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Ignoring the Past of Castro's Cuba

June 18, 2002

How can Wayne Smith state that the Castro regime is not terrorist ("Fidel Castro Is No Osama bin Laden," Opinion, June 16)? Since the beginning, Fidel Castro's struggle to win power in Cuba relied on terrorism. Bombs planted in public places were a staple of Castro's struggle in the 1950s, killing or maiming many innocent civilians in Cuba. Starting in the early 1960s, leaders of most every subversive group in Latin America were trained in Cuba in the methods of terror. Those leaders then went on to train followers in their countries, spreading what they learned in Castro's training camps, in what is no doubt the greatest terror-training program our hemisphere has seen.

From Guatemala to Argentina, thousands of innocent civilians were killed during the past 40 years as a result of Cuban-sponsored training in the methods of terror. The recent link-up between the terrorist Irish Republican Army and Colombia's narco-guerrillas could not have occurred without Cuba's mediation. Similarly, the link between Spain's Basque terrorists and the Castro regime has provided their organization with a valuable base.

Books and reports have been written on the Castro regime's terror-training programs during the past four decades by former Cuban intelligence officials. Smith would do well to take a look at their accounts and stop trying to be an apologist for the Castro regime's long history of terrorism.

Louis Swires

Newport Beach


For years Smith has been playing the same tune. What is he trying to do? Convince the world that Castro is a benevolent tyrant? While his arguments are open for discussion, the truth remains that Cubans are not free to choose their own destiny or enjoy any of the rights we all have in a democracy.

In two years, the American voter will be able to elect a new president. In Cuba, on June 13, Castro announced a campaign to declare his political, social and economic system "untouchable."

Raul De Cardenas

Los Angeles

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