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Latino Daily News

Wednesday May 7, 2014

4 Cuban-Americans Arrested on Terror Charges in Havana

Four Cuban-Americans have been arrested in Cuba on charges of plotting terrorist attacks, the interior ministry said Wednesday.

Jose Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodriguez Gonzalez, Raibel Pacheco Santos and Felix Monzon Alvarez, all residents of Miami, were detained April 26, according to a statement circulated in Cuba’s state-controlled media.

“The detainees acknowledged that they sought to attack military installations,” the interior ministry said, adding that three of the suspects admitted having traveled to Cuba several times since 2003 in connection with the plot.

The suspects, according to the statement, also told investigators that plan was devised by three other Cuban-Americans living in Miami: Santiago Alvarez Fernandez Magriña, Osvaldo Mitat and Manuel Alzugaray.

Cuba will urge U.S. authorities “to investigate these acts and promptly prevent the action of terrorist elements and organizations based in that country from endangering people’s lives and the security of both nations,” the interior ministry said.

The three alleged masterminds in Miami “maintain close ties with the famous terrorist Luis Posada Carriles,” the statement said.

Posada, an anti-Castro militant accused by Venezuela and Cuba of involvement in the 1976 bombing of a Cubana de Aviacion airliner over Barbados that left 73 dead, is thought to be living in South Florida after his April 2011 acquittal on U.S. federal charges of perjury, fraud and obstruction of justice.

The Cuban-born Venezuelan citizen was accused of lying when he applied for political asylum and U.S. citizenship. Federal prosecutors said he perjured himself when he denied under oath that he was involved in bomb attacks on Havana hotels in 1997.

An Italian tourist died in one of the blasts.

Posada acknowledged in a 1998 interview with The New York Times that he helped organize the bombings of hotels in Cuba, but the U.S. Army veteran later claimed that his poor grasp of English caused him to misspeak in his exchange with reporter Ann Louise Bardach.

The octogenarian Posada was jailed in Venezuela in 1976 for his alleged role in the jetliner bombing, but escaped in 1985 while awaiting a second trial.

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