Center for a Free Cuba OpEds and letters to the editor in 2022

This is a selection of the OpEds and letters to the editor in 2002 by the Center for a Free Cuba. Topics include the weaponization of migration by Havana, the plight of Cuban political prisoners, Castro regime’s history of terrorism, ongoing extrajudicial killings in Cuba, and much more. We share these to encourage others to write, share their views in publications, and join the public discussion on Cuba.

Miami Herald, January 16, 2022

Flashback to 1962, but Vladimir Putin is no Nikita Khrushchev, Joe Biden is no John F. Kennedy | Opinion


JANUARY 16, 2022 1:38 AM

Carl von Clausewitz, the XIX Century Prussian military strategist, wrote that “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy is predicated on raw power and blackmail – and if needed murders and kidnappings both inside and outside Russia.

 His massive military buildup on Ukraine’s border and his threat to deploy troops “and infrastructure” in Cuba and Venezuela are aimed to force the Biden Administration and America’s allies to submit to his will. Comparisons with the 1962 October Missile Crisis that brought humanity to the brink of nuclear war are deceiving. Putin is no Nikita Khrushchev and Joe Biden is no John Kennedy.

Two months after the Bay of Pigs debacle, in the June 1961 Vienna Summit, the Soviet dictator demanded the United States leave West Berlin, having concluded that the inexperienced recently elected American President could be intimidated. President Kennedy was unprepared, and the Soviet leader dominated the meeting and strengthened his view that his adversary was also immature. This assessment of the Vienna Summit resulted in Khrushchev erecting the Berlin Wall two months after the meeting. 

President Kennedy learned from this disastrous meeting, its catastrophic consequences for East Berliners, and during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, he adroitly marshaled American friends around the world, imposed a naval blockade, and successfully pressed Khrushchev’s withdrawal of Soviet nuclear missiles, despite Fidel Castro’s public tantrums

Today, the context is different. The Russian dictator is not a Party apparatchik but a seasoned KGB officer, who, despite earlier international assurances about Ukraine’s territorial integrity, in exchange for Kiev’s giving up its nuclear arsenal, annexed Crimea and keeps military forces engaged in a secessionist war in the Donbas region of Ukraine. 

The United States has an obligation with regard to Ukraine. When negotiations between Ukraine and Russia broke down on removing nuclear weapons from Ukraine in September 1993, Washington engaged in a trilateral process with Ukraine and Russia. This resulted in the January 1994 Trilateral Statement. Ukraine agreed to transfer its nuclear warheads to Russia. Ukraine received security assurances from the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom. 

Abandoning Ukraine in the short term may appear to guarantee peace, but the words of Winston Churchill in another crisis in 1938 should give today’s policymakers pause; “You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war.” 

Despite serious efforts in the Administration to help the President revisit and learn from foreign policy setbacks, Putin and other foes are not discouraged by what they see. Instead, they work on the assumption that Washington’s disarray, finger-pointing and accountability provide them with a unique opportunity to strike at American interests

Consider the following:

 The Trump Administration backed tough sanctions on Russia and did all it could to kill the $11 billion Nord Stream 2, that would pump gas to Germany increasing Russian leverage over Europe, but the Biden Administration, believing there was hardly anything worth saving from the previous Administration’s policies, waived the harshest sanctions without obtaining any concession from Russia, and eventually replaced them with weaker measures as the situation in Ukraine worsened. 

Washington’s messy withdrawal from Afghanistan sent a message of weakness to America’s enemies that animated both Russia and China into a more aggressive posture in Ukraine, and Taiwan respectively.

 In June 2021, the Biden administration lifted sanctions on three former Iranian officials and energy companies in an effort to get Iran to change course on its nuclear program in exchange for loosened sanctions. Iran did not respond as expected, and the White House reintroduced sanctions in October 2021 on two senior Iranian officials and two companies supplying weapons to groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Ethiopia.

Twice in 2021, Biden said that the United States would defend Taiwan if attacked by Mainland China, but the Administration walked back the statements citing a policy of “strategic ambiguity.”

China’s warplanes are flying over the Taiwan Straits into Taipei’s defense zone in multiple provocations. Not holding China responsible for millions of deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic and China’s growing presence in the developing world must be part of Putin’s appraisal. Be that as it may, what is to be done now?

 1. The American people and the world need to be reminded that NATO is a defensive alliance, which presents no danger to Russia unless Moscow attacks one of its members. 

2. The best way to promote peace and lower tensions on the Ukrainian-Russian border is for Nord Stream 2 to be shut down until Russian troops leave Crimea, reminding Moscow of their commitments to the territorial integrity of Ukraine and pursuing comprehensive and multilateral sanctions. 

3. The Biden Administration should be prepared to provide military supplies and intelligence assistance to Ukraine if requested.

4. Congress should introduce emergency military appropriations, setting aside assistance to NATO members under Russian threat who request help.

 5. America’s European allies, Japan, Australia, and others should be encouraged to join a broad diplomatic response to Putin’s aggressive designs that includes multilateral sanctions. 

A weak America makes for a more dangerous and uncertain world because it encourages international aggression. Americans will support these and similar efforts that should not be a partisan issue. 

Frank Calzón was among the founders of the Center for a Free Cuba, and John Suarez is its executive director

The Washington Post, January 27, 2022

Letters to the Editor


Opinion: Extrajudicial killings continue in Cuba

Oswaldo Payá, seen here in 2006, was killed in July 2012 while in a car in Cuba. (Javier Galeano/AP)

The Jan. 23 editorial “Cuba’s show trials roll on” was spot on, but it left unsaid that the extrajudicial killings also continue.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel appeared on state television after the 11J protests started on July 11, stating, “The order of combat is given, revolutionaries take to the streets.” This directive incited government security forces to commit violence against civilians. They shot and killed unarmed demonstrators.

Authorities recognized one death in these protests. Diubis Laurencio Tejeda was a 36-year-old singer who was shot in the back by the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) in Havana on July 12. There are others, but they have not been officially recognized.

Christian Díaz, age 24, disappeared after joining the protests. Relatives on July 12 reported him missing to the PNR in Cárdenas. Police told his father that Christian was jailed in Matanzas. On Aug. 5, officials informed his family he’d drowned in the sea and was buried in a mass grave. His family is convinced he was beaten to death.

This isn’t the first time Havana has covered up state murders. The 2012 killings of Cuban dissident leaders Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero by security forces are two high-profile examples.

John Suarez, Washington

The writer is executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba.

Havana Times, April 19, 2022

Biden Includes Cuba in the US-Russia Crisis

Miguel Diaz Canel, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden. Photo: Twitter/@DDNewslive/ AP

By Frank Calzon

HAVANA TIMES – A recent Newsweek article says that “Biden takes aim at Cuba during the worst crisis between the United States and Russia since the Cold War.”

The author, Tom O’Connor, offers plenty of space to the Cuban authorities to respond to Washington’s criticisms, and writes that “the United States has opened a new political front against Cuba, accusing it of tacitly supporting Russia’s attack on Ukraine.”

What might be the reasons behind Biden’s actions?

According to O’Connor, Washington complains that Cuba abstains from United Nations motions condemning Moscow and instead repeats arguments that the United States and its NATO allies helped to set the stage for the conflict.

The Cuban regime has strongly denounced the US embassy in Havana saying “it has regularly been used to broadcast messages in support of Ukraine and critical of Russia. Some tweets accused the Cuban government of expressing ‘support’ for Moscow in the conflict.,” the article says. And, although it is not mentioned in the article, the US embassy has publicized the critical situation of hundreds of Cuban political prisoners. 

Newsweek also reports that “Moscow has also channeled its narrative of the war in Ukraine through its embassy in Havana, sharing tweets of an opposing view in which Russian forces were valiantly carrying out what President Vladimir Putin has called “a special military operation’ to neutralize Ukraine militarily and politically while striving to eliminate the far-right wing forces he claims which have hijacked the country’s leadership.”  

The regime’s response to those who say Cuba supports Putin, is to remind them about Cuba’s medical assistance to sick Ukrainian children after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Yet, some historians reading Cuba’s statements are likely to instead remember Fidel Castro’s perverse logic when he supported the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Then Cuba had no diplomatic relations with the United States, and the Czech embassy represented Cuba in Washington.

Sometime later, Vaclav Havel, the Czech playwright, and former political prisoner, by then president of a free Czechoslovakia, told me that when he became president, he ordered the Castro diplomats out of the Czech Embassy in Washington. It was Havel’s government that obtained a strong denunciation from Castro’s dictatorship at the United Nations in Geneva years later. 

No one should be surprised if Ukraine, with the support of its friends, were to obtain the expulsion of Cuba from the United Nations Human Rights Council, which recently suspended Russia. It is an effort being promoted by the Center for a Free Cuba and has the support of several democracies and international organizations.

Cuba’s foreign minister lamented Moscow’s suspension, blaming Washington and speculating that after suspending Russia similar efforts would be tried against others, like Cuba. I hope that the minister, who has been mistaken often in the past, is right this time, and that he manages to convince Raul Castro to decree an amnesty of political prisoners before several nations withdraw their diplomats from Havana in protest.

According the article, which is certain to be under intense scrutiny in Havana, ”a month before the February 24th invasion was launched Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov would not rule out the potential for Moscow to answer new deployments in Europe by Washington and its allies by increasing Its military presence among partnered countries in the Western Hemisphere.” An obvious reference to Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.  

The failure of talks between NATO and Russia, O’Conner notes, “could result in a worse situation than the 1962 Missile Crisis which brought the world to the edge of nuclear war.”

It was then, as would be known later with the publication of Nikita Kruschev’s memoirs, that Fidel Castro urged Moscow to use atomic bombs against the United States. Castro told Kruschev that the Cuban people were willing to die to liberate the world from US imperialism. 


*Frank Calzon is a political analyst and human rights activist.

The Washington Times, April 27, 2022

Don’t let Cuba weaponize migration


The Washington Times editorial “Biden should not bow to Cuba’s political blackmail” (Web, April 24) is spot on in its conclusion that “the United States must take charge and only negotiate on its own terms without bowing to political blackmail,” but not while the military dictatorship engages in “its manipulative migration tactics — and finally frees political prisoners.”

The editorial mentions Mariel (1980) and the rafter crisis (1994) but omits the fact that between 2014 and 2016, over 120,000 Cubans entered the United States in another migration surge, during former President Barack Obama’s detente with Raul Castro. Obama responded to this extortion by ending the asylum policy for trafficked Cuban doctors, as well as the wet-foot/dry-foot policy. Ending these policies harmed Cubans and strengthened the dictatorship.

All Cuban migration crises have occurred under administrations seeking better relations with Havana: Camarioca (1965), Mariel (1980), the Rafter Crisis (1994), the Central American exodus (2014-2016) and now. The Cuban dictatorship reasoned that it could use immigration as a tool of asymmetric warfare to obtain more concessions. And it has been right on these four prior occasions.

In contrast, when Fidel Castro threatened a new exodus during the Reagan and Bush administrations, he was met each time with the response that the weaponization of migration would be dealt with as a national security matter. No exodus occurred.

To understand Havana’s tactics, Prof. Kelly M. Greenhill’s 2002 peer-reviewed paper, “Engineered Migration and the Use of Refugees as Political Weapons: A Case Study of the 1994 Cuban Balseros Crisis,” is required reading.

Orange County Register, June 9, 2022


Thousands of Cubans remain jailed, just for calling for change

If Cuban officials were ever allowed to join democracies at the Summit of the Americas, they should be asked about more than 1,400 Cuban citizens jailed on the island since last year’s protests.

Protesters against the government in Cuba gather outside Summit of the Americas at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

By John Suarez | June 9, 2022

While Cuba protests exclusion from the America’s Summit in Los Angeles, stressing the importance of respectful civic dialogue, the world’s eyes should take notice on how protest inside the island is handled.

It’s certainly not with a respectful eye toward civic dialogue, much less debate.

Since last year’s summer protests — thousands, including kids — remain behind bars.

Human rights organizations have identified over 1,400 Cubans detained during the July 11-13, 2021 nonviolent protests.

Trials of what are now called 11J protesters — named after the July 11 popular outburst — continue with prison sentences of up to 30 years for yelling anti-government slogans in the street while banging pots and pans or recording them.

When these national protests broke out, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, handpicked by Cuba’s actual ruler Raul Castro, appeared on state television shortly after the protests started, saying, “the order of combat is given, revolutionaries take to the streets.”

This command incited regime security forces to commit violence: shooting and killing unarmed demonstrators.

But unlike on other occasions inside Cuba, many of these atrocities were recorded and uploaded to the internet.

Authorities recognized one death in these protests.

Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, a 36-year-old singer, was shot in the back by the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) in Havana on July 12.

There are many others who aren’t accounted for.

Christian Díaz, age 24, disappeared after joining the protests. Relatives on July 12 reported him missing to the PNR in Cárdenas. Police told his father that Christian was jailed in Matanzas.

On Aug. 5, officials informed his family he’d drowned in the sea and was buried in a mass grave.

His family is convinced he was beaten to death.

There are many others, but they have not been officially recognized as family members have been threatened to keep silent.

There was also a harsh approach to those residents who documented abuses.

On July 11, 2021 Exeynt Beirut, age 41, was detained in Guantanamo, Cuba for taking part in the protests.

He was sentenced to four years in prison.

His father Fredy, age 64, and sister Katia, age 36, who went out the next day to film the protests were each sentenced to 20 years in prison.

German tourist and dual citizen Luis Frómeta Compte was sentenced to 25 years in prison on December 23, 2021 for spontaneously filming a demonstration in Havana for private purposes with his smartphone while visiting relatives and was subsequently arrested.

Regime officials are also punishing Cubans who speak out about their imprisoned loved ones.

Rolando Castillo was arrested on May 18, 2022 and then had an “express trial” without an attorney and sentenced to two years in prison, with less than two hours notice for his hearing.

His crime?

Protesting the arrest of his 17-year-old son Rowland Jesús Castillo Castro, who is now serving an 18-year prison sentence for protesting on July 11, 2021.

Yudinela Castro Pérez, mother of 18-year-old Rowland Jesús Castillo Castro, an 11J protester condemned to 12 years in prison, was arrested and taken to the secret police headquarters in Havana on Feb. 24, 2022. Because she was outspoken in defense of her son, Yudinela was charged with contempt and detained for 15 days. Days after her release Yudinela attempted suicide, but survived.

Unfortunately, the island’s repressive side is nothing new.

Cuban citizens continue to be systematically denied fundamental human rights available in any country invited to the Summit of the Americas, including the right to freely express themselves and associate freely.

John Suarez is executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba.

The Orange County Register, July 8, 2022

California senators wrong to applaud representative of communist Cuba

By John Suarez | PUBLISHED: July 8, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.

President Biden was vindicated, as The Washington Post editorial board pointed out on June 27, 2022, for his “refusal to permit Cuba’s attendance at the recent Summit of the Americas.”

“With the world distracted, Cuba cracks down on dissident artists,” the editorial board wrote.

Normalizing authoritarians does not improve their behavior but makes them more aggressive and compromises democratic norms.

During the Summit of the Americas, California state senators undermined the president’s correct stand when they welcomed Alejandro Garcia del Toro, deputy chief of mission to the Embassy of Cuba in the United States, to address the California Senate on May 26.

They were wrong to do so.

On July 11, 2021 when tens of thousands took to the streets in Cuba and nonviolently called for freedom and an end to dictatorship, President Miguel Diaz Canel went on national television and said “the order of combat is given; revolutionaries, take to the streets.”

Government agents responded, beating up, and firing on unarmed protesters, organizing mobs, giving them clubs and bussing them in to also beat up protesters. Cuban protesters were hurt, shot and some were killed. This has been followed by 11 months of political show trials, and long prison sentences for hundreds of demonstrators and those bystanders who recorded video of the protests and caught regime agents carrying out violence against unarmed Cubans.

On July 12, 2021, human rights defenders Felix Navarro, 68, and Sayli Navarro  Álvarez, 35, father and daughter, inquired about the protesters’ condition. They were also jailed and sentenced to nine and eight years in prison, respectively.

To ignore this and invite a representative to address the California State Senate legitimized this criminal behavior, and invited more of the same.

On June 24, the Cuban government delivered stiff prison sentences of nine and five years respectively to Cuban rapper Maykel “Osorbo” Castillo and Cuban performance artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara.

The first Summit of the Americas, held in Miami in December 1994, was “based on shared democratic values and the promise of increased trade and commerce to improve the quality of life for all peoples and preserve the hemisphere’s natural resources for future generations,” recalls the U.S. State Department.

The summit is supposed to be a gathering of democratically elected heads of state throughout the Americas.

Havana was not invited to the first six Summits of the Americas.

The first time Castro was invited was in 2015 in Panama, and again in 2018 in Peru, and it did not go well.

Havana did not respect democratic norms at the Summit of the Americas in 2015 and 2018. Pro-regime mobs were flown in, led by formal officials like Abel Prieto, a former minister of culture, to violently shut down discussions in civil society meetings.

They did not want dissidents to be heard. People were hurt in Panama after being assaulted by Cuban diplomats.

The Cuban dictatorship’s authoritarian nature is not only an internal feature of the system, but one exported to Venezuela and Nicaragua, creating crises with negative impacts across the region.

Havana is currently carrying out a disinformation campaign for Russia throughout Latin America defending the invasion of Ukraine.

The California Senate giving an audience to a representative of the Cuban dictatorship without inviting Cuban democrats or questioning Cuba’s human rights record, and concluding with a standing ovation for the dictatorship’s representative, is shameful.

Normalizing the Castro regime also sends a signal that there is no accountability, endangering the lives of Cuban dissidents.

The California Senate should call on the Cuban government to free Felix, Sayli, Maykel and Luis Manuel, invite Cuban pro-democracy activists to address the California Senate, and observe the upcoming anniversary of the murder of Cuban dissident leaders Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero by Cuba’s secret police 10 years ago on July 22, 2012.

John Suarez is executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba.

Diario las Américas, 5 de septiembre de 2022


Varadero: el Sun City de Cuba

Es hora de boicotear a Varadero, el Sun City cubano, a todos los Varaderos enclavados como una vergüenza en la isla

La playa Varadero, en Cuba. PEXELS

Desde que se adoptaron las leyes del apartheid en la Sudáfrica segregacionista a finales de los años 40s que promovieron políticas de “desarrollo separado” hasta que en 1992, luego de años de luchas y solidaridad internacional para acorralar al apartheid, un referendo le concedió facultades al gobierno para avanzar en negociaciones para una nueva constitución y devolver a la mayoritaria población de raza negra sus derechos inalienables.

Sun City fue un lujoso resort para blancos en el Noroeste de Sudáfrica. Pero por más de sesenta años otro Sun City, mejor conocido como la Playa de Varadero, ha estado a solo 90 millas de las costas del país que es referencia y líder del mundo libre.

Para más de 10 millones de cubanos que han sido sometidos por más de seis décadas a la segregación y la represión del Partido Comunista de Cuba no hay atención.

Por años los cubanos no tenían acceso a hoteles y playas, a hospitales y tiendas de alimentos y otras necesidades exclusivas para extranjeros y la clase de mandantes en el poder. No podían y aún no pueden tener empresas a no ser limitadas o sumamente controladas por el grupo de poder que solo a decidido hacer estas y otras controladas concesiones como la de “autorizar”, que no reconocer como derecho, viajar fuera de la isla a los ciudadanos o vender y alquilar automóviles y viviendas de su propiedad por la grave crisis económica, social y política en que mantienen a los cubanos. Los pequeños negocios familiares de servicios anunciados como signo de “apertura” son inaccesibles para los cubanos abiertamente contrarios al régimen del partido comunista y si alguno logra una licencia del Estado para emprender negocios que le permitan un poco de independencia del régimen, son asfixiados por la burocracia y se ven obligados a cerrar.

En Cuba en “zonas congeladas” en las que sólo pueden residir los jerarcas del régimen y algunos de sus acólitos.

El Partido Comunista es único, legal y según la constitución la “fuerza rectora de la sociedad”. El resto de tendencias políticas o ideológicas, cualquier asociación, sindical, cultural, deportiva, económica, académica independiente del régimen está prohibida y penalizada.

En Cuba, de vez en vez según lo estima la tiranía, se impide a la población del oriente más pobre de la isla, a quien despectivamente se llama “palestinos”, trasladarse a centros urbanos como la ciudad Habana, capital del país, para residir en ella en busca de mejores oportunidades económicas.

En Cuba están prohibidas las huelgas a todos los trabajadores.

Los cubanos que piensan diferente al régimen no tienen acceso al espacio público de la televisión, la radio o la prensa solo a disposición del partido comunista y sus satélites pese a pagarlos todo el pueblo.

En Cuba, durante los años sesenta se relocalizaron poblaciones enteras del centro de la isla a lugares sin condiciones de vida en occidente para evitar el apoyo popular a los grupos guerrilleros que combatían el régimen comunista.

Uno de los eslogan y medidas represivas del régimen del partido comunista de Cuba es que “la universidad es para los revolucionarios….”

En Cuba las personas pueden ser arrestadas de manera indefinida, también pueden ser condenadas sin haber cometido delito alguno.

Pero la vida de los cubanos independientemente de su raza, parece no importar.

La Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas en 1968 pidió a todos los estados y organizaciones miembros que suspendieran sus intercambios culturales, educativos, deportivos y de otro tipo con instituciones y organizaciones de Sudáfrica.

El Movimiento Cristiano Liberación de Cuba, (MCL) ha propuesto once acciones concretas en solidaridad con el pueblo cubano y de boicot y aislamiento al régimen, sus instituciones y organizaciones, en especial el Partido Comunista como ideólogo y ejecutor de la represión y la segregación contra los cubanos, en la misma línea que el mundo una vez actuó contra el criminal régimen del apartheid.

Un grupo de personalidades recientemente han hecho un llamado a instituciones y organismos internacionales para que se cree un corredor humanitario capaz de llevar directamente al pueblo cubano ayuda en alimentos, medicinal y otras necesidades urgentes bloqueadas o controladas como medio de sometimiento de la población.

Hay que Sudafricanizar el tema cubano, Es hora del boicot internacional al régimen comunista de Cuba, hasta que los presos sean liberados, los desterrados podamos regresar, las leyes no sean opresivas y podamos elegir y ser elegidos al gobierno de nuestro país.

Es hora de boicotear a Varadero, el Sun City cubano, a todos los Varaderos enclavados como una vergüenza en la isla, de no permitir a una tiranía continúe segregándonos y reprimiéndonos a los cubanos blancos, negros, mestizos, humanos.

Por Regis Iglesias Ramírez y John Suarez

Regis Iglesias Ramírez


Movimiento Cristiano Liberación

John Suarez

Executive Director

Centro por una Cuba Libre

Diario las Américas,  23 de septiembre de 2022


El terrorismo es un elemento fundamental del castrismo

Cuba fue correctamente devuelta a la lista de patrocinadores del terrorismo en 2021 y debe permanecer allí hasta que cambie su comportamiento

Imagen referencial. Collage CANVA / Pexels

Por John Suárez 23 de septiembre de 2022

Los congresistas colombianos y CodePink están cometiendo un grave error cuando le piden a Estados Unidos que saque al régimen de Castro de la lista de patrocinadores del terrorismo de Estado.

La dictadura castrista tomó el poder en 1959 utilizando el terrorismo. Durante la década del 50, el Movimiento 26 de Julio de Castro llevó a cabo múltiples bombardeos aterrorizando y matando a civiles cubanos.

Raúl Castro, considerado como ‘el padre del skyjacking‘, tramó varios. Un secuestro aéreo resultó en la muerte de 17 civiles en noviembre de 1958.

El castrismo ve el terrorismo como una táctica legítima para sus objetivos. La Habana publicó el “Mini Manual del Guerrillero Urbano“. Traducido a muchos idiomas, contiene un capítulo que dice: “El terrorismo es un arma que el revolucionario nunca puede abandonar”.

Cuba está vinculada al terrorismo en España. En 1964, militantes de ETA recibieron entrenamiento en Cuba sobre secuestros, subversión y sabotaje. En el 2000, durante la X Cumbre Iberoamericana en Panamá, Castro se resistía a respaldar una resolución de condena a ETA. El 30 de diciembre del 2006, una furgoneta bomba colocada por ETA explotó en el aparcamiento de la Terminal 4 del aeropuerto de Barajas en España, matando a dos personas e hiriendo a 52.

Castro creó una internacional terrorista. La Conferencia Tricontinental celebrada en La Habana del 3 al 16 de enero de 1966 y la creación de la Organización para la Solidaridad de los Pueblos de Asia, África y América Latina (OSPAAL) buscaron apoyar a los grupos terroristas a nivel mundial. “Castro dijo que ‘las balas, no las papeletas’ eran la forma de llegar al poder”. Sostuvo que “existían condiciones para una lucha armada revolucionaria”.

Ilich Ramírez Sánchez (17 años) asistió a la Conferencia. Luego pasó el verano en el Campamento Matanzas, una escuela de guerra de guerrillas dirigida por la DGI cubana. Después de varios ataques terroristas, eligió el alias “Carlos”. Francia expulsó a tres altos diplomáticos cubanos el 10 de julio de 1975 por ser “visitantes constantes” del escondite parisino de Carlos.

El grupo terrorista puertorriqueño Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional llevó a cabo más de 130 atentados. Es responsable de:

FALN se inició a mediados de la década de 1960 y recibió capacitación avanzada en Cuba. Samuel T. Frances en su ensayo de 1979 “Latin American Terrorism: The Cuban Connection” publicado por The Heritage Foundation encontró que “casi todos los grupos terroristas latinoamericanos significativos de orientación izquierdista han tenido o tienen hoy vínculos con Cuba”.

Cuba fue incluida en la lista de patrocinadores del terrorismo de Estado el 1 de marzo de 1982. El Departamento de Estado de EEUU confirmó que La Habana estaba utilizando una red de narcóticos para canalizar armas y dinero en efectivo al grupo terrorista colombiano M-19. El 6 de noviembre de 1985, miembros del M-19 irrumpieron en el Palacio de Justicia de Colombia. Este ataque provocó la muerte de muchos rehenes, incluidos 11 de los 25 jueces de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Colombia.

“En el mundo árabe se podrían encontrar unos 3.000 [asesores cubanos] en Libia y Argelia, entre otras cosas entrenando terroristas” en 1988. La Habana hoy colabora con Hamas y otros grupos terroristas del Medio Oriente.

La Habana llevó a cabo la Operación Escorpión, acto de terrorismo de Estado a través su red de espionaje en Estados Unidos que asesinó a cuatro personas en espacio aéreo internacional el 24 de febrero de 1996. La Red Avispa apuntó hacia instalaciones militares estadounidenses, planeaba contrabandear armas y explosivos a los EEUU, entre otras medidas activas.

Cuba fue eliminada de la lista de estados patrocinadores del terrorismo en 2015 en un esfuerzo de Estados Unidos por normalizar las relaciones con La Habana que fracasó.

En 2016, diplomáticos en La Habana informaron haber sufrido lesiones cerebrales. El 2 de enero de 2017, las tropas cubanas marcharon en un desfile, presidido por Raúl Castro, cantando que le dispararían repetidamente al presidente Barack Obama en la cabeza tantas veces que harían un “sombrero de plomos”.

En 2020, La Habana rechazó las solicitudes de Colombia para extraditar a diez líderes del ELN que viven en Cuba. El ELN se atribuyó la responsabilidad del atentado con bomba en enero de 2019 contra una academia de policía de Bogotá que mató a 22 personas e hirió a más de 87. Castro entrenó, armó y apoyó al grupo terrorista ELN desde 1964.

En su monografía de 2022 “Involucramiento de Cuba en el terrorismo: 2020-2022“, José Arias encontró que “en los últimos tres años, Cuba proporcionó en todo el mundo una red de inteligencia humana altamente efectiva que ha sido capaz de encontrar vulnerabilidades en la seguridad de muchos diferentes países.” Conocimiento que Cuba comparte con los patrocinadores del terrorismo de Estado, Irán, Corea del Norte y Siria.

Cuba fue correctamente devuelta a la lista de patrocinadores del terrorismo en 2021 y debe permanecer allí hasta que cambie su comportamiento.

Center for a Free Cuba

The Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2022

Noonan and the Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Kennedy got the missiles out, but with a noninvasion pledge that allowed the Soviets in.

Oct. 7, 2022 2:52 pm ET

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Vienna, June 3, 1961.PHOTO: /ASSOCIATED PRESS

Regarding Peggy Noonan’s “Enduring Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis” (Declarations, Oct. 1): When Dwight Eisenhower asked President John F. Kennedy on April 22, 1961, why he had cancelled the air cover that doomed the Bay of Pigs invasion, Kennedy replied that he had feared “the Soviets would be very apt to cause trouble in Berlin.”

Then, when Kennedy was clobbered by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev during their Vienna summit in June 1961, he confided to journalist James Reston: “He savaged me.” Because of the Bay of Pigs, Khrushchev “thought that anyone who was so young and inexperienced as to get into this mess could be taken. And anyone who got into it and didn’t see it through had no guts. So he just beat the hell out of me. . . . I’ve got a terrible problem.”

Belatedly addressing the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, Kennedy got the missiles out, but with a noninvasion pledge that allowed the Soviets in. And in they stayed for nearly 30 years, turning the strategically important island of Cuba into an untouchable springboard for bloody subversion throughout Latin America and Africa.

We should learn not to underestimate or appease a ruthless adversary; it only emboldens him. It is better to deter a nuclear threat with a timely, unflinching and credible show of overwhelming force than to wait for a nuclear attack or negotiate from a position of fear or weakness.

Néstor T. Carbonell

Greenwich, Conn.

The New York Times, December 27, 2022

To the Editor:

Re “Largest Exodus Imperils Future of Ailing Cuba” (front page, Dec. 11):

Cuba has had many mass migrations since 1959. In fact, the exodus has never stopped, only waxed and waned as the government alternatively cracked down or encouraged emigration, or as the means to escape became more, or less, easy.

In the nearly 64 years of communist rule, one of every six Cubans has left the island. More than ten thousand have drowned or disappeared in the Florida Straits, trying to reach the freedom of the U.S. Scores have been murdered by the regime’s security forces trying to escape.

This depopulation is not because of U.S. sanctions; it is because of political repression and Marxist economics. Fidel Castro himself, while alive and the sole ruler, ridiculed the embargo, because he was receiving ample economic aid from the Soviets. It was only when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 that Castro began blaming the U.S. for the problems communism had created.

Otto J. Reich
Falls Church, Va.

The writer is the president of Center for a Free Cuba and a former diplomat in the Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations.