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Posted February 03, 2009 by publisher in Cuban History

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Based on email received from author

Available in books stores and online this month!

After 12 years, the NEW BOOK is at the publisher – it’s called Betrayal: Clinton, Castro & The Cuban Five. (Non-fiction; political murder and international intrigue; ISBN to be registered)

Betrayal was co-authored with three time Pentagon and former White House appointee, Thomas Van Hare.  Thomas is also the former Director of Operations with Brothers to the Rescue and Chairman of Freedom Flight International, the same group for which I served as Director of Special Projects for during the early 1990’s when we flew rescue missions looking for Cuban rafters.

Our book reveals the truth behind the shootdown and attempted cover up of two Brothers to the Rescue aircraft in 1996.  Betrayal is timely; in highlighting that Cuban spies were involved. Since their convictions, The Cuban 5 have been fighting for their freedom for over 10 years, and denied retrials twice by the appellant courts. These very agents - one sentenced to two life terms for murder - have been recently granted the opportunity to petition the Supreme Court, by January 30th 2009. 

Just how important are these spies to Cuba? On December 18th, 2008, Raul Castro suggested during a meeting in Brazil that perhaps the new Obama administration would be willing to negotiate their release and repatriation in exchange for Cuban political prisoners as a “gesture of good faith” towards normalizing relations with Cuba.

This overture was no doubt made in anticipation of Governor Bill Richardson’s confirmation as Secretary of Commerce.  Critically, our book bears evidence that he may have known of the coming attack on the Brothers to the Rescue aircraft up to 14 days before it happened… and he did nothing to prevent it!

The book details:

1) How Cuban spies infiltrated the Brothers organization, what roles they played as double agents working with the FBI, and how they communicated information to the Cuban government to set up the fatal flight.

2) The part played by Ana Belen Montes, DIA’s senior most analyst in charge of all U.S. intelligence about Cuba - who was arrested in 2001 for her 16 years as a spy for the Cuban government, called Cuba’s “Queen of Spies”.

3) The Federal trial evidence and final reports from ICAO and the OAS which found Cuba guilty of murdering four U.S. pilots.

4) Naming names of those in the Clinton Administration who knew in advance of the shootdown and did nothing to stop it - Sandy Berger, Governor Bill Richardson, Richard Nuccio, Anthony Lake and a host of retired military and diplomatic corps personnel.

5) Governor Bill Richardson’s role in personally meeting with Fidel Castro during the weeks before the shootdown and him returning with political prisoners ten days prior to the shootdown, with consideration from Fidel.

6) We expose the Cuban government’s preparations for the shootdown including MiGs making monitored practice runs over Cuba - all under the watchful eye of the U.S. Government.

7) We detail a timeline and provide a translation of the transcripts of the pilots’ conversations during the shootdown - including the words of the MiG pilots as they murdered the four men and the transcript of the intercom on board one of the Brothers to the Rescue airplanes.

8) We reveal that the U.S. Military watched the shootdown live and yet never gave the order to scramble U.S. interceptors that were standing by at Homestead AFB, Florida.  We reveal that the order to launch never came even when two Cuban MiG-23s chased one remaining Brothers to the Rescue aircraft north of the 24th parallel and into our Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

9) We provide the sworn testimony of Major Jeffery Houlihan’s lone “911” call to Tyndall AFB warning of what was taking place-and how he was told, “we’re handling it, don’t worry….”

10) We expose and fully document the attempted cover-up initiated by Cuba and our own government in Washington, DC.

Was it a conspiracy or government ineptitude?  You decide - we have provided all of the data, documentation, references and information in the first ever book of its kind.

The Obama administration is already hinting at negotiations with Cuba. Betrayal: Clinton, Castro & The Cuban Five stands to remind Americans of our past mistakes in dealing with the Castro’s and brings to light many of the mistakes made by the Clinton administration in doing so.

With President-elect Obama’s current staffing, this subject stands to be one of the top five in his term.

Happy New Year and warm wishes from sunny South Florida!

Matt Lawrence & Thomas Van Hare, Authors

MattLawrenceBooks.com

  1. Follow up post #1 added on February 03, 2009 by abh with 244 total posts

    Interesting. 
    Just saw that Obama nominated New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg as Commerce Secretary.  I only mention this here because of the apparent role former nominee Richardson had in the Brothers to the Rescue fiasco.  I wonder how Gregg’s views vis a vis Cuba compare/contrast with Richardson’s.


  2. Follow up post #2 added on February 03, 2009 by grant frame

    Interesting I always thought the cubans had a man or women in the White House during the missile crisis from the news we received in Cuba.


  3. Follow up post #3 added on February 03, 2009 by abh

    Grant Frame:
    Care to explain?


  4. Follow up post #4 added on February 06, 2009 by Cubaking with 33 total posts

    Gentlemen, Odd how the CIA and the Cuban expatriate community always seem to be linked. “There is no credibility without balance” and I am afraid from reading what you provided that there is a decided lack of balance. This seems to be the perspective from the Brothers of The Rescue. Therefore, I would ask a few questions from an objective point of view:

    1)  Are you denying the fact that your organization was warned by various agencies not to enter Cuban airspace?

    2) Do you list how many times you (your organization) were warned not to enter Cuban airspace? Or what Cuban and US agencies warned you?

        I for one am always interested to hear both sides of a story as well as the international view. It seems though you are ignoring the fact it was Clinton who signed off on Helms Burton; if he was plotting why would he have? Congress did not have the votes unless he did. Now you seem to be against Obama and his appointees. However, might you be shooting yourselves in the foot just as the pro embargo Cubans did with Elian? It seems to me that just as with Elian Gonzales, public opinion will go against the pro embargo objectives. Furthermore, it seems that if you kick this sleeping dog you will awake those who are anti embargo (the majority of Americans) and draw attention to Cuba, thus speeding the process of lifting the entire travel restrictions (not just the restrictions for Cuban family).

        Personally, as I say I welcome a good debate. I hope you can explain how your planes entered Cuban airspace and dropped leaflets and explain the pictures of low flying planes over the Malecon. I often wonder if the US would permit planes registered in Russia to enter our airspace without permission and drop leaflets in Anchorage or if Taiwan entered Chinese airspace and dropped leaflets if the Chinese would be as patient. Would South Korea welcome planes from North Korea who just repeatedly dropped in? How about Israel popping over to drop anti Hamas leaflets in Syria? These are a few of the questions objective observers will ask, unless of course the book is balanced and answers these questions for us.
      Good luck with the book, and thanks for letting us know of its presence. You did not mention the publisher and the release date so we can pick one up, also please do add the IBSN when you get one, thanks.



    My Cuba books are found here Havana: My Kind of Town and Nature’s Ancient Religion

  5. Follow up post #5 added on February 06, 2009 by Cubaking with 33 total posts

    Just to follow up I would also like to know if you had an opinion on Guantanamo and how the US military occupation refused to leave the island unless Cuba ” rented it to them”  or your views on Luis Posada Carriles being harbored by the US or even Elian’s return to his father or your opinion of human rights abuses during the Batista years.. thanks.



    My Cuba books are found here Havana: My Kind of Town and Nature’s Ancient Religion

  6. Follow up post #6 added on February 08, 2009 by mattlawrencebooks with 1 total posts

    Thanks for your comments.  Please visit our website for more info.  http://www.mattlawrencebooks.com 

    As of today, the site opens with the actual recording of the Cuban MiG pilots conversation during the shoot down.  You can hear the missile tones as they locked on targets and the missile leaving the wing.  You can also hear the joy in the voices of the pilots as they celebrated murdering four civilians without warning.

    We wrote the book from a very balanced point of view using public record, court testimony and our personal knowledge of the organization.  Our research was conducted over a 13 year period, and we were careful to not inteject personal opinion.  We simply laid out the facts as they’ve been reported and testified to, and we did reference all our sources in the book.

    We cover all of your questions regarding the Brothers over flights, “the warnings” given, and the practice runs made by the Cuban Air Force.  We also reveal the Clinton administration’s double “policy” on Cuba at the time, the back door politics between Cuba and the U.S. and the meetings held in Cuba by retired DoD, diplomatic corps personnel and Governor Bill Richardson.

    The Betrayal of the Brothers organization was conducted on both sides of the straits and perpetuated by Cuban spies working the streets of Miami and in the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.

    In the end, the shooting down of civilian aircraft by the military of any nation is illegal by international law. 

    I’ll post the ISBN as soon as we have the first copy from the publisher, there will also be a link on our website to amazon.com

    Thanks again for your interest, and I personally hope you enjoy the read!

    Matt Lawrence



    Matt Lawrence, Author
    Betrayal: Clinton, Castro & The Cuban Five
    Dying To Get Here: A Story of Coming To America
    What To Do til The Cavalry Comes: A Family Guide to Preparedness in 21st Century America

  7. Follow up post #7 added on February 08, 2009 by Cubaking with 33 total posts

    Hey Matt, That’s good to know, perhaps it was just the Blog post that had a lack of balance. I will certainly give it a read. As always I am open to new information yet if you know the history of the US treatment of Cuba from the Spanish American War onward it is one of the most ugly chapters in our history. I am hoping that HR 878 changes all of this misguided policy and our countries can again be close. I do not know what is worse the CIA bombing Cuban airlines or the Cuban’s shooting down planes both are deplorable. Our our spies in Cuba worse than their spies here? Dunno but I wish there was a need for neither.
    When you do say “without warning” I assume you are writing of that particular flight, I have seen the documents warning the group not to enter Cuban airspace, and they certianly had a history of that. I have also seen photos of the organizations planes over the coastline… so I am inclined to believe this was not a lily white organization that was without a certain amount of blame itself.
      No civilian plane is allowed over our White House I remind you (nor military bases or a host of other locations). The policy of the US by the way is to shoot down ANY civilian plane deemed to have malintent.



    My Cuba books are found here Havana: My Kind of Town and Nature’s Ancient Religion

  8. Follow up post #8 added on February 09, 2009 by mattlawrencebooks

    The policy of the US by the way is to shoot down ANY civilian plane deemed to have malintent. (Cubaking)

    That’s not quite correct.  Certain buildings are protected but there is no cut and dry policy on civilian aircraft.  In 1996, when the shoot down occurred, (pre-9/11) the USA would not have even considered it.


  9. Follow up post #9 added on February 09, 2009 by Cubaking with 33 total posts

    Matt, now you are stretching it with a blanket statement that is pure speculation…..  You have no idea what they would have considered and what they would not have.

    Furthermore IF you want to get into it the Capital building in Havana is less than one mile from the Malecon. as for this ridiculous comment you made about the wind blowing the leaflets from outside Cuban airspace…. we are ALL on the floor laughing at that one…... AND the comment your planes were so high that they were outside Cuban airspace….. Dude are you trying to sell us on the concept that these prop planes were above the Kaman line (62.1 miles) LMAO…..The fact is there is no set height restriction that is universally recognized

    Now you want to discuss, the Teller Amendment? San Juan Hill and the US battle deaths? US excluding Cuba from the surrender ceremonies and Treaty of Paris? The theft of Guantanamo? The subsequent occupations of Cuba despite the Teller Amendment? Tomas Estrada Palma being paid by Washington? The puppet presidents and their death squads? Batista’s human rights record? His political executions? The 140PLUS documented attempts on Castro’s life by the CIA and USA? The Bay of Pigs? Orlando Borsch? Luis Posada Carriles? The suffering of the Cuban people? How the Fanjul’s, Lobo’s Pedros’os and Bacardi’s want their property back? The US dropping the sugar quota and how this led to the Soviets? The double standard of the US policy? The effect this policy has on ALL of Latin America and how it ruins other US - Latin American relationships?



    My Cuba books are found here Havana: My Kind of Town and Nature’s Ancient Religion

  10. Follow up post #10 added on February 09, 2009 by mattlawrencebooks

    as for this ridiculous comment you made about the wind blowing the leaflets from outside Cuban airspace…. we are ALL on the floor laughing at that one…...

    This has been documented.  It was done from a high altitude on the edge of a cold front.  As a matter of fact Juan Pablo Roque said it was done from just inside Cuban airspace (not over HVA) however the truth is, from altitude using upper level winds is how the distance was accomplished….... WE covered and explained how in the book.  You are welcome to your opinons, but this is not a debate forum for me. 

    We flew the mission & we’ve done the research.  Once you’ve read the book I’ll gladly respond to questions.  I’ll let you know a soon as the publisher gives me the date….it’s within weeks


  11. Follow up post #11 added on February 09, 2009 by Cubaking with 33 total posts

    Sure, let me reassert that the door has swung BOTH ways. Inside of Cuban territory is inside Cuban territory….. Ever hear of the US sending back Cuban’s as they were wading ashore? Wading is not dry land either. Clearly your organization based on the above comment was not blameless and provided provocation.
      My grandfather had an expression I used to hate while growing up. He used it right before I was punished when I was receiving the lecture that led to the punishment ” If you play…..you must be prepared to pay”
        Yep I am looking forward to reading the book.



    My Cuba books are found here Havana: My Kind of Town and Nature’s Ancient Religion

  12. Follow up post #12 added on February 09, 2009 by mattlawrencebooks

    ” If you play…..you must be prepared to pay”

    And the Cuban 5, Ana Belen Montes and the rest of the spies are doing just that.  Which is really what the book is about, Clinton, Castro and The Cuban Five.

    Enjoy the read.


  13. Follow up post #13 added on February 09, 2009 by Cubaking with 33 total posts

    Yep and Olando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles are yet another example and testament to the US double standard and hoodwinking of the American people. I repeat “be careful what you wish for” because just as Elian was returned to his father, eventually Americans force change when the finally find out the truth that has long been hidden from them. “The squeeky wheel gets the oil”



    My Cuba books are found here Havana: My Kind of Town and Nature’s Ancient Religion

  14. Follow up post #14 added on February 10, 2009 by mattlawrencebooks

    Cubaking, it’s apparant you are looking for a “debate” on issues my book has nothing to do with. 

    BETRAYAL: Clinton, Castro & The Cuban Five is about the shootdown of BTTR.  It covers the who, what, when, where, why and how these murders occurred.  It was researched using court transcripts, legal documents, print media and personal interviews with people who were there….on both sides of the straits. 

    It’s written by two guys who flew search and rescue missions, who never entered Cuban airspace, whose only intent was saving lives.  (neither of us are Cuban)  We were NEVER privy to, or part of ANY political agenda that you continually refer to….we saved lives….thousands of lives.

    From this point point forward I will ask you stick to the subject matter (BETRAYAL: Clinton, Castro & The Cuban Five) and refrain from even trying to prove to me how smart you are on U.S./Cuban relations….I have no public comment on the subject. 

    I have word the book is in “production” and will let you know when it is avialable, or if you wish, check my site in the next week or two as I will post a direct link to Barnes & Noble.com for purchase.  Gracias, que tengas un buen dia.


  15. Follow up post #15 added on February 10, 2009 by Cubaking with 33 total posts

    Sorry Matt, I thought you were here as a contributer to the community rather than just the book. In any case good luck on the book and I shall look for it ( yet not here on your blurb), Cheers.



    My Cuba books are found here Havana: My Kind of Town and Nature’s Ancient Religion

  16. Follow up post #16 added on February 10, 2009 by abh with 244 total posts

    “It’s written by two guys who flew search and rescue missions, who never entered Cuban airspace, whose only intent was saving lives.  (neither of us are Cuban)  We were NEVER privy to, or part of ANY political agenda that you continually refer to….we saved lives….thousands of lives.”

    ‘Never part of ANY political agenda?
    Saved lives?’

    I think its possibly these quotes that sparked the discussion, no?  I wouldnt mind an explanation of these two statements, but if not all good, I am also interested in the book.  Saludos.


  17. Follow up post #17 added on February 10, 2009 by mattlawrencebooks

    Right, I grew up in Florida.  I met kids at 6 years old who were brought to the USA on Freedom Flights.  I grew up with friends who were Cuban whose families were torn apart in 1959…and on.  When I had the opportunity to save live of balseros, I did so….

    NO political agenda on my part or my plane’s crew.  I was never privy to, nor did I ever sense any other agenda when we met up to begin our flight days.  I’m proud to say the plane I flew in saved/found over 500 balseros.  I’m proud to say Carlos Costa was my friend….

    Believe it or not, there are people in the world who wish to do good for others, regardless of race, religion or politics…  que tengas un buen dia.


  18. Follow up post #18 added on February 10, 2009 by abh with 244 total posts

    Respect for all and a passion to help those less fortunate, that is partly the mentality that drove me to Cuba in the first place.  I had studied a lot about the island so I was prepared for many of the contractions that I found.  You should be proud of your work to save peoples lives. 
    I question if Brothers to the Rescue had a political agenda.  Maybe if the right wing faction of the Cuban Exile crowd didnt push so hard for the inhuman Cuban Adjustment act and its accompanying measures, Cubans wouldnt set out for the high seas and put themselves in danger so much.  However, I’ve had friends who have taken the journey and I of course would do anything to save them.  I have to say I dont think its a good idea, though, and it should not be encouraged.  God knows I have tried to discourage as many as I can.
    Anyway, just thought I’d respond so you didnt think there was not another point of view out there that couldnt co-exist with yours.


  19. Follow up post #19 added on February 10, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    “Respect for all and a passion to help those less fortunate, that is partly the mentality that drove me to Cuba in the first place.”

    That is funny stuff grin

    I think you mean “Disrespect for all and a passion to oppress those less fortunate”.



    Cuba consulting services

  20. Follow up post #20 added on February 10, 2009 by abh with 244 total posts

    dude calm down i was saying that MY respect for all and a passion to help those less fortunate is the mentality that drove me to Cuba in the first place.  i was trying to depoliticize this conversation but i guess theres no such thing in us-cubaland wink


  21. Follow up post #21 added on February 10, 2009 by mattlawrencebooks

    Politics, not people, ARE the problem….thanks abh, I “felt” you and understood you perfectly.  You are correct-taking to the sea IS NOT the thing to do…I have memories of the empty rafts…and other horrific things I saw….

    The memories are what drove me to writing two books on the rafters.


  22. Follow up post #22 added on February 11, 2009 by SAR Pilot

    Some of us have seen empty rafts washing up on Florida’s beaches.  We’ve also met rafters who survived the journey and said they expected to die, but came anyway.  It was for economic reasons that they came but for “libertad.”

    “Libertad o muerte.”  For most who tried to row those 90 miles across open ocean, it was muerte.

    What kind of government do they have down there that brings people to take that sort of risk?  They’re not coming for economic reasons—not when maybe three out of four died trying to get here.


  23. Follow up post #23 added on February 12, 2009 by abh

    Economic reasons are definitely a major factor.
    The youth dont have jobs.
    When you dont have jobs and you sit around all day imagining how much better things would be in the US, its pretty tempting.
    I encourage you to visit Cuba some time, you might find some of your ideas challenged. 
    As US citizens, our #1 objective should be to end the inhuman embargo.  Let the Cubans decide what comes next.


  24. Follow up post #24 added on February 12, 2009 by MiamiCuban

    Every person I know who came by raft in 1995 readily admits he/she came for economic reasons.  As you may recall, this was Cuba’s “special period” after Communist Russia’s collapse, and times got so bad for everyone that, yes, many risked their lives at sea.  I’m not saying that no one leaves Cuba for political reasons—-only that the vast majority leaves for economic reasons.  This thought might be a blow to the right-wing faction of Cubans in Miami, but time will prove this to be true.


  25. Follow up post #25 added on February 12, 2009 by abh with 244 total posts

    Well put, Miami Cuban.  So true.  If history doesnt absolve Fidel, at least it will absolve some of us and the points we try to make.
    wink


  26. Follow up post #26 added on February 17, 2009 by Miamiman

    The two authors were heard on KTOK radio a couple of days back—it is available for download on podcast at:
    http://www.ktok.com/cc-common/podcast.html


  27. Follow up post #27 added on February 17, 2009 by Miamiman

    Also, to comment on these extraneous comments on whether they come for economic reasons or political reasons, that is not really important.  Many die getting to America and those who make it to dry land here are allowed to stay because the DEMOCRACY that is the United States has declared them to be political refugees - and that’s U.S. law.  Respect that or not, that’s your choice in a free country like the USA.

    To me, personally, the fact that the Cuban MiGs came out and shot down the Brothers to the Rescue airplanes is despicable.  It is a CRIME - what they did is murder, plain and simple.  If you don’t see that, you’ve drank the Kuban Kool-Aid, bucko.  The U.S. judicial system has ruled on the matter and that’s fact, or what is more accurately called a “Finding of Fact in a Court of Law”.


  28. Follow up post #28 added on February 17, 2009 by abh with 244 total posts

    Yeah but the Cuban Adjustment Laws and all that are basically tools of the Miami right wing exile crowd to destabilize Cuba.  It is clear that they want to make the Cuban people so hungry and pissed off that they overthrow the government. 

    Do you think this is a good idea?

    This crowd has had it’s time in the sun and they have not been able to achieve their goals.  The earlier they can see this and move on, the better for us all.

    Also, I honestly find it hard to believe that people think its a good idea to fly over a foreign country and drop leaflets.  I mean, seriously, what are you thinking?

    Belligerent old ideologues in Havana, belligerent old ideologues in Miami, now at least we dont have to deal with the same mentality in Washington…I hope.  Obama: que dios le bendiga.


  29. Follow up post #29 added on February 18, 2009 by Miamiman

    Dude, you taking direction from Cuban Intelligence or what?  Gee, it looks like your posting strategy is something like:  “let’s get everyone off topic so that they lose sight of what the discussion is really about….”

    To remind everyone, the story is about the SHOOTDOWN and MURDER of AMERICAN CITIZENS.

    It is not about immigration, the right wing in Miami, or anything else.  I ordered a copy of the book and I will read it—will you?  It is available already on Amazon.com—they even have a link to it from the authors website:

        http://www.mattalawrencebooks.com

    For my part, I recall the Brothers to the Rescue group’s philosophies well—they called for NON-VIOLENT RESISTANCE, a sort of MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. strategy for bringing change and democracy to Cuba, not violence or terrorist actions.

    But what’s wrong with that?  A lot, if you’re Fidel Castro or on that side of the fence.  Dr. King’s approach to bringing about political change turned out to be quite dangerous.

    And MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.‘s philosophies haven’t yet had their chance in Cuba.

    It nearly happened—remember the CONSILIO CUBANO?  They got crushed by Castro on the same day as the Brothers to the Rescue shootdown—that action was clearly linked to the shootdown itself.  I read the newspapers back in 1996—didn’t you?

    Certainly it was dangerous enough to warrant issuing an order to murder American citizens and eliminate the threat.

    Ok, I’m over the top.  Sorry about that—you’re not a Cuban agent (probably) but you certainly sound like one.  Nonetheless, you are performing to a tee like an “agent of influence” for Cuba’s regime.  Whether you do that willingly and knowingly, I don’t know.  You seem to be doing the bidding of a foreign government hostile to the United States of America—read your own words and look into your heart.  Is this the life you want?  Are those your goals?

    The Brothers were inspiring change in Cuba through non-violent means, that’s why they were targeted and killed.

    That’s what the book is about—their murder and the cover up that came afterwards.


  30. Follow up post #30 added on February 18, 2009 by Cubaking with 33 total posts

    ROFL Miami man, To compare the Brothers operation to Martin Luthor King is even more ridiculous than former Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois saying he was persecuted as Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were….. By the way your link does not work….

            Again I remind you that the mighty USA does not permit (and never has) flights over the capital or White House this is not something that changed after 9-11 it is something that was strengthened after 9-11. Your boys buzzing the Malecon and dropping leaflets less than one mile from the Cuban capital building were warned by the US government (various agencies) they choose to ignore the warnings.

    Here are a few fact from Wikipedia that dispute your claims…

    “The Cuban government on the other hand accuses them of involvement in terrorist acts.[2][3] In the course of many flights throughout the early 1990s, the group’s planes made repeated incursions into Cuban territory. While these were widely considered airspace violations, Brothers to the Rescue believes that these were acts of legitimate resistance against the government. In 1996, ignoring a final warning by Cuba, two Brothers to the Rescue planes were shot down by the Cuban Air Force, leading to international condemnation.”

    “The incident was investigated in detail by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The report concluded that the authorities in Cuba had notified the authorities in the United States of multiple violations of their airspace since May 1994.[5] In at least one case (13 July 1995), the pilot had released leaflets over Havana. The United States authorities had issued public statements advising of the potential consequences of unauthorized entry into Cuban airspace and had initiated legal actions against the above-mentioned pilot, which proved to be groundless” ( In other words the case was dropped after the incident)....

    “It is disputed whether the planes were over Cuban territorial airspace at the time of the shootdown, but it is undisputed that at least one of their planes actually entered Cuban airspace prior to the shootdown.[5] Finding US and Cuban radar-based data on the location in mutual contradiction (see image), the ICAO used the known positions of the cruise liner Majesty of the Seas and fishing boat Tri-Liner to locate the incidents at 10 to 11 miles (18 to 20 km) outside Cuba’s 12-mile limit. That is two to three miles (4 to 6 km) from where the U.S. radar tracks put them, and roughly 16 to 17 miles (30 to 32 km) from where the Cuban government claimed that the planes went down. Five years later, testimony from a retired US colonel supported Cuba’s claim that both Brothers aircraft, along with a third flown by Brothers founder and pilot José Basulto, were only four to five miles off the Cuban coast.[12]”

    My heart is clear and murder is hardly adjective most use ( unless of course you thought Elian should stay in the US….)



    My Cuba books are found here Havana: My Kind of Town and Nature’s Ancient Religion

  31. Follow up post #31 added on February 18, 2009 by Miamiman

    Wow, you really are off topic.  But I will add that just the other day, I flew right over Washington, DC, looked down the Mall and everything.  So wow, you guys are so full of it that you believe your own lies.

    Go ahead—try it yourself, you can buy a ticket on Spirit Airlines.  For only $9 each way you can fly right over Washington.  Bring along a shoebox full of leaflets, after landing, you can hand them out in the park across the street from the White House.  Nobody is going to arrest you.  Freedom is really, really cool.

    And yes, the corrected link is:  http://www.mattlawrencebooks.com/

    Thanks for pointing that out—people have a right to read this book and not waste time with your pro-Fidel, pro-Raul, socialism is a paradise stuff and the US is to blame statements.

    The bottom line is that you still don’t get it.  Americans don’t care about Cuba.  Cuban policy isn’t a foreign policy—it is a domestic policy.  Nobody in Washington cares about Cuba, Havana, Fidel or Raul—they are not relevant to almost anything that is happening in the world today.  Wake up and smell the coffee, and it isn’t Cuban coffee.

    But you forgot one thing:  Americans don’t like it when Cuba kills American citizens.

    You guys are apologists for that and you fall into the blame America first crowd.  For that, then I guess you are what Fidel once called, “useful idiots”.

    This book is interesting in that it is quite apparently well-researched.  It doesn’t look political either, just a detailed revelation of what really happened out there on that awful day when Cuban MiGs murdered Americans.


  32. Follow up post #32 added on February 18, 2009 by Miamiman

    Well, I took the time to go see what’s actually on Wikipedia, which reads as follows:

    “According to the ICAO report, the Cuban Air Force shot down the first plane while all three planes were north of the 12 mile limit of Cuban airspace. Afterwards, Basulto trespassed into Cuban airspace, still heading east, for less than 45 seconds. The second plane was then shot down, approximately ten miles farther north. Thus, it is beyond question that one plane, Basulto’s N2506, entered Cuban airspace that day, albeit very briefly and apparently by accident in the confusion of the events, having spotted the MiG fighters.”

    So I looked up the actual ICAO report itself.  Here is the link, which took a few tries to get to work, but eventually I got it:
    http://www.icao.int/icao/en/nr/1996/pio199606_c.pdf

    What I found was particularly damning of Cuba’s actions.  The report makes clear the following:

    3.18   Means other than interception were available to Cuba, such as radio communication, but had not been utilized. This conflicted with the ICAO principle that interception of civil aircraft should be undertaken only as a last resort.

    3.19   During the interceptions, no attempt was made to direct N2456S and N5485S beyond the boundaries of national airspace, guide them away from a prohibited, restricted or danger area or instruct them to effect a landing at a designated aerodrome.

    3.20   In executing the interception, the standard procedures for maneuvering and signals by the military interceptor aircraft, in accordance with ICAO provisions and as published in AIP Cuba, were not followed.

    So, my friends the apologists for Cuba’s behavior here—in other words, Cuba came out and murdered Americans.  There were no warning shots, no orders to land, nothing.  That’s horrific.

    How can you defend Cuba’s murder of Americans?  How can you even try to keep a straight face and mislead people that somehow any of those people deserved to die - for what?  Dropping leaflets?  Overflying Havana twice over the course of six years and over thousands of search and rescue missions flown?  There was no trial, no hearing, nothing - nada, bro.  That’s what’s called “extrajudicial action”, which is a code word for murder.

    So don’t lie to people - the ICAO report ABSOLUTELY LAMBASTS CUBA for its illegal actions in shooting down those planes and murdering Americans.

    Take the time, read it.  You might learn something.

    All of this is no doubt in the book.  So go buy a copy—read that too.  Then come back with a better script, one not written in Havana.


  33. Follow up post #33 added on February 18, 2009 by abh with 244 total posts

    Miami,
    You definitely aren’t getting the point.
    Just re-read my post if you want, if not, bendiciones.


  34. Follow up post #34 added on February 18, 2009 by Miamiman

    I think we’re all getting your point.  You think they deserved to die.  That’s what you write, if in code.

    For instance, you wrote:
    > Your boys buzzing the Malecon and dropping leaflets less than one mile
    > from the Cuban capital building were warned by the US government
    > (various agencies) they choose to ignore the warnings.

    When are they my “boys”?  And so what—so they knew there was a risk.  But what does that really mean?  How many lives did these guys save before they were MURDERED?  Does anyone know?  It has to be in the thousands.  You seem to want to put them in the same category with terrorists—but does saving lives make you a terrorist?

    I’m awaiting my copy of this book and will be very interested to read just what it has to say.  Looks like there is some interesting new information in it, which is apparently documented.

    I’m still wondering, in light of ICAO’s report, why Castro didn’t simply order that the Cuban Air Force try to intercept those planes and order them to land in Havana—that’s accepted international practice.  If they had done that, then they could have had a show trial and everything!  But they didn’t even try.

    No, the Cubans didn’t want that apparently—they came out with one goal in mind, to murder those guys.

    So the real question, abh, is how can you sleep at night knowing that you’re standing with murderers, that you support the murder of American citizens?


  35. Follow up post #35 added on February 18, 2009 by Miamiman

    Maybe I should have sent that last to this guy, Cubaking (or is that “C U Baking”, no doubt cooking the truth).


  36. Follow up post #36 added on February 18, 2009 by abh with 244 total posts

    Bro you’re confusing my comments with those of someone else I believe.


  37. Follow up post #37 added on February 18, 2009 by pipefitter

    Take a look at these interesting documents released from the National Security Archives (U.S.) in January/09 http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB269/index.htm, between Cuba and theU.S.


  38. Follow up post #38 added on February 19, 2009 by mattlawrencebooks

    Here’s the link to the book on Amazon.  Enjoy the read!http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=1440118019/historicwingscomA/


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