BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD — Special for Granma International
Havana 14 Dec: José Basulto, head of the Miami-based organization Brothers to the Rescue, openly bragged on a recent Miami Channel 41 program “A Mano Limpia” (Straight Talk) hosted by Oscar Haza, of having fired a 22mm cannon from a speedboat on a hotel in Havana, and that “so far” the FBI has not even questioned him about it.
In a blatant affront to U.S. authorities, he also freely said that the CIA not only trained him but also directed terrorist activities by Cuban-American groups against Cuba.
The program on which Basulto made this admission was dedicated to the trial of his buddies Santiago Alvarez Magriñá and Osvaldo Mitat, two Miami extremists recently arrested for possession of illegal weapons. Santiago Alvarez is the “protector” of Luis Posada Carriles and it was he who facilitated the latter’s illegal entry into the United States from Mexico.
On August 24, 1962 the terrorist, trained by the CIA in the use of arms and explosives along with Luis Posada Carriles, fired on a Havana hotel supposedly frequented by President Fidel Castro with a canon from a boat some 200 meters offshore in the Miramar neighborhood of the capital, hitting the building and spreading terror among the guests.
“In 1962, I fired a canon at a hotel in Cuba and so far no one has come to question me,” Basulto stated in answer to a question from Haza during the December 6 edition of this widely popular Miami program.
José Basulto, a former member of the Operation 40 terrorist commandos set up by the CIA, and founder of Brothers to the Rescue, was accompanied on the program by Santiago Alvarez’ son; Arturo Hernández, one of Alvarez’ three lawyers; Francisco Pepe Hernández, president of the Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF) who financed and oriented Posada’s criminal activities; and Julio González Rebull, member of the 2506 Brigade that invaded Cuba with U.S. government backing and is currently headed by Félix Ismael Rodríguez Mendigutía, a notorious CIA agent, torturer and assassin.
“The U.S. authorities themselves trained me in the use of the cannon” at CIA bases, Basulto shamelessly recalled, “and they supplied me with weapons on another occasion,” he affirmed.
Santiago Alvarez Magriñá and Osvaldo Mitat were found in possession of a cooler full of automatic rifles with the registration numbers removed, silencers, grenades and grenade launchers.
The attorney general has requested that the trial take place in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County instead of in Miami, thus triggering an angry response from the terrorist Miami mafia. A support committee of various figures in the Cuban American community whose links with terrorism are amply documented has been formed.
At an earlier point, González Rebull himself described Santiago Alvarez as “a comrade of our (2506) Brigade,” referring to the mercenary troops defeated at the Bay of Pigs, to which Basulto and Pepe Hernández also belonged. He recalled that before the CIA-planned intervention, “we had eight bases in the cays from where we carried out missions to Cuba and had all kinds of weapons, and that was with the blessing of the U.S. government.”
THE U.S. SUPPORTed, TRAINED AND EVEN DIRECTED ALL THIS
Basulto claims to not know “what the origin of this political action against Santiago Alvarez is.” However, upon confirming that the Miami terrorists have always enjoyed the tolerance of the FBI and legal authorities, he added: “I could say that I know of many other similar cases that have been resolved in an amicable way, with the weapons being confiscated or something like that, or the person in question being scolded and that’s the end of it.”
“Because it was the United States itself that started all this, with support, training and even direction,” the terrorist ringleader declared.
“We had that support, those weapons; elements that today are considered inappropriate.”
During the show Basulto even compared the anti-Cuba acts of terrorism launched in Miami to the “use of weapons to invade Iraq.”
Basulto aired his suspicion that in the case of Alvarez “there is an enemy somewhere that has pushed some button setting off this process, this series of events.”
“That is who we want to identify,” he added. “There are several people in the Prosecutors Office itself who are aspiring to the district attorney position here.” (Currently held by interim Attorney R. Alexander Acosta.) Basulto went on to explain: “Most likely he hasn’t got along well within the system and they have simply thrown this at him to trample him underfoot.”
José Basulto called for political pressure to release Alvarez.
“There are elected officials at national, local, and state level who have been cited in this document; we are not ordering anyone, we are only reminding them of their responsibility, because when elections come everyone remembers Cuba but when the administration changes and isn’t their own, then they go into hiding,” he said, openly confirming the weight of political intervention in the U.S. legal procedure.
with POSADA, BOSCH, AND FELIX RODRIGUEZ…
José Basulto was a member of Operation 40, organized by the CIA to provide a commando of agents trained in terrorism for the mercenary Bay of Pigs invasion. He was training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Benning, Georgia and later participated in criminal actions along with Félix Rodríguez Mendigutía, Luis Posada Carriles, Orlando Bosch, Virgilio Paz, José Dionisio Suárez, Antonio Veciana, Ricardo Morales Navarrete, the Novo Sampoll brothers, Gaspar "Gasparito" Jiménez Escobedo, Nazario Sargent, “Tony” Cuesta, Eladio del Valle, Herminio Díaz, Pedro Luis Díaz Lanz and Rafael "Chichi" Quintero.
Notorious CIA officers like David Morales, David Phillips, Howard Hunt, William Harvey, Frank Sturgis, Gerry Hemming and even Porter Goss, current head of the agency, have directed the Cuban Americans.
Basulto collaborated with the fascist military regimes of Chile and Argentina and financed several of its operations through drug trafficking activities.
There is a common point shared by Osama Bin Laden, presumed author of the catastrophic attacks in New York and Washington; a Posada Carriles or Bosch, who blew up a civilian Cuban airplane in full flight; and José Basulto, who dispatched his Cessnas on numerous provocative flights over Havana, and that is their terrorist training at the hands of the CIA.
Meanwhile, five Cubans who have risked their lives in Miami heroically counteracting the criminal plans of these same terrorists remain in five prisons scattered throughout the immense U.S. territory.
Throughout the trial of these five Cuban anti-terrorists, the prosecution and Héctor Pesquera, then FBI chief, one of the most corrupt police officers in southern Florida, used José Basulto as a consultant and the trial ended with a public embrace between the federal attorney and the self-confessed terrorist. Government representatives, police officers and elements of the terrorist mafia all attended the celebration party afterwards.
Sentencing of two of the five Cubans, Judge Joan Lenard came to this curious conclusion, barely three months after September 11: "As a further special condition of his supervised release the defendant is prohibited from associating with or visiting specific places where individuals or groups such as terrorists, members of organizations advocating violence, and organized crime figures are known to be in or frequent.”
In his own voice, Basulto has now confirmed the origin of so many precautions in favor of individuals whose terrorist activities have been widely demonstrated for a long while, and against those who tried to deter their plans.