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Shadowing Orlando Bosch

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Today is Fernando Gonzalez' fifth time to spend his birthday in a US prison. Fernando is one of the five Cubans who are now in prison for defending their country against terrorism. His work in Miami was monitoring the actions of one of the most notorious terrorists alive today, Orlando Bosch. Fernando is serving nineteen years in Oxford Federal Correctional Institution in Wisconsin for doing his duty by his country and the self-confessed terrorist, Orland Bosch is freely walking the streets of Miami.


Shadowing Orlando Bosch

The life of a security agent is dangerous. And when one is monitoring the actions of one of the most notorious terrorists alive today, the job takes of an even more perilous dimension.  This was the work of Fernando González, one of the five Cubans who are now in prison for defending their country against terrorism.

Fernando González, under his alias Luis Medina was shadowing Orlando Bosch, one of the most sinister and treacherous Cuban Americans resident in Miami.

Bosch's Criminal History
Orlando Bosch's Index of Criminal History as published in Cuba's daily newspaper Granma in October 1980 begins on the 18th January 1968 when he was involved in a bomb being sent to Havana in a suitcase.

 In just that one year, Orlando Bosch was involved in 40 plus acts of sabotage against Cuba, many of which took place in the United States. Orlando Bosch was so full of hatred that he set out to kill or injure anyone who showed any support for Fidel Castro and the revolutionary government.

Orlando Bosch-Avila, is a native, citizen and national of Cuba.  On July 28, 1960, he was admitted to the United States as a non-immigrant visitor for pleasure, with authorization to remain until August 28, 1960.  Bosch, however, remained in the United States without permission until about April 12, 1974.  He has never been granted lawful permanent residence status.

From about 1960 to 1968, Bosch was the leader of Movimiento Insurreccional de Recuperacion Revolucionaria (MIRR), an anti-Cuban terrorist organization.  On or about September 16, 1968, Bosch was involved in firing a shot from a 57 mm. rifle at the Polish vessel "Polanica", which was then docked at the Port of Miami.  The shell hit the side of the "Polanica", causing damage to the vessel, but no loss of life. 

On November 15, 1968, Bosch was convicted in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida of various felony offenses arising out the assault on the Polish vessel.  Bosch was sentenced to ten years imprisonment, paroled in 1972, and left the United States in 1974, thereby violating the terms of his parole.

Subsequently, Bosch, while outside the United States, founded and led Coordinacion de Organizaciones Revolucionarias Unidas (CORU), a terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for numerous bombings in Miami, New York, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, Argentina, and elsewhere.

Bombing of Cuban Civilian Airliner
In October, 1976, Bosch was arrested in Venezuela in connection with the October 6, 1976 in- flight bombing of a civilian Cuban airliner, which resulted in the deaths of 73 men, women, and children including the island's entire fencing team. Though detained in Venezuela for eleven years on charges arising from this incident, he was finally acquitted. 

At his trial, evidence was presented that the two men convicted of homicide in connection with the bombing were in contact with Bosch both before and after the bombing. This was the world's first terrorist action involving the bombing of a civilian airliner. Bosch was recruited, trained, and supported by the CIA.

Released from Venezuelan prison under suspicious circumstances in 1987, Bosch returned to Miami in 1988 without benefit of a visa and was almost immediately arrested for his earlier parole violation. The Immigration and Naturalization Service began proceedings to deport him. As the associate attorney general put it in 1989: "For 30 years, Bosch has been resolute and unwavering in his advocacy of terrorist violence."

This was not an idle statement. The Justice Department had information linking Bosch to more than 30 acts of sabotage and violence in the United States, Puerto Rico, Panama and Venezuela. As the associate attorney general pointed out: "The security of this nation is affected by its ability to urge credibly other nations to refuse aid and shelter to terrorists....We could not shelter Dr. Bosch and maintain that credibility."

The logic was unassailable, but, unfortunately, the case was not decided on the base of logic. Miami congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the usual crowd of hard-line Cuban exiles rowed in behind Bosch. They lobbied unrelentingly for his release. Among those in the forefront of the lobbying effort was the present President's brother, Governor Jeb Bush, then managing Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's election campaign.

Miami Hard-liners Achieve Bosch Release
In the face of all this pressure, coming even from his own son, the first President Bush decided it was politically convenient to free the terrorist. Bosch was released.
Most controversially, at the request of Jeb, Mr Bush Sr not only intervened to release the convicted Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch from prison but then granted him US residency.

Bosch's release, often referred to in the US media as a pardon, was the result of pressure brought by hard-line Cubans in Miami, with Jeb Bush serving as their point man. Bosch now lives in Miami and remains unrepentant about his militant activities.

In July 2002, Jeb Bush nominated Raoul Cantero, the grandson of Batista, as a Florida supreme court judge despite his lack of experience. Mr Cantero had previously represented Bosch and acted as his spokesman, once describing Bosch on Miami radio as a "great Cuban patriot".

While this convicted terrorist, responsible for death and injury in his own country and abroad enjoys the freedom given him by the senior Bush administration, there has never been a serious attempt to make him pay for his crimes.

Fernando González, whose only so-called crime was to defend his country against the horror and death perpetrated by Orlando Bosch is serving a life sentence in a prison miles away from home and family.

Who is fighting the war against terrorism and who is harboring the terrorists? The answer is obvious.




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Bernie Dwyer

Bernie Dwyer

Periodista irlandensa radicada en Cuba, autora del documental Misión contra el terror. Actualmente trabaja en Radio Habana Cuba.