03/04/13 - Cuba-L Document (Albuquerque) - The Terrorist Attack on La Coubre: Washington still Silent
BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD
In spite of Cuba's repeated denunciations about the responsibility of the
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for the blowing up, on March 4, 1960, of
the French ship La Coubre in Havana harbour, the government of the United
States, fifty years later, continues to conceal the documents in its
This fact was confirmed on Friday (February 26), when, in response to an
information request, officials from the National Security Archives, a
non-governmental project of academic investigation of the George Washington
University, confirmed that they do not have any documents on the matter
from the US intelligence organs.
The only available documents, which can be accessed through the Digital
National Security Archive (DNSA) and that are destined for the students and
staff of the aforementioned university, are "two brief chronological
references" and a document that is also a chronology "with more
information" than the previous two, they admitted.
There are no references to La Coubre in the group of unpublished
collections of the institution, the curators stated.
This confirms how the country, the propaganda apparatus of which constantly
generates bombardments of defamation against Cuba, didn't manage to present
a single document in half a century, not even a distorted one, on the
tragedy that resulted in the death of nearly one hundred people, exactly 50
years ago this March 4.
AN EXPLOSION IN THE MIDDLE OF A CIA TERRORISM CAMPAIGN
For a better understanding of the La Coubre tragedy, in all its scale, we
have to place ourselves in the context of 1960, scarcely 15 months after
the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.
The explosion on the French steamship in Havana's port, at the moment when
ammunition was being unloaded, is set in the middle of a systematic
terrorist campaign against Cuba, when attacks occurred with really infernal
The chronology of violent incidents shows this clearly: from "the death of
a worker as a consequence of a fire in Matanzas province, caused by the
bombing of incendiary substances", in early January, to December 31 with
"the incendiary sabotage of large sections of Havana's La Época store",
there are dozens and dozens of terrorist acts reported, all of then related
to the CIA in one way or another.
Barely two and a half years ago, in July, 2007, in the Miami radio program
"La Noche se Mueve" (Night Moves), terrorist leader Antonio Veciana -who
admits having worked with the CIA for decades- told, in detail, how
"incendiary flasks" arrived to Havana at the time through the CIA. He
specified they came in various models, each one with a color code,
indicating the period in which they should explode.
Incredibly, even Luis Posada Carriles, against whom US "antiterrorist"
prosecuting attorneys of the Department of Justice allege having nothing
but limited evidence, also confirmed it, in his own hand, in the
confessions he wrote in the 1980's.
The man who admitted torturing in Caracas for a decade on the CIA's behalf
and ordered the destruction of a Cuban civil aircraft among other
despicable acts, said: "The Central Intelligence Agency, sent explosives
(C3), time pens, fuses, explosive cords, detonators, and everything
necessary for acts of sabotage."
And, the man who now walks around Miami with the blessing of the FBI
specified that he personally participated in such crimes:
"I was part of these groups. José Puente Blanco, former president of the
University Students Federation, and his brother Roberto, commanded a
Movement. I travelled to the United States, where I met Alfredo Cepero, who
belonged to the same organization; with him, we devised plans to introduce
war material into Cuba and give it to our friends in Havana."
He said very little about what knew, necessarily, about the La Coubre
crime, to which he's linked due to his complicity with the Agency.
Actually, even today, there are dozens of witnesses of those days, when the
CIA triggered its bloodthirsty anti-Cuban offensive: agent Carlos Alberto
Montaner himself, currently the prima donna of the chorus of US propaganda
against the island, was then captured red-handed, while he was planting
bombs in shops and movie theatres in the capital.
FACTS DEMANDED AN INVESTIGATION
The greatest terrorist attack of its time, the blowing up of La Coubre,
also resulted in the death of about one hundred people, while over 200 were
injured and many others disappeared. The cost of the material damage was
estimated at some 17 million dollars.
Dr. José Luis Méndez Méndez, a renowned specialist on the issue of
terrorism against Cuba, made a detailed analysis of the events surrounding
this savage aggression against the Revolution in October 2002, in the
context of an international conference.
Then, he pointed out how it was evident that in the United States this
crime "must have been investigated on its own initiative." "It was
impossible to have ignored the circumstances in which several US citizens
found themselves involved", he affirmed.
He listed, among many other suspicious elements, the following:
-Only one passenger of that steamboat, Donald Lee Chapman, was travelling
to Nebraska, although he would disembark in Miami, thousands of miles away
from his destination, while another, Jack Lee Evans, left Cuba in a rush on
March 5 to declare in Miami to having met the authors of the sabotage,
which proved to be a measure to obstruct the initial investigations. "Were
these US citizens only in the wrong place at the wrong time?" asked the
-Two members of Congress for the state of Nebraska interceded on behalf of
Donald Lee Chapman; they sent documents of petition and demanded the State
Department put pressure on Cuba for his release.
- CIA Colonel J. C. King had had contacts in Miami with Rolando Masferrer
Rojas, a criminal of the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship, who had led
paramilitary groups in Cuba.
-Masferrer had met in that city with american Richard E. Brooks, who said
he knew about the arrival of ships to Cuba with weapons and the ports where
they would be unloaded. What was the connection that existed between J.C.
King, Masferrer, Brooks and La Coubre?
-The CIA station in Havana had prioritized the obtaining of information on
the arrival of weapons. It wasn't by chance that several US citizens,
Chapman among them, were arrested when they were taking pictures of the
scene of the explosion the same day of the event. The US embassy interceded
on their behalf.
FRENCH FELLOW WORKERS RECALL
The La Coubre tragedy has another characteristic that compelled US
authorities to seriously investigate the repercussions of the crime
committed by its terrorist agency: six French sailors, workers of the
French sea transport, died in the giant explosion.
First Lieutenant François Artola, helmsman Jean Buron, and sailors Lucien
Aloi, André Picard, Jean Gendron and Alain Moura, died in the destroyed
There's a historic coincidence of these sad events: they took place at the
time when writers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were visiting
Cuba at the invitation of Fidel Castro and Ernesto (Che) Guevara. These two
emblematic authors of contemporary French literature participated in the
farewell ceremony for the victims held at Revolution Square.
On Thursday, March 4, 2010, at 3:00 p.m., while in Havana the Cuban people
will be marking another anniversary of this crime that cost so many lives,
dozens of French citizens will pay a tribute to their assassinated fellow
For the first time, in many years, in the French city of Nantes, fellow
sailors and workers of the port will place wreaths by the historic Monument
to Disappeared Sailors, a ceremony in which several solidarity-with-Cuba
trade unions, as well as other members of the associations of solidarity
and diplomats representing Cuba in France, will participate.
There, as in Cuba, the essential question on the La Coubre crime,
formulated by the leader of the Cuban Revolution in his Reflections of July
7, 2007, will resound:
Why, in the name of freedom of information, do they not declassify a single
document that will tell us how the CIA, almost half a century ago, blew up
the steamship La Coubre?
Source: Granma International (Havana), March 3, 2010
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