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Orlando Bosch (also known as Orlando Bosch Avila) is a Cuban exile terrorist and former Central Intelligence Agency-backed operative, head of CORU organization, which the FBI has described as "an anti-Castro terrorist umbrella organization."[1] Former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh called Bosch an "unrepentant terrorist."[2] He has been accused of taking part in Operation Condor and several other terrorist attacks, including the October 6, 1976 bombing of a Cuban civilian airliner in which all 73 people on board were killed, including many young members of a Cuban fencing team and 5 North Koreans. The bombing is alleged to have been plotted at a 1976 meeting in Washington, D.C. attended by Bosch, Luis Posada Carriles, and DINA agent Michael Townley. At the same meeting, the assassination of Chilean former minister Orlando Letelier is alleged to have been plotted.

Contents

History

Orlando Bosch was in contact with CIA in 1962 and 1963, as the agency itself admitted, as recorded in the National Security Archive [3]. At this time, Bosch was the General Coordinator of the Insurrectional Movement of Revolutionary Recovery (MIRR). He was a member of the anti-Castro Operation 40.

Belgian researcher Marcel Dehaeseleer believes that Orlando Bosch is the "dark-skinned man" who sits next to the Umbrella Man in the famous Zapruder film footage of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Bosch testified to the House Select Committee on Assassinations that he was at home in Miami when the president was assassinated.

Orlando Bosch entered Venezuela in mid-September 1976 under protection of Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez, according to the National Security Archive [4]. A CIA document described a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser in Caracas, Venezuela, held between September 22 and October 5, 1976, to support the activities of Orlando Bosch. The informant quoted Bosch as making an offer to Venezuelan officials to forgo acts of violence in the United States when President Carlos Andres Perez visited the United Nations in November, in return for "a substantial cash contribution to [Bosch's] organization." Bosch was also overheard stating: "Now that our organization has come out of the Letelier job looking good, we are going to try something else." Several days later, Posada was reported to have stated that "we are going to hit a Cuban airplane" and "Orlando has the details." (Both the Bosch and Posada statements were cited in an October 18, 1976 report to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger posted by the National Security Archive on May 17, 2005.)

Miami area law enforcement officials linked Bosch to several dynamite bombings, including a blast in the offices of Mackey Airlines in 1977, after the airline announced plans to resume flights to Cuba. [5]

Flight 455

On October 6, 1976 Cubana Flight 455 was destroyed after takeoff by the detonation of a bomb that had been placed in the aircraft toilets. All seventy-three people on board were killed, including many young members of a Cuban fencing team. Five people from North Korea were also killed on board the flight. This bombing would have been plotted at the same meeting, attended by Luis Posada Carriles and DINA agent Michael Townley, where Chilean former minister Orlando Letelier's assassination, in Washington, D.C. in 1976, was decided. Bosch was jailed in Venezuela awaiting trial for his role concerning the Cubana Flight 455 bombing, but he was never convicted of these charges. Defending himself, he would later say, infamously, "All of Castro's planes are warplanes."

Arrest and release

In 1968 Bosch was arrested in Florida for an attack on a Polish freighter with a 57 mm recoilless rifle and was as a result sent to prison for a ten year term. In 1987, almost a decade after the Flight 455 incident, Bosch was freed from Venezuelan charges and went to the United States, assisted by US Ambassador to Venezuela Otto Reich; there, he was ultimately arrested for a parole violation. Bosch was detained in the United States for six months until all charges were dropped and he was able to live in the United States freely. Many assume he was pardoned by President Bush.[6] Bosch was merely released after Cuban-Americans pressured Jeb Bush to have his father intervene on Bosch's behalf.[7] "Although many countries seek Bosch's extradition he remains free in the United States. The political pressure to grant Bosch a pardon began during the congressional campaign run by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, herself a Cuban American, and overseen by her campaign manager Jeb Bush. [8]

A June 2009 edition of the Cuban state newspaper Granma expressed anger at the lack of criminal charges, stating "months after the administration change in Washington, nothing seems to have changed in the banana republic where the monstrous Orlando Bosch, the pediatrician killer, sleeps peacefully in his bed."[9]

See also

Quotes

  • "All of Castro's planes are warplanes." - 1987, defending the bombing of a civilian Cuban aircraft.
  • "Now that our organization has come out of the Letelier job looking good, we are going to try something else."
  • "There were no innocents on that plane." - When referring to the victims of the 1976 Cubana Airlines terrorist bombing.

References

  1. ^ Kornbluh, Peter (June 9, 2005) "The Posada File: Part II." National Security Archive.
  2. ^ Landau, Saul (July 25, 2002) "At Our Expense: The Costly Relationship between Jeb Bush and Right Wing Cuban Exiles." Transnational Institute.
  3. ^ http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB157/19761209.pdf George Washington University archive
  4. ^ http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB157/19761014.pdf George Washington University archive
  5. ^ http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/belligerence/bosch-absolved.htm The Miami Herald - September 27, 1980 (article posted on LatinAmericanStudies.org)
  6. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/09/national/09exile.html?pagewanted=all The New York Times, Cuban Exile Could Test U.S. Definition of Terrorist - May 9, 2005
  7. ^ 638 Ways to Kill Castro, Channel 4 Television, 28th November 2006: TV documentary covering the many attempts by the CIA to eliminate Cuban leader Fidel Castro, a segment of which focussed upon the Flight 455 bombing.
  8. ^ Democracy Now!, Terrorist Cuban Exile Luis Posada Carriles Seeking Political Asylum in U.S., May 9th 2005 [1]
  9. ^ And when will Miami’s Terrorist Nest be Cleared out? by Jean-Guy Allard, Granma Internacional, June 11 2009

External links

Critical sites








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