News Release

Cuba and Terrorism: Villain or Victim?


“I think it’s naive to think you can sit down and have unconditional talks with a person [Raul Castro] who has [been] part of a government that has been a state sponsor of terrorism not only in the hemisphere but throughout the world.”
— Sen. John McCain, Feb. 23, 2008

Available for a limited number of interviews, Smith is a senior fellow and director of the Cuba program at the Center for International Policy. He has been chief of mission at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. He said today: “Sen. McCain suggests we shouldn’t even talk to Raul Castro. But it’s difficult indeed to see what we could possibly lose by talking. We have disagreements, yes, but how to begin to resolve them without talking? As for Cuba being a state sponsor of terrorism, that is something the State Department claims in its annual reports, but without any credible evidence. The Cuba of 1965 is not the Cuba of today that has normal diplomatic relations with some 165 countries. And speaking of terrorism, there’s also the fact that the U.S. is now sheltering the arch terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles. As President Bush has often put it, ‘anyone who shelters a terrorist, is a terrorist.’ Where does that leave the Bush administration?”
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Author of the forthcoming book The Oral History of Terrorism Against Cuba, Bolender said today: “In the past 45 years Cuba has experienced thousands of acts of terrorism, more than 3,000 people have died. There were bombings of department stores and theaters in the 1960s … the Cubana Airline bombing in 1976 that killed 73 people — the masterminds of this bombing, Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, are still free in the United States. In 1997 a series of hotel bombings in Havana killed an Italian tourist and injured many others.”

Author of Cuba and the United States: A Chronological History, Franklin said today: “The CIA invaded Cuba; Cuba did not invade the United States. For almost half a century, Washington has allowed terrorists to operate freely from U.S. territory in attempts to assassinate Cuban leaders and to set off bombs that kill people not only from Cuba but from other countries as well. In a 2006 report on policy toward Cuba, the Bush administration included a ‘secret annex.’ Who knows what it includes?”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167