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Interview to Canadian Writer Stephen Kimber: The Cuban Five

Canadian writer Stephen Kimber is the author of the book 'What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five.' Kimber was interviewed recently by Phil Taylor for the Taylor Report, a program aired live on CIUT radio station, in Toronto, Canada.

In the interview, Kimber confirmed that back in the 1980s and the early 1990s, extremists in the US stepped up their attacks on Cuba.

What they intended to create —this is back in the early 1980s right after Ronald Reagan came into office in the United States— a lobby much like the Israel Lobby in the United States, a very powerful lobby that would help to underwrite Congressional campaigns and push for legislation, write legislation and they did that. Another thing they did —this is where the Cuban Five came in to it. In 1992, at a meeting in Naples, Florida, they created a secret paramilitary. So, one hand, these people who are going to Washington and meeting at the White House with the top officials in the land. On the other hand, they are plotting the overthrow of the Cuban government with a paramilitary that they financed with millions of dollars. That this sort of thing was allowed to go unchecked means that there would be more attacks on Cuba, and more serious attacks. And so, the Cuban were able to infiltrate that group, and they knew what they were planning and that’s again part of this very complicated but very interesting story of what the Cubans were doing in the United States.”

One of the parts left out of the New York Times’ editorial -- it doesn’t explain that in fact what they were trying to do was stop terrorist attacks against Cuba.”

The prestigious Canadian writer and journalist defended Cuba's decision to send agents into the US to keep track of those extremist groups and their terrorist plots.

 

After the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a real feeling in Miami, like a lot of the Soviet allies in Eastern Europe, Cuba was simply going to fall and next year they could march back in and take over again. These were a lot of exiles who had roles in Batista government or had connections back then and that is what they thought.”

And, they were plotting those things and beginning to carry them out. There were many attacks. These go back, obviously, to the time of the Revolution. But, they were ramping them up in the early 1990s. So, the Cubans knew that this was being done. It was the only way to stop it —because the American government had laws on the books. There is a law called the American Neutrality Act that prohibits somebody from plotting to attack a third country from inside the United States. That was clearly happening, and there was no effort by American authorities to stop it.”

So, the Cubans sent these agents over, whose job was to infiltrate these various groups. And, there were a lot of them in Miami and report back to Havana what they were doing. Then, Havana could stop them. Now in terms of what they stopped-- how they stopped them, mostly they arrested them. They arrived at the airport with bombing equipment, the Cubans knew they were coming and they arrested them. So, it was a very legitimate —they weren’t going out and assassinating anybody or shooting anybody. It was a very lawful process carried out by a government that was under fire. The only thing that was illicit about it was that they didn’t tell the American government what they were doing. But, if they told the American government what they were doing, they wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

Stephen Kimber insisted that Cuba shared the information gathered by the Five with US authorities, hoping Washington would look into it and some how stop the terrorists and prevent the death of innocent Cuban and other nationals as well.

There was a plot to blow up an airplane filled with tourists coming to Cuba which would have been from Europe or Canada or perhaps from South America and you know they took that seriously. The Cubans said here are the plotters. It is being done. And, the FBI went to Havana in June of 1998 and meet with the Cuban State Security for three days and they (Cuba) turned over all sorts of information to them. The FBI was supposed to go back and investigate and instead three months later the Cuban Five were arrested. Instead of arresting the terrorists, they arrested the people who were working to uncover what they were up to.”

Edited by Ivan Martínez
Commentaries
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Steve say:

It is very interesting to read about the Cuban Five. This story has not been covered well, if at all, by the mainstream American press. I hope that this situation becomes better known and that justice will prevail. Despite the election of Mr. Trump, there is a large progressive community in the United States that I'm certain would support freedom for the Cuban Five.

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