ALMOST 40 years after the horrific crash of Cubana flight CU 455, renewed calls are being made for those responsible to be brought to justice.
Yesterday, a wide cross-section of persons came together at the Cubana monument at Paynes Bay to remember the lives of the 73 persons whose lives were lost after a terrorist attack brought the plane down 38 years ago today. Sadly, there are still 58 bodies at the bottom of the sea.
While tributes were paid to the lives lost and their families, calls were echoed for the ‘Cuban five’ to be freed. The five men were gathering intelligence to prevent terrorist attacks against Cuba, such as the Cubana Crash. Two of the five have served their sentences, but three were given life sentences and remain incarcerated to this day.
Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Barbados Her Excellency Lisette Perez expressed concern that Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, the masterminds of the bombs planted in the Cuban civilian airliner were never convicted for this criminal act.
“Bosch passed away peacefully in the city of Miami where he lived in complete freedom and impunity, after being granted presidential pardon, which was negotiated by the Cuban far right wing. A similar treatment has been given to the other perpetrator of this abominable crime. Posada Carriles was neither charged nor prosecuted in the United States.”
Ambassador Perez added that the greatest paradox is that while Posada Carriles walks freely with total impunity through the streets of Miami, three Cuban antiterrorist fighters remain unjustly held in US prisons for seeking information about the actions of the Cuban-born terrorists.
“The people of Cuba condemn injustice against René González, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino and Fernando González, cruelly sentenced in 2001 for making all aware of the activities planned against their country and others by violent groups based in Florida.”
It is against this backdrop that the ambassador along with Leader of the Clement Payne Movement, David Comissiong, made a call for persons to add their voices to the Cuban people to help break “the mantle of silence under which this injustice continues”.
“The US Government, being consistent with its stated commitment to fight terrorism, should act without double standards against those who, from US soil, have carried out terrorist acts against Cuba and should release the three Cuban anti-terrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in that country for protecting Cuba from terrorism and defending the integrity of citizens from the United States and other countries.”
The deep sense of anguish which was felt by family of friends was highlighted by Comission who read some of the accounts of those who lost loved ones in the ill-fated flight. Persons were also taken back to 1976 by Cuban consul Orestes Hernandez, who not only read the forensic report of a nine year old passenger, but also recounted the last