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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
01HAVANA4690
2001-12-14 13:43:00
UNCLASSIFIED
US Interests Section Havana
Cable title:  

CUBA: 2001 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

Tags:   PTER  CU 
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R 141343Z DEC 01
FM USINT HAVANA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9600
						
					
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HAVANA 004690 S/CT FOR REAP E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PTER CU SUBJECT: CUBA: 2001 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT REF: A)STATE 198912 B)HAVANA 3721 C)HAVANA 3817 D)HAVANA 4110 E)HAVANA 4186 RESPONSES ARE KEYED TO REF A, BEGINNING WITH THE QUESTION IN PARAGRAPH C. C) POST IS NOT AWARE OF ANY JUDICIAL RESPONSE IN THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM AFTER THE TERRORIST ACTS OF 9/11. ON DOMESTIC TERRORISM ISSUES, THREE GUATEMALANS ACCUSED OF PLANNING A BOMBING CAMPAIGN TO DESTABILIZE THE CASTRO GOVERNMENT WERE FINALLY BROUGHT TO TRIAL AND SENTENCED IN NOVEMBER. THEY HAD BEEN IN DETENTION SINCE 1998. SPECULATION IS THAT CUBA DECIDED TO TRY THE THREE IN THE WAKE OF THE 9/11 ATTACKS TO DEMONSTRATE HOW CUBA HAS ALSO BEEN A VICTIM OF TERRORISM. D) IN 2001, THE GOC DID NOT REQUEST THE EXTRADITION TO CUBA OF ANY SUSPECTED TERRORISTS, NOR THE USG REQUESTED THE EXTRADITION OF ANY SUSPECTED TERRORISTS FROM CUBA FOR PROSECUTION IN THE U.S. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE U.S.-CUBA EXTRADITION TREATY WAS SUSPENDED FOLLOWING THE BREAK IN DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS IN 1961. HOWEVER, DURING A CONVERSATION WITH GOC OFFICIALS FOLLOWING 9/11 WHEN GOC COOPERATION WAS SOUGHT, PO SUGGESTED THAT CUBA RELEASE INTO U.S. CUSTODY FUGITIVES FROM JUSTICE RESIDENT IN CUBA. E) CUBAN AFFINITY WITH AND SYMPATHY FOR COUNTRIES, GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO PURPORT TO ADVOCATE INTERESTS ANTITHETICAL TO THE UNITED STATES COULD IMPEDE CUBAN GOVERNMENT PROSECUTION OF TERRORISTS, AND EXTRADITION COULD BE IMPEDED BY THE LACK OF A FUNCTIONING EXTRADITION TREATY. NEVERTHELESS, USINT IS AWARE OF NO INSTANCE IN 2001 IN WHICH THIS OCCURRED. F) PUBLIC STATEMENTS FROM THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT IN RESPONSE TO 9/11 BEGAN WITH AN INITIAL MESSAGE OF SYMPATHY AND STEADILY DETERIORATED. (REF C) HOWEVER, EVEN IN THE FIRST MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCE, THE NOTION THAT CUBA HAS BEEN A VICTIM OF TERRORIST ATTACKS PERPETRATED BY INDIVIDUALS RESIDING IN THE UNITED STATES WAS UNDERSCORED. THE GOC HELD A MASSIVE DEMONSTRATION IN LATE SEPTEMBER PROTESTING THE 1976 DOWNING OF A CUBANA AIRLINER BY ALLEGED TERRORISTS ORLANDO BOSCH AND LUIS POSADA CARRILES, AT WHICH CASTRO UNVEILED HIS NEW MANTRA, "NO TO TERRORISM, NO TO WAR." (REF B) THIS WAS FOLLOWED BY TWO MONTHS OF HIGHLY CRITICAL MEDIA REPORTING ON THE `MURDEROUS' WAR WAGED BY THE U.S. ON AFGHAN CHILDREN. (REF D) GOC OFFICIALS PRIVATELY MADE MINIMAL EFFORTS TO COOPERATE WITH POST EFFORTS TO COLLECT INFORMATION ON THE ATTACKS, ALTHOUGH GOC OFFICIALS, INCLUDING THE FOREIGN MINISTER, REPORTED PUBLICLY THAT THEY HAD COOPERATED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT POSSIBLE. (REF E) G) THE GOC PARROTED ITS THEME "NO TO TERRORISM, NO TO WAR" AT BOTH THE UNGA AND THE IBERO-AMERICAN SUMMIT. CUBA SIGNED THE IBERO-AMERICAN DECLARATION ON TERRORISM AT THIS YEAR'S IBERO-AMERICAN SUMMIT - A DEPARTURE FROM ITS ATTITUDE DURING THE PREVIOUS SUMMIT, WHEN IT REFUSED TO SIGN A SIMILAR DECLARATION BECAUSE IT DID NOT INCLUDE SPECIFIC LANGUAGE CENSURING TERRORISM AGAINST CUBA. CUBA HAS SIGNED AND RATIFIED ALL 12 INTERNATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CONVENTIONS. H) CUBA PERMITS UP TO 20 MEMBERS OF ETA TO RESIDE IN CUBA, AND PROVIDES SOME DEGREE OF SAFEHAVEN AND SUPPORT TO MEMBERS OF THE COLOMBIAN TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS FARC AND ELN. THE GOVERNMENT OF COLOMBIA IS AWARE OF THIS ARRANGEMENT AND, TO POST'S KNOWLEDGE, DOES NOT OBJECT. A GOC SPOKESPERSON REVEALED IN AUGUST THAT SINN FEIN'S OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR CUBA AND LATIN AMERICA, NIALL CONNOLLY, WHO WAS ARRESTED IN COLOMBIA UNDER SUSPICION OF TRAINING COLOMBIAN REBELS IN THE USE OF EXPLOSIVES, WAS BASED IN HAVANA FOR FIVE YEARS. I) CUBAN PRESIDENT CASTRO AND VISITED IRAN, SYRIA AND LIBYA IN MAY 2001. CASTRO WAS QUOTED AS SAYING "IRAN AND CUBA, IN COOPERATION WITH EACH OTHER CAN BRING AMERICA TO ITS KNEES. THE U.S. REGIME IS VERY WEAK, AND WE ARE WITNESSING THIS WEAKNESS FROM CLOSE UP." J) THERE HAS BEEN NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT'S ATTITUDE TOWARD INTERNATIONAL OR DOMESTIC TERRORISM IN 2001, OTHER THAN POST 9/11 COMMENTS NOTED ABOVE. K) THERE HAS BEEN MINIMAL COOPERATION FOLLOWING THE EVENTS OF 9/11, ALTHOUGH THE GOC AGREED TO INCREASE SECURITY AROUND USINT. THEY BY PROVIDED INFORMATION FOLLOWING 9/11, BUT IT PROVED TO BE NOTHING OF VALUE. L) SHORT OF POST 9/11 COMMUNICATIONS REPORTED IN REFTELS, POST IS NOT AWARE OF ANY U.S. REQUESTS FOR COOPERATION FROM THE GOC DURING THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS IN THE INVESTIGATION OR PROSECUTION OF AN ACT OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AGAINST U.S. CITIZENS OR INTERESTS. M) AS THERE HAVE BEEN NO U.S. REQUESTS FOR COOPERATION FROM THE GOC IN THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS, POST HAS NO INFORMATION THAT WOULD BE RELEVANT TO THIS SUB-SECTION. NIGRO