Why Cuba Belongs on the Terrorism List

When wallowing in largess from his Soviet sugar daddy (which is to say, before the U.S. “embargo” became an obsession with his agents, on the payroll and off), Castro regarded a listing on the U.S. State Department's “State Sponsors of Terrorism” as a badge of honor, a designation to flaunt.

"The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind!" raved Ernesto Che Guevara in his message to Havana's Tricontinental Conference in 1966. "Against those hyenas there is no option but extermination. We will bring the war to the imperialist enemies' very home, to his places of work and recreation. The imperialist enemy must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves. Thus we'll destroy him! We must keep our hatred against them [the U.S.] alive and fan it to paroxysms!"

Among the many future luminaries who attended Havana's Tricontinental Conference was a young Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, also known as "Carlos the Jackal," also known in the 1970s as the "world's most-wanted terrorist." In 1967 Ramirez Sanchez was an eager recruit into Cuba's "guerrilla" (terror) training camps started by Che in 1959. "I'm proud of the path of Osama bin Laden," Ramirez told the London-based pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat in an interview from a French prison in 2002. "Bin Laden has followed a trail I myself blazed. ... I followed news of the September 11 attacks on the United States non-stop from the beginning. I can't describe that wonderful feeling of relief."

A young fellow named Abu Ammar also attended Havana's Tricontinental Conference. He would later be known as Yasir Arafat.

Be it known that these star-struck and attentive worthies cheered Ernesto "Che" Guevara's prescription for America almost half a century before Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi appeared on our radar screens.

Among other initiatives at this conference, Cuba formed OSPAAAL (Organization of Solidarity with the People from Africa, Asia and Latin America.) and the DLN (National Liberation Directorate.) The latter was under the direction of KGB Col. Vadim Kotchergine, who set up massive terrorist training camps in western Cuba. These were soon filled with guerrillas and terrorists from Al-Fatah, the Sandinistas, El Salvador's FMLF, the Tupamaros, the Weather Underground, the IRA, and Spain's ETA. In 1968 Castro sent military instructors into Palestinian bases in Jordan to train Palestinian fedayeen. In  1974 Castro personally decorated his brother-in-arms, Yasir Arafat, with Cuba's highest honor, the Bay of Pigs medal. The Egyptian newspaper Ahar Sa'ah reported in September 13, 1978, that 500 Palestinian fighters were training in Cuba.

Everyone from America's Black Liberation Army to Puerto Rico's Macheteros, to South Yemen's NLF, to Argentina's Monteneros, to Colombia's ELN , to Namibia's SWAPO, to the Black Panthers, to Western Sahara's Polisario, to the IRA have received training and funding from Castro. The U.S. Defense Department estimates that 42,000 foreign guerrillas and terrorists have received their training in Cuba. "Thanks to Castro" boasted Colombia's FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) commander Tiro-Fijo in a 2002 interview, "we are now a powerful army, not a hit and run band."

Scholar Walter Laquer sums it up in his work The Age of Terrorism. "Multinational terrorism reached a first climax in the early 1970s. It involved close co-operation between small terrorist groups in many countries with the Libyans, Algerians, Syrians, North Koreans and Cubans  acting as the paymasters and suppliers of weapons and equipment."

Also interesting, in her book's' acknowledgments, Julia Sweig, who serves as the Nelson and David Rockefeller senior fellow for Latin America Studies and director for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and is a MSM darling on all matters Cuban, thanks both the expelled Castroite espionage agent Josefina Vidal, and the expelled Castroite terrorist plotter, Jose Gomez Abad, who planned the 1962 foiled New York bombing.