by the standards of a totalitarian regime does not behave as expected. The Castro regime has explicitly viewed terrorism as a legitimate tactic to advance its revolutionary objectives. In 1970 the Cuban government published the "Mini Manual for Revolutionaries" in the official Latin American Solidarity Organization (LASO) publication Tricontinental and translated it into many languages, written by Brazilian urban terrorist Carlos Marighella, which gives precise instructions in terror tactics, kidnappings, etc. and translated into numerous languages which were distributed worldwide by the Cuban dictatorship. There is a chapter on terrorism that declares, "Terrorism is a weapon the revolutionary can never relinquish." This manual is still circulating today and the Cuban dictatorship has trained terrorists that targeted the United States and other countries in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s with acts of violence with the objective of altering political behavior. John Hoyt Williams in a 1988 article in The Atlantic reported: "In the Arab world some 3,000 [Cuban advisers] can be found in Libya and Algeria, among other things training terrorists and Polisario guerrillas."

Below is a partial record of Castro's diplomats, who are often spies, in their diplomatic posts around the world engaging in actions that should give White House policy makers pause before green lighting Cuban consulates across the United States.

New York City, USA (1962)
Cuban diplomats Elsa Montera Maldonado and Jose Gomez Abad, a husband and wife team at the Cuba Mission in New York City, who in reality were State Security agents who plotted to murder large numbers of Americans. Both were expelled for their role in a planned terrorist attack on the Friday after Thanksgiving in 1962 which sought to detonate 500 kilos of explosives inside Macy’s, Gimbel’s, Bloomingdale’s and Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal.

New York City, USA (1969)
A Black Panther plot to bomb five Manhattan department stores on April 3, 1969 during the Easter shopping rush was broken up by the indictment of 21 members of the militant group on April 2nd. The Chicago Tribune reported that they had planned to "set off bombs in the midtown stores of Macy's Alexander's. Bloomingdale's, Korvette's and Abercombie & Fitch. The bombings were to be accompanied by gunfire in the crowded stores." They had also planned to dynamite the tracks of Penn Central railroad at six location and bomb a police station in the Morrisania section of the Bronx to divert police from the railroad bombings. On April 10, 1969 Andrew Tulley reported in the Reading Eagle that that the Communist Cuban mission to the United Nations has become a financial and propaganda headquarters for promoting revolution by black militants and white radicals. ... Specifically, it was said, these include the Black Panther Party. The United States denied re-entry visas to two Cuban U.N. diplomats ..."as a normal reaction to evidence that the Cuban mission is engaged in extensive subversive activities. One of the two diplomats, Jesus Jimenez Escobar, a mission counselor, is described as one of the Havana regime's leading experts in the export of revolution."  Tully had met one of the five other Cuban diplomats then under investigation in Cuba in  1959: Lazaro Espinosa, third secretary at the U.N. missions was introduced to him by Che Guevara at the Havana Hilton Hotel as Castro's "leading technician in terrorism." The judge presiding over the Black Panther trial on February 21, 1970 had three gasoline bombs explode in front of his home. On May 13, 1971 a jury with five African American members acquitted the thirteen Black Panther members of murder conspiracy charges.

New York City, USA (1994)
 The United States expelled two Cuban diplomats on April 12, 1995, for having assaulted people last August (1994) protesting in front of Cuba's mission to the United Nations. The diplomats, Edmundo Suarez Hernandez, a counselor, and Saul Hermida Griego, an attache, and their families were told are to leave by midnight Sunday. The Cuban Foreign Ministry responded with a statement that the incident in August had been "provoked by terrorist groups who go around unpunished because of the inefficiency of the New York police." On August 30, 1994 anti-Castro protesters chained themselves to the Cuban Mission door. Cuban diplomats attacked them with sticks, screaming, "Cuba Our Way!" Two diplomats wielded a crowbar and ax handle. More than a dozen police officers suffered injuries. Four Cuban Mission employees were arrested on assault charges. All four were released after claiming diplomatic immunity.  US officials said it's unusual for diplomats to be expelled for violent behavior.

Mexico City, Mexico (1996)
On March 8, 1996 a group of Mexican students belonging to various universities,  a federal representative of the PAN Cristián Castaño Contreras, and a Cuban journalist were brutally assaulted by officers and employees of the Cuban embassy during a peaceful demonstration outside of the embassy. The attack left many injured. The Cuban embassy staff even attacked a student displaying a Mexican flag and tried to destroy it. The behavior was reminiscent of a Rapid Response Brigade in Cuba used to beat down dissidents in the island.

Washington, DC (2000)
On April 14, 2000 nonviolent protesters gathered in front of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington DC. In the early evening, a band of about 10 Cuban diplomats, alleged to have been drinking took off their coats, ties and jewelry, began screaming obscenities and yelling threats, and indiscriminately attacked 20 peaceful protesters  with fists and sticks, even injuring a Secret Service officer. Among the Cuban diplomats engaged in the violent assault, according to one of the victims, was Gustavo Machin Gomez.

Paris, France (2003)
At the Cuban embassy in Paris on April 24, 2003 Cuban diplomats engaged in the brutal beating of nonviolent protesters with iron bars and threatened them with deadly force. "Not only did members of the embassy come out with iron bars to hit us, but one of them was carrying a firearm, which he loaded while outside the embassy," RSF Secretary-General Robert Ménard said. "This new element is extremely serious. It is unacceptable that persons linked to a foreign embassy should commit such offences on French territory."

Geneva, Switzerland (2004)
On April 15, 2004 when the United Nations Human Rights Commission  decided by a single vote to censure the communist regime for its human rights record a Cuban human rights defender Frank Calzon was physically attacked by members of the Cuban diplomatic delegation. According to Freedom House: "Witnesses said a Cuban delegate punched Mr. Calzon, knocking him unconscious. UN guards reportedly protected him from further assault by additional members of the Cuban delegation."

San Jose, Costa Rica (2004)
Costa Rican members of the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba led by former president Luis Alberto Monge invited other Latin American and European leaders as well as representatives of civil society to hold a “International Forum for Democracy in Cuba” on the eve of the Ibero-American Summit on November 16, 2004.  The Cuban government learned on November 9 that the event was being planned and attempted through diplomatic channels to have the event suspended, accusing participants of being: CIA agents, terrorists, and servants of the North American government, and requesting that Costa Rican authorities inform them of the steps taken to cancel the event. When Costa Rica refused to suspend the event on November 10 the Costa Rican consul was called to the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations and once again the demand to have the event cancelled was made.  A diplomatic note was sent on November 11 followed by a second one on November 12 with the aim of canceling the forum. Having failed to stop the event Cuban diplomats organized an act of repudiation inside the Legislative Assembly. Costa Rica's governing institutions are open to the public. The Cuban counsel Rafael Dausá Céspedes utilized groups with ideological affinities with the Cuban revolution in Costa Rica to physically storm the event to use physical intimidation and threats of violence to shut it down after it had started. Six activists including the vice-president of the Czech Senate, Jan Ruml began a “sit-in” to protest the actions of the mob. They refused to depart the room under a threat of violence. . This led to a two and a half hour stand off. Meanwhile in another part of the same building the event went off without a hitch, because the sixty did not want to surrender the room to the six.

Oslo, Norway (2010)
On May 22, 2010 Norwegian media reported that Cuban diplomat, Carmen Julia Guerra, insulted, threatened, and bit a young Norwegian woman, Alexandra Joner age 19, of Cuban descent on her mother's side while she was across the street from the Cuban embassy in Oslo. She was filming a non-violent demonstration in solidarity with the Ladies in White and in remembrance of martyred Cuban dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo. The main national newspaper in Norway, Aftenposten,  photographed the young girl with bite marks on her hand.

Mexico (2012)
In January of 2012 there were reports in the media of Cuban, Iranian and Venezuelan diplomats meeting in Mexico to discuss cyber attacks on U.S. soil and allegedly seeking information about nuclear power plants in the United States. 

Dominican Republic (2012)
On January 28, 2012 in the Dominican Republic the Cuban ambassador physically assaulted a 70 year old Cuban exile who had screamed "Down with Fidel! Down with the Castros!" This same diplomat had been already expelled by the United States in 1995 for beating up peaceful demonstrators in New York City. 

Injured in Panama by Cuban diplomats
Panama (2015)
On April 8, 2015 Cuban diplomats streamed out of the the Cuban Embassy in Panama attacking civil society representatives who at the time were laying flowers at a bust of Jose Marti in a public park nearby. Several activists were injured and at least one required surgery. During the Summit of the Americas Cuban diplomats disrupted official meetings in order to block Cuban and Venezuelan dissidents from taking part, despite being officially accredited

Havana, Cuba (2016)
 Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine and Commissioner Ricky Arriola, had a highly publicized meeting in Cuba to discuss opening a Cuba consulate on Miami Beach with Gustavo Machin Gomez a Cuban diplomat who took part in a violent attack on peaceful demonstrators in 2000 in Washington DC. He was expelled from the United States for his espionage activities in 2002. Chris S. Simmons, a 23-year Counterintelligence Officer, from 1996-2004 involved with the majority of US Counterintelligence successes against the Castro regime provided the background on the Cuban Foreign Ministry's, deputy director of North American affairs. According to Simmons, Machin was involved in the operation to "spin" the death of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas in 2012. Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero were killed in an incident in which state security agents hit their car in a second vehicle, on July 22, 2012. These are the kind of individuals we will have in our community if a Cuban consulate is opened.

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