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Reference:

The history of anti-Castro terrorist organizations and their ties to the U.S. government

Gatin Mikhail Igorevich

ORCID: 0009-0005-6546-0168

Postgraduate student of the Department of New and Contemporary History, Faculty of History, Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov

119296, Russia, Moscow, Moscow, Lomonosovsky Prospekt, 18, sq. 60

edgarhover77@gmail.com

DOI:

10.7256/2454-0609.2024.3.70351

EDN:

WNSTCC

Received:

03-04-2024


Published:

21-04-2024


Abstract: The article is devoted to the history of terrorist organizations that arose as a response to the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the rise to power of Fidel Castro and the policies of his government over the following decades. An important role in the creation, financing and support of these organizations was played by people directly or indirectly connected with the American special services and the political leadership of the United States. The activities of Cuban counter-revolutionary terrorists have led to tragic consequences, including the deaths of innocent people, not only Cubans, but also representatives of other Latin American countries. The use of terrorist methods for political purposes is an extremely urgent problem in the 21st century, and therefore an appeal to the history of this phenomenon is objectively necessary to effectively combat this evil. The history of terrorist activity by opponents of the Castro regime is of interest both to historians and political scientists, whose interests include the study of the Caribbean region, the history of foreign policy and the activities of US intelligence agencies, and to specialists in international relations in general. The methodology of the research is based on the principles of historicism, scientific objectivity and consistency. This allows us to consider the problem under study as an integrated system, where the facts are analyzed in their entirety and interrelationships. General scientific (analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction, descriptive) and general historical (historical-comparative, historical-systemic) research methods are necessary for conducting research. The present study has a scientific novelty, since it is based on sources not previously used in the Russian scientific literature. A significant part of the corpus of sources used by the author of the article are classified CIA documents until recently. To a certain extent, working with such arrays of information is not only a historical, but also a political science study that allows us to better understand the realities of modern geopolitics. As for the conclusions of this study, they may be summarised respectively: 1) the United States, at least in the recent past, was a direct sponsor of international terrorism; 2) the activities of anti-Castro terrorist groups in the 20th century still hinder the process of restoring diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba; 3) a violent change of power in the state inevitably generates a cycle of violence that evades the risk of interference in the internal affairs of the country from the outside.


Keywords:

Fidel Castro, terrorism, Jorge Mas, John F. Kennedy, Cuba, USA, Orlando Bosch, Luis Posada, Escambray, CORU

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The Cuban Revolution of 1959, like any other revolution that swept away the former government and fundamentally changed the political, economic and social system, could not but lead to discontent and rejection in a variety of forms. Political processes involving armed struggle contribute to the radicalization of public sentiment and inevitably lead to a cycle of violence, from which it may take more than one generation to break out. In the case of Cuba, this cycle of violence was reinforced by external intervention by the United States of America, which sought to overthrow the Castro regime at the hands of Cuban counterrevolutionaries using its own military and economic might. This policy of Washington, not least, contributed to the election by the revolutionary authorities of Cuba of a socialist path of development and an alliance with the USSR, which, in turn, many of Castro's associates in the fight against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista could not accept. Prominent Cuban revolutionaries such as Gutierrez Menoyo and Manuel Artime took up arms against Castro shortly after the overthrow of the former regime. Many officers of the Cuban army, members of religious organizations and communities, representatives of the pre-revolutionary elite and ardent opponents of communism joined the armed struggle against the revolutionary government both independently and at the instigation of American special services and agents of influence [5, p. 17]. In this struggle, numerous organizations and groups were born, aiming to overthrow the Castro regime by force, while resorting to a variety of methods and practices of armed and political struggle. It is important to note that the article provides examples of various anti-Castro organizations that are universally identified by the Cuban Government as terrorist, although not every one of them resorted to systematic acts of intimidation and violence against civilians, which defines terrorist activity in the classical meaning of the word.

The first serious test for the revolutionary Government of Cuba was the Escambray Uprising, or the War against Bandits as it was officially dubbed by the Cuban authorities. This conflict began in 1959-1960 and lasted until 1965, when the resistance of the rebels was finally broken [2]. Many of the leaders of the uprising were yesterday's allies of the Castro Movement on July 26 and activists of the Revolutionary Directorate on March 13, who fought against the dictatorship of Batista in 1956-1959. For example, Osvaldo Ramirez, who has been a revolutionary since 1952, was at the same time an ardent anti-communist. For this reason, he broke off relations with Castro after the start of expropriations of farm land and went to the Escambray Mountains (covering the territory of three Cuban provinces in the central part of the island) in October 1959 to wage a guerrilla struggle against the new regime [4, p. 8]. At first, he led a small detachment that attacked military convoys and regional police officers and officials. After Castro officially declared the communist nature of the new government in 1961, Ramirez led the Cuban anti-Communist Army, created by uniting all the guerrilla groups in the region. In 1962, he was killed in a shootout with pro-government Escambray militias. Another notable figure among the participants in the uprising was the American adventurer William Morgan, who joined the revolutionary struggle in Cuba in 1957. After the revolution, he served for some time as Fidel Castro's military adviser and worked to create a more favorable image of the new Cuban government among Americans. Morgan, however, was a supporter of parliamentary democracy and, after strengthening the positions of the Communists Che Guevara and Raul Castro in the revolutionary government, joined the Second National Front, which became the driving force of the anti-Castro struggle in Escambray [5, p. 47]. The leader of the Second National Fund was Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, who, although he collaborated with Fidel during the revolutionary struggle, always spoke from anti-communist positions and was suspicious of Che Guevara, who consistently defended the construction of a communist dictatorship as the ultimate goal of the revolution. William Morgan was captured by the Cuban state security agencies in the fall of 1960 and shot in March 1961. His fellow fighter Menoyo was able to escape from the territory of Cuba to continue the fight against the regime. In Cuban historiography, it is customary to consider the participants in the Escambray Uprising as bandits, exploiters (there were indeed many wealthy farmers among them who were dissatisfied with the expropriation of their land) and CIA agents [3, p. 50]. The last point is quite contradictory: although American intelligence provided some support to the rebels, both sides in this partnership proceeded from the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend [1, p. 9]. Moreover, the direct support of the Escambray rebels by the American government actually ceased after the unsuccessful landing in the Bay of Pigs in April 1961. It was replaced by cooperation with Cuban emigrants who raided Cuba, who did not pose a strategic threat to the Cuban government, unlike Escambray.

The landing in the Bay of Pigs became the point of no return, after which Fidel Castro finally embarked on the path of rapprochement with the USSR and building communism in Cuba. Both of these factors doomed the uprising in Escambray, the suppression of which, although it required the use of more military resources than the fight against Batista, eventually ended in the complete defeat of the Anti-Communist Army and the death in battle or executions of its leaders [2]. Brutality within the framework of this conflict was manifested on both sides, and the terrorist attacks of the rebels were not systematic: for example, Ramirez forbade his fighters to kill unarmed Castro supporters unless they were involved in crimes against the rebels. This order followed the shooting by anti-communists of a black rural teacher, whose death was actively used by government propaganda to discredit the "bandits from Escambray." On the other hand, it was often practiced to shoot captured rebels without trial this is how, for example, the legendary rebel Margarito Lanza Flores, better known as Tondique, was killed. It is believed that the order to shoot him on the spot was given by Commander Victor Dreke, who later held high positions in the Cuban armed forces for many years [4, p. 21].

If the conflict in Escambray lasted for more than five years, then the much more famous landing in the Bay of Pigs (also known as the landing in Kachinos Bay) lasted only five days. The landing was carried out by Cuban anti-communist fighters from Brigade 2506 who received training at American military bases (it was named after the serial number of the brigade fighter who died during training) with the support of US aviation and CIA special agents [5, p. 103]. This was the most serious attempt by the American government to overthrow the Castro regime. However, the study of recently declassified documents proves that mid-level CIA operatives warned their leadership from the very beginning that the forces involved would not be enough, and the calculation of the complete destruction of Cuban aviation with such a limited bombing of the island is unlikely to be justified [6]. The Kennedy administration, which received the 2506 brigade and a significant number of people from American intelligence cooperating with the mafia and the Cuban opposition, inherited from Eisenhower, sought to deal with the Cuban problem as quickly as possible, while minimally interfering in this whole outright adventure. The result turned out to be the most negative possible: it turned out to be impossible to hide the direct participation of the US government in the landing after a large number of soldiers of the 2506 brigade were captured, and Castro had the perfect excuse for a final break with Washington and declaring Cuba the first communist country in the Western Hemisphere [3, p. 48].

The landing, the training of Cuban commandos, the CIA's cooperation with the Cuban opposition (for example, with the Second National Front), the numerous plans for the physical elimination of Fidel Castro being developed at Langley all this was the result of a single document signed by President Eisenhower in March 1960 [6]. The document was called the "Program of secret actions to counter the Castro regime" (in November 1961, this program was officially named Operation Mongoose [11, p. 83]). The main purpose of the program was to prevent a potential alliance between Cuba and the USSR against the United States, and the increased secrecy was due to the obvious illegality of the actions taken by the US government and the desire to hide them from the UN and the international community. The program brought together a mysterious group of Cuban activists who worked for the CIA and were involved in planning and carrying out political assassinations of Castro supporters, as well as traitors in their own ranks. This group was codenamed "Operation 40" [12, p. 25]. Very little is known about its activities from official sources, mostly the impression of it is based on the memories of people who were directly or indirectly related to the group's activities (for example, a CIA operative and a defendant in the famous "Watergate scandal" Frank Sturgis). Control over the group's activities by the US political leadership was entrusted directly to Vice President Richard Nixon [7].

In the director's version of Oliver Stone's feature film Nixon, CIA Director Richard Helms speaks about Operation Mongoose in this way: "It was not so much an operation as an organic phenomenon. It grew, changed its shape and acquired appetites. In such cases, it is not unusual that nothing concrete remains on paper."[8] And although we cannot seriously consider creative fantasies as a historical source, this quote fits surprisingly well with information from declassified CIA documents on Cuba. The "program" signed by Eisenhower is practically the only official document linking the country's political leadership with American intelligence operations aimed at overthrowing the Castro regime through terrorist attacks and sabotage. Moreover, this program has indeed constantly changed its priorities, methods, leadership and scale of activity [4, p. 3]. There is no exact data on when Operation Mongoose ended or whether it ended at all. It is known that the operation was suspended during the Cuban Missile crisis in October 1962 and subsequently American activity in this area decreased significantly compared to 1960-1962. It is also believed that after the investigation of the famous "Church Commission" on abuse of authority and concealment of sensitive information from Congress by the US intelligence community, this operation was finally curtailed [12, p. 144]. There is no direct evidence of this and it is known that the CIA continued to maintain contact with anti-Castro terrorists in the 1980s and 1990s and probably even provided them with support.

Regardless of the changing political environment in Washington, one thing remained unchanged a large number of Cubans still did not accept the Castro regime and were eager to fight it to the bitter end. They perceived the failed landing at the Bay of Pigs and the suppression of the Escambray rebellion as annoying, but not decisive defeats. The Cold War and the United States' struggle against the spread of communist influence around the world also created a favorable background for their activities. In these circumstances, the emergence of anti-Castro terrorist organizations with the participation of veterans of the armed struggle in Cuba was almost inevitable.

However, there was no unity among the numerous anti-Castro organizations. For example, Manuel Rivero, a Cuban engineer and participant in the 1959 revolution, who served as Minister of Public Works in the first revolutionary government for several months, created the anti-Castro organization Movement of the People back in 1960. All those dissatisfied with the strengthening of the Communists in power joined it, and its branches were established in all Cuban provinces. The movement was left-wing in nature and did not advocate the repeal of land and social laws passed after the revolution. Therefore, when, under pressure from Havana, Rivero and his supporters emigrated to the United States, many of Castro's opponents, who had already settled in Florida and were preparing to overthrow the revolutionary government, actually refused to cooperate with him. Nevertheless, at the request of President Kennedy, Rivero joined the Cuban Revolutionary Council, an association of prominent Cuban politicians who fled to the United States and helped the CIA prepare for the landing in Cuba [9]. After the inglorious conclusion of this adventure, Rivero left the Council and publicly criticized its members and the American authorities for the poor preparation of the operation. He was also unhappy with the CIA's cooperation with representatives of the Batista regime and American gangsters, including prominent mafia bosses John Roselli and Santo Trafficante, who would later be suspected of involvement in the assassination of John F. Kennedy [7]. As a result, Rivero founded his own rebel group, called the Cuban Revolutionary Junta (in honor of the revolutionary movement of Jose Marti, who fought the Spanish colonial administration in the 1890s). In 1963-1965, members of the group were based on one of the uninhabited Bahamas, from where they raided the territory of Cuba. The exact number of victims of these attacks is unknown. They received funding and weapons from the CIA, but did not cooperate with other anti-Castro movements. Their activities ceased after the Bahamian authorities conducted an operation, as a result of which members of the Junta were arrested and deported to the United States, and their weapons and ammunition were confiscated [4, p. 20]. After this incident, Rivero finally retired from the armed struggle against Castro and settled in Puerto Rico, where he was engaged in the construction business and actively participated in local political life.

Just like the Junta Rivero, the anti-Castro left-wing organization was the Alpha 66 group. Its name comes from the number of founders of the organization and the first letter of the Greek alphabet, which symbolized the beginning of the struggle against the communist dictatorship. Alpha 66 was formed in Puerto Rico in the fall of 1961 with the active participation of the leader of the Second National Front, Gutierrez Menoyo [10]. By that time, the front's participants were suffering heavy losses in the Escambray, and after the failed landing in Cuba, hopes for an early victory over the communist regime were rapidly fading. Menoyo, who vowed revenge on Castro for the shooting of his close associate and friend William Morgan, hoped to change the situation. In 1962-1963, Alpha 66 carried out attacks on Cuban and Soviet ships carrying raw materials, weapons, food, medicines and other supplies important to the Cuban state to the island [10]. The naval attacks were stopped at the insistence of President Kennedy, who did not want to continue provoking Havana and Moscow after the Caribbean crisis had just been overcome. Members of the organization also carried out raids on the coast of Cuba and provided support to the rebels in Escambray. In 1964 and 1970, the group carried out two relatively large landings in Cuba in order to raise a nationwide uprising and, if possible, kill Fidel Castro, but both attempts were unsuccessful most of the Alpha 66 militants were killed in battle or captured. Subsequently, the organization attempted to create a network of underground cells throughout Cuba, but the effectiveness of this activity was low. The number of the group increased somewhat due to the mass exodus of all comers from Cuba in 1980, but at the same time, any possibility of creating an active underground on the island was finally blocked [7]. For this reason, in the 1990s, the organization turned to attempts at economic pressure on Havana, targeting travel agencies engaged in tours to Cuba. Unlike Castro's far-right opponents, they did not carry out direct terrorist attacks on them, limiting themselves to telephone threats and sabotage. Formally, the organization exists to this day. In the 1990s and 2000s, its members continued to undergo military training in the United States [14]. Nowadays, however, Alpha 66 has abandoned the course of armed overthrow of the Cuban communist regime, stating only that it would come to the aid of the Cuban people if they tried to overthrow their government.

The most famous leader of Alpha 66, Gutierrez Menoyo, was arrested by Cuban special services at the end of 1964. He was sentenced to death, commuted to 30 years in prison after, under pressure, he made a public statement about his ties with the American authorities and recognized the Castro government as a genuine representative of the interests of the Cuban people [3, p. 60]. He spent 22 years in prison and, after numerous appeals from the leaders of various states (primarily Spain, where he was from), was released and deported to Madrid, from where he arrived in Miami in March 1987. He continued to consider himself an opponent of the Castro regime, but now advocated a nonviolent struggle against his regime and even supported a dialogue with the Cuban authorities. He met Fidel Castro in the 1990s, and in 2003 he moved to Havana altogether [7]. He was no longer subjected to repression, but he was also unable to convince the Cuban dictator to legalize the parliamentary opposition. Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo died on October 26, 2012 in Havana.

Now it is worth moving on to the ultra-right anti-Castro organizations, whose activities are more like terrorist than military insurgency. For example, the Omega 7 group (the name was obviously chosen at the peak of the left Alpha 66), which was never numerous and began its activities at a rather late stage, was able to hold many high-profile actions in the second half of the 1970s. As the name implies, the number of its founders was seven, and according to some sources, the number of the organization never exceeded 20 people [15]. It was founded in 1974 by a certain Eduardo Arotsena, who emigrated from Cuba as a professional wrestler and warehouse worker in New Jersey. In his youth, Arotsena engaged in acts of sabotage at industrial and agricultural enterprises of critical importance to the Cuban economy. After the threat of arrest arose, he fled to the United States, where he started a family and got a job, but did not give up the idea of resisting the communist dictatorship [15]. According to Arotsena's own statement, he received special training at CIA training camps in 1967. Feeling dissatisfied with the fact that the struggle of Cuban emigrants with Castro had actually come to naught, he began to look for like-minded people among the veterans of the 1961 landing and members of various anti-Castro political and paramilitary organizations. By 1974, he had six loyal associates with whom he founded his organization and began the active phase of his plan [15].

In February 1975, the group carried out its first terrorist attack, blowing up the Venezuelan consulate in New York in retaliation for maintaining political contacts with the Castro government of that country. Soon, Jose Negrin, the official negotiator between Washington and Havana on the prisoner exchange, was killed. The most high-profile action of the group was the assassination of the official Cuban representative to the UN, Felix Rodriguez, in September 1980 [7]. Omega 7 also maintained contacts with drug smugglers in Florida, receiving funding from them in exchange for providing various services, including racketeering and eliminating competitors. However, the drug mafia was not the main sponsor of their activities this niche was occupied by influential businessmen of Cuban origin, most of whom were never identified [15]. The main perpetrator of the Omega 7 attacks was Cuban veteran Pedro Remon. The other members of the group, as a rule, were engaged in secondary tasks, and Arotsena was responsible for the selection of goals and general planning. Funding also went through the leader of the organization [7]. In this regard, it is not surprising that when Arotsena was arrested by FBI agents in July 1983, the organization practically ceased to function, and soon ceased to exist altogether. At the trial, the Omega 7 leader claimed to have been abducted and tortured by the FBI, and also insisted that the CIA recruited him back in the 1960s. He also completely denied involvement in planning and carrying out terrorist attacks in the United States. At the same time, he said that he worked as an American spy in Cuba, helped the CIA uncover "communist conspiracies" and sprayed "biological weapons" on the island. In 1984, he was sentenced to life in prison with the right to release [7]. Eduardo Arotsena was released in 2021 at the age of 78.

The most famous and brutal antiCastro terrorist organization was called the Coordination of the United Revolutionary Organizations (in Spanish - CORU). It was a so-called umbrella group, uniting smaller groups (including Alpha 66 and Omega 7), acting autonomously, but at the same time in coordination with other members of the KORU. The leaders of this conglomerate of anti-Castro militants were far-right activists with ties to the CIA, Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada [13]. Both terrorists studied with Fidel Castro at the same university in their youth and were familiar with him, and Bosch even participated in the guerrilla struggle against Batista. Nevertheless, both Bosch and Posada quickly became disillusioned with Fidel's post-revolutionary policies and left for the United States. Luis Posada studied military affairs at CIA training camps, participated in the landing in the Bay of Pigs. After the failure of the landing, he continued to serve in the US Armed Forces for some time. During this period, he met the future construction magnate Jorge Mas, who in the 1980s and 1990s would actively sponsor various anti-Castro activities (probably including terrorist ones, although there is no direct evidence of this) [3, p. 26]. Disappointed in the change in the US policy towards Cuba, Posada began to cooperate with various rebel groups (for example, for some time he trained the fighters of the Rivero Junta), but their activities did not seem radical enough to him. He was directly involved in arms smuggling and other illegal activities in 1964-1968, and maintained contact with prominent representatives of the American criminal world, including the legendary bookmaker and accomplice of the Chicago mafia Frank Rosenthal [13]. For some time, the American authorities turned a blind eye to this due to the fact that Posada worked as a CIA informant and passed on valuable information to his curators about the mood among the Cuban diaspora in Miami. In the end, his criminal activities on American territory crossed reasonable boundaries, and he was forced to replicate to Venezuela [13]. There he became a valuable member of Venezuelan intelligence and continued to maintain contact with the CIA. In 1974, he invited his friend and veteran of the anti-Castro struggle Orlando Bosch to Venezuela.

Bosch was in Chile at the time. Unlike Luis Posada, he did not participate in the landing in Cuba, but in the early 1960s he acted as one of the organizers and coordinators of the "Revolutionary Restoration Insurgency", which was mainly engaged in attacks on industrial facilities in Cuba. Bosch also collaborated with the CIA during this period, but apparently not as closely as Posada. By 1968, Bosch had numerous arrests to his credit for possession and smuggling of explosives and other weapons, as well as for participating in racketeering [7]. In 1968, he was arrested and convicted of attacking a Polish merchant ship (he believed it was heading to Cuba) with a bazooka off the coast of Florida[7]. Bosch was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but not without the help of influential patrons (including Florida Governor Claude Kirk) received parole in 1972. By his own admission, in 1973 he created and led a small group called "Cuban Action", responsible for a series of attacks on Cuban diplomatic missions in several Latin American countries [1. c. 6]. Hiding from another arrest on suspicion of murder, Bosch fled to Venezuela in April 1974, where some For a long time he was under the patronage of his comrade in the anti-Castro struggle, Luis Posada, who headed the National Directorate of Intelligence and Preventive Measures at that time [13]. It is believed that shortly after his arrival, Bosch organized two terrorist attacks in Caracas aimed at disrupting secular events with the participation of official Cuban representatives. He was arrested and exiled from the country to Curacao, from where he soon moved to Chile. Bosch himself stated that his goal, starting in the late 1960s, was to conduct a campaign of terror against Cuban diplomatic missions and civil aviation in order to force Castro to release dissidents from prisons and negotiate with the armed opposition [4, p. 17]. Nevertheless, once in Santiago, he became a welcome guest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, for whom he also did dirty work as part of the infamous Operation Condor: unsuccessfully hunted the nephew of former Chilean President Andres Allende, and also organized the assassination of Chilean dissident Orlando Letelier directly in the American capital Washington. According to some journalists, he even planned an assassination attempt on US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1976, but there is no evidence of this [7].

In early 1976, Bosch was arrested in Costa Rica on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities and deported to the Dominican Republic. There he founded CORA together with Luis Posada, who reunited with him (at that time he had already been dismissed from all posts by Venezuelan President Carlos Perez, and the CIA stopped cooperating with him amid the investigation of the "Church commission" [13]) and the little-known anti-Castro activist Gaspar Jimenez at that time. A few months later, Jimenez would attempt to kidnap the Cuban consul in Mexico, for which he would be arrested and convicted, but eventually escape from prison and reach Miami, where he would be caught and deported back to Mexico a few years later. The last time his name was mentioned was in 2000, when he was arrested in Panama for possession of more than 100 kilograms of TNT, which he allegedly planned to use to assassinate Fidel Castro during his visit to the country [13]. CORU also continued the traditional attacks on Cuban diplomatic missions in several countries of the continent, undermined the representative offices of Cuban airlines and engaged in kidnappings of Cuban diplomats. However, the policy of terror professed by Bosch and Posada had practically no effect: Castro did not make any concessions or negotiations with terrorists [7]. Finally, on October 6, 1976, the group carried out its most famous and deadly terrorist attack: the bombing of a Cuban civilian DC-8 aircraft operating flight 455 from Barbados to Jamaica. All passengers on board were killed a total of 73 people, including the Cuban national fencing team [13].

A few hours after the attack, two Venezuelans were arrested by Trinidad police. They checked in their luggage for flight 455, but left the plane before it departed. During interrogations, they admitted that they acted on the orders of Luis Posada, who in turn was identified as the closest associate of the leader of the CORU Orlando Bosch. Both Bosch and Posada were soon arrested in Venezuela. At a special conference of Caribbean countries affected by the terrorist threat in one way or another, it was decided that the trial of the terrorists would be held in Venezuela, since all the accused had the citizenship of that country. At first, the case was considered by the Venezuelan military court, which acquitted all the accused. Then the prosecutor's office filed an appeal and transferred the consideration of their case to a civil court. In 1985, performers Freddy Lugo and Guernan Ricardo were sentenced to 20 years in prison. On the eve of the verdict, Luis Posada escaped from a Venezuelan prison and moved to the United States via Panama [13]. Despite repeated attempts by Venezuela to have Posada extradited, he was never extradited by the Americans. Orlando Bosch was acquitted by the court because there was not enough evidence to prove his direct connection with the terrorist attack. In 1987, he was released after 11 years in custody.[7] He also returned to the United States, where he was arrested and imprisoned for violating the terms of his parole in 1972. In 1990, he was pardoned by U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

After the arrest of its leaders, the CORU practically ceased its activities, taking responsibility for only a few attacks on travel agencies cooperating with Cuba in 1979. Luis Posada, after the escape, which, as he himself admitted, was organized by the leader of the Cuban-American National Foundation, Jorge Mas [7], collaborated for some time with CIA agent Felix Rodriguez [12, p. 202]. Rodriguez was one of the key figures in the illegal American intelligence operation to supply weapons to far-right rebels in Nicaragua [12, p. 203] and involved Posada in this activity. In 1986, Posada was engaged in destroying evidence proving the involvement of the American government in supplying the Nicaraguan Contras with weapons, but the whole world found out about it anyway, which led to the most famous political scandal associated with the Reagan administration the Iran-Contra case. In 1997-1998, he was the organizer of a series of explosions at Cuban resorts, which killed one Italian citizen and injured several others. In 2000, he was arrested in Panama along with Gaspar Jimenez on suspicion of preparing an attempt on Fidel Castro's life during his official visit to that country [13]. In 2004, he was pardoned by the President of Panama and returned to the United States in 2005 [7]. He died in Miami in 2018. In contrast, Bosch generally withdrew from terrorist activities after his final release in 1990 and never left the United States, having received a residence permit in 1992. He wrote memoirs in which he denied his involvement in organizing the terrorist attack on board flight 455, but at the same time claimed to the end of his days that he did not consider the victims of the terrorist attacks of KORU and other anti-Castro organizations innocent civilians, since "they are all communists" [7]. He died in 2011 in Miami.

Having traced the history of various terrorist organizations that fought against socialist Cuba and its allies in the 1960s and 1990s, first of all it is worth noting that their strategy has undergone significant changes over the years. The 1961 landings and the Escambray uprising were essentially elements of a civil conflict that was a direct consequence of Fidel Castro's rise to power and his decision to elect a communist one-party dictatorship as a form of political power in the island state [2]. All subsequent activities of such groups as Omega 7, Alpha 66 and CORU are essentially attempts to intimidate the government, population and partner countries of Cuba on the continent in order to achieve not so much the overthrow of Castro as his consent to the participation of the opposition in the political life of Cuba [4]. The CIA's direct connection with terrorists, their support at various levels of the American government, including U.S. presidents, and Washington's sponsorship of guerrilla activity on the island did not lead to a change in the political regime in Cuba. At the same time, all these events actually destroyed any trust in the Americans on the part of official Havana and, to a large extent, the Cuban population, which has not been restored to this day [4].

Since the 2000s, the change of generations and priorities of US foreign intelligence contributed to the creation of a new status quo: Washington finally accepted socialist Cuba as an inevitable evil and abandoned attempts to overthrow the current regime by force, but at the same time maintained incredible sanctions pressure on the island state. Representatives of the American elite have long learned how to use Cuba in domestic political games, and therefore are not interested in changes in this direction, as evidenced by the failed American-Cuban thaw conducted by President Barack Obama in 2014-2017. The situation is unlikely to change until the Cuban political system is fundamentally transformed (the coming to power of Miguel Diaz-Canel initially caused optimism in this regard, but today presidential reforms have an extremely limited scope). Consequently, Washington continues to patiently wait for the existing regime to collapse and be replaced by a government that will be acceptable to the American establishment and the politically influential Cuban diaspora. But the CIA-backed terrorist attacks against Cuba and its citizens are unlikely to be forgotten, and accordingly will inevitably continue to influence the dynamics of relations between the two countries even after the legacy of the Castro brothers finally becomes part of history.

References
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13. The Posada File: Part II. (2005). Retrieved from  https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB157/index.htm
14The US Soldiers Fighting To Bring Down Castro. (1997). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX9uBrNyAoA
15. Treaster, J. B. (1983). Suspected head of Omega 7 terrorist group seized. New York: The New York Times.
 


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Since the 1960s, the island of Freedom of Cuba has been the focus of attention not only of domestic specialists, but also of the entire Soviet society: for several decades, Soviet-Cuban relations were characterized by deep friendship. However, even today, before our eyes, in the conditions of the collapse of the monopolar world led by the United States, Russian-Cuban relations are characterized by a favored nation regime. In this regard, it is important to study various aspects of the history of the Republic of Cuba after the events of 1959. These circumstances determine the relevance of the article submitted for review, the subject of which is anti-government terrorist organizations in Cuba. The author sets out to analyze the role of the United States in the formation of anti-government groups in Cuba, to reveal some facts of the evolution of Castro's former associates in the fight against the regime of F.Batista, as well as to show the impact of the CIA-organized terrorist attacks on the memory of Cuban society. The work is based on the principles of analysis and synthesis, reliability, objectivity, the methodological basis of the research is a systematic approach, which is based on the consideration of the object as an integral complex of interrelated elements. The scientific novelty of the article lies in the very formulation of the topic: the author seeks to characterize the history of anti-Castro terrorist organizations and their links with the US government. Considering the bibliographic list of the article, its scale and versatility should be noted as a positive point: in total, the list of references includes 15 different sources and studies. The undoubted advantage of the reviewed article is the involvement of foreign English-language literature, which is determined by the very formulation of the topic. Actually, the author's work is based on English-language literature - this is due to the fact that the topic considered by the author has not actually been covered in Russian literature. Of the studies attracted by the author, we note the works of E. Espinosa and D. Franklin, who focus on various aspects of the Cuban-American confrontation. Note that the bibliography is important both from a scientific and educational point of view: after reading the text of the article, readers can turn to other materials on its topic. In general, in our opinion, the integrated use of various sources and research contributed to the solution of the tasks facing the author. The style of writing the article can be attributed to a scientific one, at the same time understandable not only to specialists, but also to a wide readership, to anyone interested in both Cuban-American relations in general and the subversive activities of American special services in Cuba. The appeal to the opponents is presented at the level of the collected information received by the author during the work on the topic of the article. The structure of the work is characterized by a certain logic and consistency, it can be distinguished by an introduction, the main part, and conclusion. At the beginning, the author defines the relevance of the topic, shows that "many officers of the Cuban army, members of religious organizations and communities, representatives of the pre-revolutionary elite and ardent opponents of communism joined the armed struggle against the revolutionary government both independently and at the instigation of American special services and agents of influence." The author draws attention to the lack of unity among Castro's opponents, although they depended on the help of the CIA. Thus, the work also shows the activities of left-wing anti-Castro groups, for example, the Movement of the People, Alpha 66, etc. The author draws attention to the fact that "the CIA's direct connection with terrorists, their support at various levels of the American government, including US presidents, and Washington's sponsorship of guerrilla activity on the island did not lead to a change in the political regime in Cuba." The main conclusion of the article is that the CIA-backed terrorist attacks against Cuba "will continue to influence the dynamics of relations between the two countries even after the legacy of the Castro brothers finally becomes part of history." The article submitted for review is devoted to an urgent topic, will arouse readers' interest, and its materials can be used both in lecture courses on modern and modern history, and in various special courses. In general, in our opinion, the article can be recommended for publication in the journal "Historical Journal: Scientific research".