How Fidel Castro Supported Terrorism in America 2

Puerto Rican nationalist and terrorist leader Oscar López Rivera in Chicago, May 18. Photo: European Pressphoto Agency

‘FALN was started in the mid-1960’s with a nucleus . . . that received advanced training in Cuba.’

By Zach Dorfman, Wall Street Journal

The decision to honor Oscar López Rivera, a terrorist who spent 35 years in federal prison, at New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade Sunday unleashed a firestorm. Organizers named López Rivera—released in February under an 11th-hour clemency from President Obama —the parade’s first-ever “National Freedom Hero.”

In response, major sponsors such as Goya, Coca-Cola , Univision, Jet Blue and the Yankees pulled their support. New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill is refusing to march, as are several Democratic politicians, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

The wariness over López Rivera—who’ll still march, though he’s said he’ll forgo the “hero” designation—is well-founded. The group he helped lead, the pro-independence Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña, or FALN, was one of the most prolific terrorist organizations of its time. Between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, the FALN perpetrated more than 130 bombings. It was responsible for the 1975 explosion at Fraunces Tavern, which killed four and wounded 63; a bombing spree in New York City in August 1977 that killed one, injured six, and forced the evacuation of 100,000 office workers; and the purposeful targeting and maiming of four police officers, among many other vicious crimes.

Carnage on this scale was possible because of the FALN’s organizational and operational sophistication—including its numerous connections to communist Cuba and its intelligence services. Those connections have been known to law enforcement for decades.

According to court documents, Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, who is believed to have helped co-found the FALN, told an undercover NYPD officer in 1983 that he had received explosives training in Cuba. And the FBI estimated that by 1973, roughly 135 Puerto Rican militants had received “extensive instruction in guerilla war tactics, preparation of explosive artifacts, and sophisticated methods of sabotage” from Fidel Castro’s intelligence services.

The full extent of the FALN’s Cuba connections is unknown. But they may be more enduring than has been publicly reported. According to an NYPD document I discovered at the Hoover Institution archives at Stanford—undated, but apparently circa 1977—by that time officials had come to believe that “the FALN was started in the mid-1960’s with a nucleus of Puerto Rican terrorists that received advanced training in Cuba. . . . After their advanced training in Cuba they returned to Puerto Rico and a wave of bombings and incendiary incidents struck the [latter] island. Within the last few years they have shifted their activities to the mainland. . . . It is believed that they have maintained close links and may in fact work closely with Cuban intelligence operatives.”

Feature continues here: Cuban Support to Terrorists

 

 

Time for a New Puerto Rican Independence Movement 2

By Frank Worley-Lopez, The Canal [Blog of the PanAm Post]

My conversion from pro-statehood to pro-Puerto Rican independence has been a tough one. I’ve always considered myself more US American than Puerto Rican, always been pro-United States, and always been (and still am) a strong supporter of the idea of a constitutional republic with a bill of rights — and oh yeah, I’m a capitalist. My vision of independence for Puerto Rico is vastly different from the vision promoted by the Puerto Rico Independence Party.

It is not surprising then that I don’t have so many supporters.

Puerto Ricans in New York City celebrate their heritage. Source: NYC Parade Life.

This week my disdain for the current Puerto Rico independence movement received yet another boost when semi-retired PIP President Rubén Berríos Martínez proved once again to be the most important figure preventing any chance of independence. Berríos publicly supported the Venezuelan government in their fight against the evil fascist students who are demanding such horrid things as honest elections and freedom (perish the thought!).

I once interviewed Ruben in his then-Senate office, where he proudly talked of visiting Cuba and hugging Fidel Castro. While they swear they are not communists, but social democrats, the PIP has steadfastly supported the Cuban communist regime and the transition to communism by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

That really is not surprising when anecdotal (and historical) evidence suggests that the Puerto Rico nationalist movement and independence movement were actually organized with the help of the Cuban equivalent of the CIA. Nationalist leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios, who led the Macheteros (machete wielders) terrorist group was recruited by the Cuban Intelligence Service in 1961. If ever I had a fear in having switched sides from pro-statehood to pro-independence, it was that somehow I would be lumped in with the communist movement.

Read more here: Time for a New Puerto Rican Independence Movement

Today in History: Cuban-Supported Terrorists Stole $7 Million in Wells Fargo Heist Reply

September 12, 1983:  The Puerto Rican terrorist group known as the Ejército Popular Boricua (EPB) [Boricua Popular Army] conducted Operation White Eagle.  This assault on a Wells Fargo armored car terminal in Hartford, Connecticut, netted the EPB over seven million dollars.  After the robbery, Cuban Intelligence covertly sent most of the money and Victor Manuel Gerena – the robbery’s central figure, to Havana.  Gerena, a Hartford resident and Wells Fargo employee, escaped arrest, although two years later, 16 other EPB members were apprehended for their role in White Eagle.  The FBI said that the others were identified during the course of an estimated 2000 hours of wiretapped conversations, as well as by over 5000 photographs and videotapes generated by physical surveillance against terrorist operations in Puerto Rico.  The FBI said that 64 agents in Puerto Rico worked the wiretap portion of the operation.  Among those jailed were EPB leaders Juan Segarra Palmer and Filiberto Ojeda Rios, whom prosecutors said was a Cuban Intelligence agent.

Editor’s Note:  The EPB is also known as Los Macheteros (“the Machete Wielders”).

 

Cuba-Supported Terrorist Pleads Guilty to 1983 Wells Fargo Robbery 1

Written by the FBI

New Haven, Connecticut – The United States Attorneys for the District of Connecticut and the District of Puerto Rico announced that Norberto Gonzalez-Claudio, 67, pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to federal charges related to his involvement in a 1983 armored truck robbery of approximately $7 million in West Hartford, Connecticut, and a separate charge of illegally possessing a machine gun at the time of his arrest in May 2011.

“After more than a quarter century on the run, this defendant has admitted his guilt to charges related a $7 million armored truck robbery,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “I commend the FBI in Connecticut and Puerto Rico, as well as the U.S. Marshals Service, for never resting in investigating this case and apprehending the remaining fugitives. Their combined efforts demonstrate the resolve of law enforcement in the pursuit of justice.”

“Today’s plea is the result of an investigation that has spanned nearly 30 years and underscores the FBI’s tireless pursuit of justice,” stated Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Connecticut. “The collaborative efforts of the FBI in San Juan and New Haven, and in all divisions of the FBI, will continue until all involved in the ‘Wells Fargo robbery’ are brought to justice.”

According to court documents and statements made in court, Gonzalez-Claudio conspired with others to rob approximately $7 million in cash from the Wells Fargo Armored Service Corporation in West Hartford and to transport the stolen money to Mexico. In pleading guilty, Gonzalez-Claudio acknowledged that he and other co-conspirators approved and authorized the robbery, which occurred on September 12, 1983.

Read the rest of the  story here:  Cuba Supported Terrorist Pleads Guilty to 1983 Wells Fargo Robbery