Issue No. 246  November 6, 2001

            By Peter Karaboev


            By Slobodan Rackovic

4. Special addition : CUBA

    By Petar Karaboev

    Just two weeks ago it looked like it would be the dullest political
race with results long foretold. On Sunday, November 11, the incumbent
President of Bulgaria, Petar Stoyanov, is running for a second term
and every poll points at him as a clear winner. But suddenly a
"Dark Horse" appeared on the scene and Bulgaria's presidential
campaign got nasty. The "Dark Horse" is former Minister of
interior Bogomil Bonev. When you have politicians with
"internal" and classified information, you would expect his
opponent to use the same weapon- the so-called "kompromat"
intelligence and counterintelligence files.
    With just days to the vote, mud is flying thick and fast. Commentators
said that it may undercut turnout and force Petar Stoyanov
into a run-off. It didn't look this way few weeks ago when the
Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha gave his support to
Stoyanov's candidacy. The party of the former Bulgarian king
controls almost 50 per cent of the seats in the Parliament and is still
very popular. Although Stoyanov is running as an independent candidate,
he came from the current opposition party Union of Democratic Forces
that won on the last elections this summer less than 25 per cent of the votes.
Every politician with such strong potential support behind him
should be unbeatable.
    But after Bonev came out things are not so rosy. All opinion
polls place Stoyanov way ahead, but most of them put his support
at about 44-46 percent, less than the 50 percent plus one vote he
needs to win in the first round on Sunday. That would mean a
run-off one week later against the second placed candidate, either
Socialist leader Georgi Parvanov or the former Interior Minister, who
has been catching up the leader of the ex-communist party. Latest
polls give Parvanov about 15 percent, some two percentage points
ahead of Bonev.
    Early this week things changed dramatically after Bonev
accused Stoyanov of having links with controversial  Russian-born,
Israeli businessman Michael Chorny, who was barred last year from
entering the Balkan state. The former minister tried to exploit the deep
public disappointment by the UDF party, which was charged by local
media of top level graft. And because corruption is a very sensitive issue in
the impoverished Bulgaria, Stoyanov hit back with the same.  During a
televised debate, he produced extracts of what he called a top secret
file by special services. The report said that while serving as interior
minister in 1997-1999, Bonev had developed links with shadowy
businesses which jeopardized the country's security.
"I accuse you. In your capacity as the interior minister, instead
of protecting Bulgaria from corruption, to a very large extent you
were part of the corruption problem," Stoyanov said. It was a real
bomb. But to journalists it was clear that this was a very well
prepared attack. Some of them were informed in advance that
"something is going to happen" on the live tv debate. Bonev,
visibly shocked by the barrage, denied the charges by saying the
file had been fabricated.
    The damage to Stoyanov by this "bomb" eventually
was countered by his staff, but analysts said the clash only
increased people's dislike of politicians and reduced both Bonev's
and Stoyanov's support. Still Parvanov, who did not take part
in Monday's debate, doesn't have any chance to win the race
and it's clear that the new President of Bulgaria will remain Stoyanov.
    But it's really strange why Stoyanov reacted this way because
it's more logical for a candidate to limit the questions arising
to his candidacy in the very last days to election day, not to
increase them. Stoyanov explained on a late night show on Tuesday
that he is a little bit sorry about nasty situation but that he
wanted to react as a strong and powerful politician and leader of
the nation. "I'm taking on me the full responsibility for
declassifying this report" he said.
    During the Monday debate Bonev asked why report wasn't handed
to the authorities in late 1990s. And he got the answer very
soon. President Stoyanov himself handed a National Security
Service report to Prosecutor General Nikola Filchev, Nikolai
Markov, a spokesman for the prosecuting magistracy, told journalists
on Tuesday. On the grounds of the report, the prosecutors ordered
a number of preliminary investigations and investigations proper,
Markov said. Some indictments were presented to the court, others
will be in the future.
    In a meantime analysts recalled that the statements were
practically known because excerpts from it had been published in
the opposition "Duma" Daily over a year ago, but had now gained
weight from the fact that Stoyanov brought them up. For his part,
Bonev said the president did not break the law by making public
excerpts from a classified report because it did not contain real
data. Ekaterina Mikhaylova, leader of the Union of Democratic
Forces which supports Stoyanov's bid for re-election, said he had
the courage to name names and facts relating to corruption during
his term. These were the politicians reactions but what about the
    Miroslava Yanova of the MBMD polling agency said the
classified report would mobilize Stoyanov's and Bonev's hard-core
sympathizers. Yanova also expects some of the swing voters
disappointed with the debate to decide against voting for either
    Stoyanov did best in the debate, according to 36 per cent of
respondents in an express survey carried out by Alpha Research
among 412 people in Sofia and other cities on Tuesday. Bonev did
best according to 24 per cent. Thirty-four per cent of Bulgarians
say their decision which presidential candidate to support will be
influenced by the debate. Asked if they believe the negative
information Stoyanov disclosed about Bonev during the debate would
affect their decision, 53 per cent answered in the affirmative.
    And still at the bottom are the questions about Simeon's
support for Stoyanov. Why the President accepted this support when
it was already clear that Simeon can't produce a strong candidate
in time to run against Stoyanov. The incumbent head of the state
needs broad support but the facts are that there is no party - or
even any - structure behind Simeon, and good number of his
supporters are working against Stoyanov. Why he accepted support
from both victorious and losers parties? Why is Stoyanov
running away from his core party UDF in the times when this
party - which in 1996 rocketed him from virtually unknown to the
power and glory - is in deep crisis, and is reeling from a defection on
Wednesday by one of its famous leaders, Sofia mayor Srefan Sofiansky,
who will establish his own party.
    By the terms of ideology this years Presidential race in
Bulgaria is between center-right and center-right. Stoyanov will
win the next 5 year term, but will he be the winner of the
public? Just wait the see how many Bulgarians will go to the poll
stations this weekend - it is expected turn out to be impressively
low for the only high placed Bulgarian politician elected through
direct vote.
    An interview with Skhelzen Maliqi, independent intellectual

    With only 15 days left to November 17 elections, and despite
urgings by the EU, the OSCE, other international organizations
as well as American president Bush for Serbs to participate in the
elections on , it is still unclear whether they will participate.
A total of 1,000,597 ballots  have been already printed,which is
much more than the total number of voters in Kosovo
(approximately 1,200,000), but Serbs are still keeping quiet.
We asked a well known Kosovar analyst, independent intellectual
Skhelzen Maliqi about his views on this draw position:
    A :It seems that Serbs are buying their time, but I still
believe that the final result will be a boycott of the
elections. They obviously don't want to participate in creation of a
Kosovar state because they are aware that all processes in this
former Serbian province lead towards creation of the Republic of
Kosovo. Serbs would like to separate a part of Kosovo they call
Serbian, but they don't know how to do it. It is clear that Kosovo
is forever lost to Serbs and only after that realization can two
nations reconcile. The sooner Serbs understand it, the easier the
solution for relationship will be between Serbs and Albanians, as
well as long term stabilization of both Serbia and Kosovo and the
whole region.  Albanians are still very distrustful of Serbs
because most Serbs supported criminal regime of Slobodan
Milosevic. The worst is that Serbs haven't yet shown any signs of
remorse, and as we can see, they don't want to accept new reality
and integrate into new social processes in Kosovo .
     Q: What is political and security situation in Kosovo now ?
    A : The situation today is relatively stable. Compared to last
year's local elections on 27th October, the situation drastically
improved. Maybe elections themselves, successful and peaceful, meant
a turning point, because even more radical parties understood that
nothing can be gained with violence and tensions. Rare incidents
couldn't influence the process. Parties which tried to upsurp power
before and were generally considered to be instigators of violence,
are today trying real hard to change their images. They talk no
more about war tributes and are avoiding any militant discourse.
Therefore, election campaign is very fair this year, especially if
we take into account how complex situation in Kosovo really is and
two currents among Albanian liberation movement - military and
pacifistic. Rivalry of the two groups is still present and they
still mutually accuse themselves, often for such things as
treason, but now all that has been transferred to only political
struggle and fighting, the only media that cover it are those
under control by one of the warring parties.
      Other than that, most media outlets have a fair approach.
Tensions have also eased when people realized that these elections
won't be crucial to Kosovo future, although still historically
important because they will create Kosovar democratic
institutions. Resolution of Kosovo's status is not dependent oon
which party will win the elections!
   Q :  Is criminal  responsibility  for Albanian war crimes an
issue in election campaign ?
   A : This issue wasn't tackled during this election campaign at
all. Still, some media outlets close to Democratic Alliance of
Kosovo have earlier tried to open this issue and accuse former
commander of Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) Hasim Taqi and his
co-workers for war and post-war violence, but they haven't cited
any evidence. Issue of criminal responsibility of former
commanders of the UCK, including others than Taqi, is pending
investigation from Hague Tribunal, but for now there have been no
indications nor any significant proofs for individual
responsibility. But, for this election campaign, that subject
carries no weight .
     Q: Let's go back to Serbs. Here they are represented
exclusively as victims. Is it really true?
     A: UNMIK, the international police force, is often accused of
allowing expulsion of 200 thousand Serbs from Kosovo. That is not
true! Most Serbs, especially those who wielded arms, fled away
from Kosovo after NATO air strikes because they were against
intervention of foreign forces and return of nearly a million
Albanians. International community then allowed Serbs to return to
their enclaves which was probably a mistake. They are now having a
hard time plugging into social life in Kosovo, although most
Albanians would like that and are openly inviting them. But their
eyes are constantly turned to Belgrade, only Belgrade, and that is
their greatest mistake - not accepting their life and work in
Kosovo, that they depend only on themselves and their neighbors,
even those who are Albanians.
     Q: In pending fight against international terrorism, former
UCK is often linked with Bin Laden's "Al-Quaeda". What is your
opinion about it?
    A : Albanian liberation movement doesn't have anything to do
with religious fundamentalism. There are no links between Bin
Laden's "Al-Quaeda". If some Bin Laden's men did visit Kosovo as
alleged humanitarians and on other missions, then it is something
that is happening in many countries, including USA themselves.
Albanian have shown to be completely with the USA after terror
strikes on 11th September. Most Albanians are pro-west. There is
no chance for Bin Laden's terrorist organizations to be installed
in Kosovo or any Albanian country.

                               * * *
    By Slobodan Rackovic

    After ten years of artificial marriage laced with immoderate
love statements such as "two eyes in a head", but also with hard
fighting which led two brotherly republics almost to the brink of
war, Montenegrin and Serbian leaders met in Belgrade few
days ago and agreed that mutual life was impossible!
    Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, formed by Montenegro and
Serbia in April 1992 on ruins of Tito's six member community - is
practically non-existent. It won't even live to see its tenth birthday.
Leaders of Montenegro and Serbia, Milo Djukanovic
and Zoran Djindjic  held a meeting at the Federation Palace
presided over by formal Yugoslav president Vojislav Kostunica.
The result of the meeting was a consensus that differences in governments
of the two republics were irreconcilable and that the decision about
the future of FRY rests in hands of Montenegrin people who should
hold a referendum on independence next spring.
    While Djukanovic relentlessly insisted on alliance of two
sovereign countries, Montenegro and Serbia, with two seats in the
UN, Kostunica was stubbornly repeating that joint federation state
was the best solution both for Belgrade and Podgorica. Everything
had a remarkable resemblance to barren attempts of saving former
FRY in 1990. At that time, Serbian minorities, together with Montenegro,
tried to explain that survival of Yugoslavia was the only valid
solution. To be honest, then as well as now that is not such a
lousy solution - except that Serbs think of Serbia every time they
mention Yugoslavia. That was the case with first, second, third
and will be so even in with the hundredth Yugoslavia. Slovenia, Croatia,
Bosnia and Macedonia figured it out early, ten years ago, while
Montenegro took a decade longer. In 1990, Slobodan Milosevic hid
his expanionistic policy with the phrase "Yugoslavia as modern
federation". His successor Vojislav Kostunica now stubbornly
deceives the public with statements about a "minimal, but functional
Yugoslav federation", but this time not even the poetically naive
Montenegrins bought his story.
    Thus came true warnings of the whole democratic world from
spring 1992 that  that this artificial country had no future. They warned that
Milosevic was building his own state, a federation of two members because
of his expansionist reasons as well as his desire to secure continuity with
the former Tito's Yugoslavia, as well as obtain its wealth and chair in the UN.
That's why it is strange to find  the same democratic community trying
to save Milosevic's Yugoslavia at any cost , a country which has been behind the
worst crimes against humanity after WWII. Many feel that the international
community is trying to disable Montenegro from gaining freedom and
independence,what was allowed ten years ago to other ex-Yugoslav
republics and various other states in the world. If fear that independence of
Montenegro might destabilize the Balkans and cause a fifth war in the region
was grounded during Milosevic's era, there is no such danger now. The
independent anddemocratic Montenegro which was only yesterday
congratulated on its democracy and reforms, could be a positive catalyst
in this part of the restless Balkans
    This way, tiny Montenegro, halfway between a  larger and
hostile Serbia and an unsympathetic international community, is left
to its own fate. Threatening messages from the world of not
allowing its freedom and independence are producing new interior
political struggles and destabilization. These unfounded reserves
of democratic world towards its independence are not only in
direct collision with UN charter on universal right for
self-determination, halting democratic development, encouraging
local conflicts and hegemonic Belgrade forces (that are not
weaker than before) but are also creating distrust towards
international community and its objectivity.
    Immediately after the meeting of Serbian and Montenegrin
delegations, Vojislav Kostunica said that he hoped that Yugoslav
option in Montenegro would triumph and broke promised principle of
non-interference in Montenegrin politics. Kostunica couldn't
abstain from preaching Montenegro to rush referendum and that
authorities in Podgorica had to respect the constitution and
follow world accepted referendum rules. Although ignored by
official Podgorica, Yugoslav president started campaign even
though Montenegrin parliament hasn't set  referendum date yet.
But, it's no wonder coming from him because he recently said he
would defend Yugoslavia "with all means available".
    People believed that after departure of Milosevic military
pressure on Montenegro has finally ended, but as the date for
referendum is getting closer, it becomes evident that they are
wrong. During past ten days, Yugoslav Army had two military
exercises near Podgorica and on the sea.
    Meanwhile, referendum logistics is being finalized and the
only uncertainty is whether majority of participating voters will
be enough or whether more than 50 per cent of registered voters
need to turn out for referendum to succeed. Historical  question
is already well known: should Montenegro be an independent
and internationally recognized state or not. Until spring  a tough
campaign is expected with all manners of illegal blows, and
the latest polls show that increased 10 per cent of voters
will vote in favor of independence.

    The Emergence of the Terrorist International
    by Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat
    (with research support from Rafael Artigas and Ana Carbonell)
    Center for the Study of a National Option

    "Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make.
Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this
day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support
terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile
regime." President George W. Bush. Address to a Joint Session of
Congress and the American People. September 20, 2001.
    In the aftermath of the brutal terrorist attacks on America
the United States government unveiled a new anti-terrorism policy
where the distinction between terrorist groups and terrorist
states was at long last eliminated. As experts on terrorism and
administration officials have pointed out repeatedly,
international terrorist groups simply could not operate without
the logistical and diplomatic support of terrorist states. As of
now, there is no clear evidence directly linking the 42-year old
Castro regime to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. However, there is
abundant evidence linking the Cuban dictatorship to an
international network of terrorist states and organizations that
extends from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to the Colombian jungle
occupied by the terrorist FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of
    Some have argued that Cuba's well-documented sponsorship and
instigation of international terrorism is a thing of the past, to
be understood in light of the Cold War context. However, a careful
analysis of the policies, statements and actions of the Cuban
government shows the contrary. This report seeks to piece together
information from different sources indicating that to this day:
    a. The Castro dictatorship continues to actively harbor
international terrorists, b. The Castro dictatorship continues to
pursue a strategic alliance with terrorist states so as to create
an 'anti-Western' international front, and
    c. The Castro dictatorship engages directly in attacks and
espionage that threaten the security of the United States. The
compilation of facts contained in this report clearly indicates
that the Castro regime may be part of a current-day international
network of cooperation and solidarity among terrorist groups and
states. Any policy or opinion maker concerned about the security
of the Western Hemisphere should not easily dismiss this
information. Terrorist actions could not take place without the
active encouragement of state sponsors who seek covert means to
promote their blind hatred for America and liberal democracy.
There is very little distance between the words of states that
back terrorist actions in pursuit of their ideological interests
and the deeds of the terrorist groups that actually carry them
    The Iranian alliance
    After months of surveillance, the FBI arrested suspected
Castro spy Ana Belen Montes at her office in Bolling Air Force
Base on Sept. 21, 2001. Federal agents hurried to arrest Montes,
the senior intelligence analyst on Cuba for the Defense
Intelligence Agency, because they feared that she could pass on
information about America's response to the terrorist attacks on
the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. "Government sources said
Cuba has been known to share information with Libya, Iran, and
others that might be sympathetic to Osama bin Laden, the Bush's
administration's chief suspect in the attacks." (Washington Post
Service, Sept. 28, 2001).
    The Bureau's fears were not unfounded. Increasingly challenged
domestically by a growing nonviolent resistance, and isolated from
his fellow Latin American states for his continued human rights
violations and support for terrorism, Castro has worked hard to
create an 'anti-Western front' with groups and countries around
the world, but particularly in the Middle East. The statements
made by Fidel Castro during his visit to Iran in May 2001 are
chilling when read in light of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and
the Montes arrest. According to news reports, during the visit
Iranian Supreme Leader Khomeni "assured Castro that Iran and Cuba
can defeat the US hand in hand," to which Castro agreed, adding
that America was "extremely weak today," and that "we are today
eye-witness to their weakness, as their close neighbors." (AFP,
May 10th, 2001)
    Could Castro have been referring to highly classified
information regarding US defenses that his government received
from Montes? "In a court affidavit, FBI agent Stephen A. McCoy
said authorities determined that Montes was passing details 'about
a particular Special Access Program related to the national
defense of the United States.' " (Washington Post, Sept.22, 2001)
At Tehran University Castro went on to state to the thunderous
applause of students and faculty that "The imperialist king will
finally fall," (AFP, May 10th, 2001). Immediately afterwards the
Iranian Press Service proudly proclaimed that "Iran and Cuba
reached the conclusion that together they can tear down the United
States." (IPS, May 10th, , 2001)
    Biological warfare
    Cuba and Iran may be exchanging more than pats on the back,
invectives against America and intelligence on US national
security in their efforts to "tear down the United States." In
October 2000 Cuban vice president Carlos Lage and the Iranian
vice-minister of Health inaugurated a biotechnological research
and development plant outside Tehran. Experts expressed doubts
about the supposed medical objectives of the installation, since
Iran already produces 97% of the medicines its population
consumes. (El Nuevo Herald, Oct. 11, 2000).
    On September 18, 2000 in an exclusive interview with the
Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television, Castro stated that "We are not
ready for reconciliation with the United States, and I will not
reconcile with the imperialist system." He further added that his
government had successfully defended Cuba against "...a Western
cultural invasion," echoing one of the key themes of
fundamentalist Islamic groups in the region. In May 2001 Castro
undertook a round of visits to Syria, Libya, and Iran. Soviet
Colonel Ken Alibek, formerly second-in-command of the USSR's
bacteriological arms development program, has long insisted that
the Castro regime has such weapons at its disposal. In his book
Biohazard, Alibek quotes his former boss, General Yuri T. Kalinin,
as having told him that Cuba had an active bacteriological arms
program. Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen stated in May
1998 that: "Cuba's current scientific facilities could support an
offensive biological warfare program in at least the research and
development stage." (El Nuevo Herald, June 23, 1999) The New York
Times reported in September 1998 that advisers provided President
Clinton with evidence that "bin Laden is looking to obtain weapons
of mass destruction and chemical weapons to use against US
installations." In its indictment of bin Laden the Justice
Department stated that the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization under
his command sought to "...put aside its differences with Shiite
Muslim terrorist organizations, including Iran and its affiliated
terrorist group Hezbollah, to cooperate against the perceived
common enemy, the United States and its allies..." The indictment
further alleges that Al Al-Qaeda "...also forged alliances with the
National Islamic Front in Sudan and with representatives of the
government of Iran, and its associated terrorist group Hezballah."
Is it that far-fetched to see that the ideological affinity
between Cuba, Iran and Al Qaeda and the allure of bin Laden's
money for Castro's cash-strapped regime could easily result in the
worst of scenarios?
    Terror International
    It is feasible to both establish the links of the bin Laden
network with the Iranian government and to identify its common
interests with the Castro regime. Both Castro and bin Laden work
hard to build a common front to bring down the United States and
to develop biological weapons of mass destruction.
    In February 1998 Osama bin Laden announced the creation of an
"international front" against the United States. According to a
document obtained by the PBS program 'Frontline,' bin Laden
"regards an anti-American alliance with Iran and China as
something to be considered." Published information indicates that
an important part of this "international front" consists of a
network of terrorist training camps and support bases stretching
from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to the Colombian jungle territory
occupied by the terrorist FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia). Castro's Cuba could constitute a key component of this
    A Web of Alliances
    Terror International consists of a political and a covert
front. The public alliances between terrorist states is mirrored
by the underground connections established among terrorist groups
around the world whose common foe is the United States. These
connections could not be established unless terrorist states
served as mediators, or brokers, in these relationships. The
Castro Regime's long-term involvement with the training,
organization, coordination and diplomatic and political support of
subversive organizations in the Third World, but particularly in
Latin America, is both well documented and now admitted to by
Castro himself. (see: "Castro and Terrorism: A Chronology by
Eugene Pons with a foreword by Jaime Suchliki, Institute for Cuban
and Cuban American Studies at the University of Miami, September
    During his 2001 tour through the Middle East Castro also
admitted to "sending fighters" to the Middle East but added, "We
never speak about this."
    There are increasing indications that the Cuban government may
have placed this bloody expertise at the service of the new breed
of international terrorists. An assortment of events and facts
clearly corroborates this. Training - On March 4, 2000, the
Associated Press reported that "A young Afghan who trained this
winter at a camp in mountainous Kunar province, in northeastern
Afghanistan, said he saw men from Chechnya, Sudan, Libya, Iraq,
Iran, Cuba and North Korea. The North Korean, he said, "had
brought chemical weapons, which were stored in caves and in the
dozens of sun baked mud-and-stone houses."
    Organization and Coordination - It is very likely that the
alliances between terrorist groups and states from around the
world brokered by Cuba are activated in the "demilitarized area"
in Colombia where the FARC holds sway. This arrangement would both
provide the Cuban government with a margin of deniability and
strengthen FARC positions in its struggle against Colombian
    A rare glimpse into this convoluted world of alliances between
terrorist organizations and the possible use of sponsor states to
facilitate them took place on August 17, 2001, when Colombian
authorities arrested three IRA men as they returned from FARC-held
territory. Niall Connolly, the leader of the group, was identified
by the British foreign ministry as "...the legal representative
for Sinn Fein in Latin America and had lived in Cuba for the past
five years." (BBC News, August 17, 2001) Castro's close
relationship with Colombian terrorists has been extensively
documented. It is believed that it was in Cuba where the IRA
(Irish Republican Army) established contact with both the FARC and
ELN terrorist groups. These two organizations, according to the
State Department's 2000 report on global terrorism, have
"...maintained a permanent presence in the island." It is further
believed that the IRA men were training the Colombian rebels in
the development of powerful anti-personnel explosives destined for
the proposed FARC 'urban offensive.'
    Senator Bob Graham (D-Fl.), Chairman of the Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence stated to the editorial board of the
Miami Herald on September 29, 2001 that US intelligence had
recently determined that terrorist groups "were establishing
alliances far beyond their borders." He cited as an example of
this the IRA - FARC alliance, whereby the FARC would use its
cocaine profits to help finance the IRA in exchange for training
in urban terrorism. Graham also commented on the increasing
similarities between the organizational and financial structures
of the FARC and Al-Qaeda, stating that "the FARC is doing exactly
the same thing as international terrorism: organizing itself in
small cells that aren't in contact with each other and depend on a
central command to carry out their attacks..." There is additional
information that indicates that the Colombian territory under FARC
control has become a haven for Terror International. Argentine
journalist Julio Cirino, an expert on international terrorism, has
written about the existence of a logistical support base "in a
small city near the Colombian border with Venezuela," where
"Middle Eastern types," receive fake Colombian passports and move
on to other unspecified destinations. In October 1998 Interpol
arrested Egyptian extremist Mohamed Enid Abdel Aal, in Bogota,
Colombia. Abdel Aal, a leader of Gama'a al-Islamiyya listed in
2001 by the State Department as one of the world's most dangerous
terrorist organizations, told authorities under questioning that
"he planned to stay in Colombia for a few days and then head to
Venezuela over land." (El Nuevo Herald/September 16,2001)
    On September 14, 2001, John Moore, "a former Defense
Department counter-terrorism analyst, told UPI that Cubans,
[emphasis added] militant Palestinians, Hizb'allah [emphasis
added], and even advisors from the leftist government of Venezuela
are all active in the area." Moore testified before Congress as
part of hearings on security in the area. Additionally, Larry
Johnson, a former CIA anti-terrorist expert described the
rebel-held territories in Colombia as "a Club Med for terrorists."
(United Press International, September 14, 2001)
    "The FARC not only welcomed the September 11 attacks, they
later reiterated that Americans are to be targeted for
assassinations and kidnappings," Francis Taylor, head of Counter
Terrorism for the US State Department, recently stated before
Congress. "We have specific concerns about the role played by the
FARC in support on international terrorism. We don't know how many
terrorist organizations now operate in the demilitarized zone, but
based on recent history we can be sure that it is full of
terrorists." (El Nuevo Herald, October 13, 2001)
    It is highly improbable than a guerrilla terrorist
organization engaged in a fierce conflict with the Colombian
government could have the type of international contacts it now
has without the aid of a friendly state. Castro's long term
relationships with both the Colombians and Middle Eastern
terrorist groups of diverse ideological tendencies as well as his
unremitting hostility toward the United States and its allies
would serve as a natural catalyst for these links. In a September
12, 2001 interview with the PBS Frontline program, Johnson also
stated that: "We now know, for example, bin Laden was meeting with
Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah [Hizb'allah] security chief. Mughniyah,
until yesterday, had killed more Americans than bin Laden, had
wounded more Americans than bin Laden. Mughniyah was involved with
the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, the
takeover of TWA 847, and the murder of Navy diver Robert Stethem,
the apprehension of several Americans who were held hostage in
Beirut, Lebanon."
    "So this is an individual who has been aggressive in his
attacks against America. And we now know through testimony that
came out in the trial in New York City on the bombing of the U.S.
embassy, that Mughniyah was the mentor, the ideological
inspiration, for Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden saw Mughniyah as one
who used violence to force the United States to retreat from
Lebanon. And he believed that that same model could be used
against the United States to force it out of Saudi Arabia and to
punish it."
    Author Yossef Bodansky, director of the Congressional Task
Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, writes in his book
"Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America," that Hizb'allah,
Hezbollah or HizbAllah was "Originally the name of the
Lebanon-based, Iran-sponsored Shiite terrorist organization; the
name means 'party of God.' Currently the name HizbAllah is used to
signal strong sponsorship and control by Iran for any terrorist
organization whether it is local, such as HizbAllah of the
(Persian) Gulf and HizbAllah Palestine, or international, such as
HizbAllah International." This same organization, suspected of
having murdered the greatest amount of Americans before the
September 11 attacks and believed to have established contacts and
bases in Colombian rebel territory, is known to have already
struck in the Western Hemisphere. "In May 1999, Argentina's
Supreme Court, after an official investigation, formally blamed
Hizballah for the March 17, 1992 bombing of Israel's embassy in
Buenos Aires and issued an arrest warrant for Hizballah terrorist
leader Imad Mughniyah. Hizballah did not claim responsibility for
the attack outright, but it released a surveillance tape of the
embassy, implying responsibility. In May 1998, Director Louis
Freeh told Argentina the FBI believes that Hizballah, working with
Iranian diplomats, was also responsible for the July 18, 1994
bombing of the Argentine-Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) building
in Buenos Aires that left 86 dead." ("RL31119: Terrorism: Near
Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 2001" Long Report for Congress,
authored by Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern
Affairs/Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division).
    The Castro-Hezbollah link
    Another of the facets of the alliance between the Castro
regime and Islamists may lie in military training in Cuba for
Hezbollah and its affiliated terrorists.
    On July 26, 1996, the 37th anniversary of Castro's revolution,
Saad'o Mohammed Ibrahim Intissar, a Palestinian born in a South
Lebanon refugee camp, hijacked an Iberia airlines flight from
Madrid to Havana. Using scissors and a bomb which later on turned
out to be fake, Intissar forced the plane's pilot to land in
Miami, where he surrendered to federal authorities.
    German authorities near Frankfurt arrested two other
Palestinians, who did not board the flight with Intissar. They
confessed to participating in the same mission but had apparently
decided not to proceed with it. During his federal trial, Intissar
stated that he and the other two Palestinians were being sent to
Cuba to receive military training for possible terrorist attacks
against Israel. (The Miami Herald, April 22, 1997) Intissar's
attorney, public defender Joaquin Mendez, further stated that the
organization, which had sent Intissar to Cuba, was the Palestinian
Islamic Revolutionary Army. Both Mendez and FBI agents interceded
with the presiding judge so that Intissar would not have to
provide greater details on the training he was supposed to receive
in Havana, out of fear that it could endanger his family.
    The Palestinian Islamic Revolutionary Army (Al-Jayah-al-Thawri
al-Islami Le Tahrir Falastin) is a shadowy terrorist organization,
which has repeatedly participated, in Hezbollah-directed attacks
against Israel. On September 8, 1993 it proclaimed a "jihad"
against the Gaza-Jericho Plan and the Middle East peace process.
(BBC, September 8, 1993) Experts believe that the Islamic
Revolutionary Army is actually the name given to a Palestinian
front for Hezbollah, which in turn is an extension of Iranian
intelligence. The Intissar case should not be dismissed. Given the
close relationship between Cuba and Iran, it is not far fetched to
conceive that cooperation between the two terrorist states extends
to covert training in Cuba for terrorist operatives.
    Bodansky writes that on June 21-23, 1996, the Iranian
government hosted a summit meeting of terrorist groups in Tehran
in order to create HizbAllah International. The objective of the
summit meeting was to foster an international coordination of
terrorist groups to escalate Islamist terrorism in the Middle East
and the United States. "After lengthy discussions and
deliberations the participants at the summit issued a joint
communique? in which they agreed to set up a coordinating committee
to better unify their actions and attacks." (Bodansky, p.157)
Among the leaders and organizations at the meeting were Imad
Mughaniyah, from the Lebanese HizbAllah's Special Operations
Command, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Egyptian Islamic
Jihad, a representative of Osama bin Laden known as Muhammad Ali
Ahmad, and HAMAS. (Bodansky, p.157) Sources other than Bodansky
indicate that representatives of the Palestinian Islamic
Revolutionary Army were also present.
    The main result of the conference was the "...unification and
standardization of the training of HizbAllah supporters in more
than thirty countries to establish interoperability of both
individual terrorists and strike forces. [Emphasis added] This way
a force from any country would be able to deploy at the last
minute to any part of the world, operating and interacting
effectively with the local Islamist forces." (Bodansky, p.157-58)
    Did Intissar's mission in Cuba for HizbAllah form part of the
elaborate terrorist strategy developed at Tehran and other
terrorist summits during this period? Could his training for
'suicide missions' have been intended not for Israel, but for the
United States? The answers may lie somewhere in a federal
    Political and diplomatic support - The Castro regime continues
to provide sanctuary, as well as political and diplomatic support
for individual terrorists and terrorist organizations. It has not
only continued to back the vicious Basque terrorist organization
ETA, known for its ghastly car bomb attacks on civilian targets,
but it has also publicly attempted to scuttle diplomatic efforts
to condemn it. In a 1995 raid by French police on ETA hideouts,
computer files were found which clearly indicated that Cuban
intelligence aided members of the group wanted for terror attacks
in Spain. According to the files, Cuba's Communist Party
"considers its relations with ETA to be 'fraternal, sustained,
strategic and increasingly deep.' " (The Miami Herald, Dec. 27,
    Cuban covert support for terrorism in Spain has been
accompanied by attempts at diplomatic protection. Castro not only
refused to join the other Ibero-American heads of state in
condemning ETA terrorism at the 2000 Ibero-American summit, he
also "slammed Mexico for its support of a statement against
terrorism at the Ibero American Summit in Panama." (The Miami
Herald, Nov. 11,2000). The Cuban dictatorship's continued
relationship with bloody terror groups and the use of Cuban
territory and diplomacy to protect them has long been a mainstay
of Cuban foreign policy. As State Department reports indicate,
Americans sought for crimes linked to 60's radical groups have
long received sanctuary in the island.
    Castro's direct threat to America
    Above all, Castro's continued virulent rhetoric against the US
and the Western world in general must not be overlooked. A regime
which has for so long terrorized its own people has historically
had few qualms about exporting its domestic violence elsewhere. It
was not too long ago that Americans were the direct targets of
Castroite terrorist attacks. On February 24, 1996 Cuban MIGs shot
out of the sky two unarmed US civilian aircraft in plain daylight
in international air space, murdering three US citizens and one
    A group of Cuban spies in Florida, part of the so-called 'Wasp
network,' were recently convicted of conspiring to murder US
citizens, seeking to penetrate US military installations, spying
on members of the US Congress and providing information on Miami
International Airport. Furthermore, the FBI also revealed in court
that decoded communications between the spy network and its
handlers in Havana included instructions to find places along the
Florida coast that could be used to land and hide weapons and
    The Montes arrest further corroborates that the objectives of
Castroite espionage have not just been to monitor anti-Castro
groups, but to harm US national security itself. On February 9,
2001, Wired News reported that Admiral Tom Wilson, head of the
Defense Intelligence Agency, "told the Senate Intelligence
Committee during a public hearing Wednesday that Castro's armed
forces could initiate an 'information warfare or computer network
attack' that could 'disrupt our military.' The panel later went
into closed session to discuss classified material."
    Turning a blind eye to Castro on the eve of the 'first war of
the 21st century,' would be tantamount to ignoring the Nazi and
Fascist alliance with Japan the day after Pearl Harbor. The enemy
is 90 miles south of Key West. And he does not hide his hatred for
the United States.
    * Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat is the National Secretary of the
Cuban democratic Revolutionary Directorate ( DIRECTORIO).
    The DIRECTORIO is an organization founded in 1990 by workers,
college students, and professional executives who have forged
together a strategy for the liberation of Cuba from the
totalitarian dictatorship, and for the establishment of a
Democratic Republic in Cuba. In carrying out its strategy the
DIRECTORIO extends multi-faceted support to many organizations of
the internal democratic opposition, and it has established
alliances with pro-democracy organizations and individuals
throughout Europe and Latin America who have organized permanent
committees of active solidarity with the internal democratic
opposition in Cuba.
    The CEON (Center for the Study of a National Option) is a
think-tank affiliated to the Cuban democratic Revolutionary
Directorate( DIRECTORIO). CEON's website in Spanish