Newly Released Documents Show Cuban Exile Warned CIA of Plot to Bomb Airliner in 1976

Luis Posada Carriles told the CIA that Cuban exiles opposed to Fidel Castro's communist government were plotting to bring down a commercial jet.


"Posada concerned that Bosch will blame Posada for leak of plans," the report says. Andres Allende was not assassinated, and it is unclear whether the Cuban exiles ever made an attempt on his life.

Then, four months later, Posada came back to tell of a sinister plot to blow up an airliner.

On June 22, 1976, "Posada again contacts (deleted by censor) reptd info concerning possible exile plans to blow up Cubana Airliner leaving Panama and requested visa assistacne," read the document, filled with typographical errors.

Shortly after, a bomb aboard a Cubana Airlines plane leaving Panama failed to detonate, and the following month, a bomb in a suitcase exploded before being loaded onto a Cubana plane leaving Jamaica, according to a confidential State Department memo previously posted by the National Security Archive.

The day after the Cubana Airlines flight was bombed near Barbados, the CIA tried unsuccessfully to contact Posada, according to the annotated list. Five days later, Posada was arrested in Venezuela. He denied involvement in the bombing and escaped from prison in 1985 before a civilian trial was completed.

Allegations that he masterminded mass murder did not keep U.S. covert operatives from hiring Posada again. Within months, he was delivering weapons to Nicaraguan Contra rebels in an illegal Reagan administration operation. Posada also acknowledged, and then denied, a role in Havana hotel bombings in 1997 that killed a tourist.

And in 2000, Posada was arrested for allegedly plotting to assassinate Castro during a summit in Panama. He was pardoned in 2004 by then Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso.

Posada was detained in Florida in May 2005 for entering the United States illegally. A U.S. immigration judge has ruled that he cannot be sent to Cuba or Venezuela, citing fears that he would be tortured.

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On the Net:

National Security Archive: http://www.gwu.edu/nsarchiv/


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