Remembering Cubana de Aviacion Flight 455 (October 6 1976)

 “The CIA created and unleashed a Frankenstein.”

Peter Kornbluh — Head of the National Security Archive’s Cuba project

“Luis Posada Carriles  died without having paid for this crime nor the many other terrorist acts that are a feature of his criminal record.”

Cuban government website Cubadebate — May 23 2018

“A15 — CIA code name for Posada — is not a typical kind of ‘boom and bang’ individual. He is acutely aware of the international implications of ill-planned or overly enthusiastic activities against Cuba.”

Former CIA handler Grover Lythcott

“Our confidential source ascertained (…) that the bombing of the Cubana Airlines DC-8 was planned, in part, in Caracas, Venezuela, at two meetings attended by Morales Navarrete, Luis Posada Carriles and Frank Castro.”

“A confidential source all but admitted that Posada and [Orlando] Bosch had engineered the bombing of the airline.”

FBI Declassified reports

Luis Clemente Faustino Posada Carriles (born February 15, 1928) — nicknamed Bambi — is a Cuban exile militant and former Central Intelligence Agency agent. Carriles is considered a terrorist by the Government of Cuba, among others; he is widely considered responsible for the bombing of Cubana flight 455, which killed 73 people.He was a long-time member of the Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations described by the FBI as “an anti-Castro terrorist umbrella organization”.

Cubana de Aviación Flight 455 was a Cuban flight from Barbados to Jamaica that was brought down on 6 October 1976 by a terrorist bomb attack. All 73 people on board the Douglas DC-8 aircraft were killed.

Several CIA-linked anti-Castro Cuban exiles and members of the Venezuelan secret police DISIP were implicated by the evidence. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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October 6 1976 — Cubana de Aviacion Flight 455

Cubana de Aviación Flight 455 was a Cuban flight from Barbados to Jamaica that was brought down on 6 October 1976 by a terrorist bomb attack.

All 73 people on board the Douglas DC-8 aircraft were killed. Two time bombs were used, whose explosives have been variously described as dynamite or C-4.

Several CIA-linked anti-Castro Cuban exiles and members of the Venezuelan secret police DISIP were implicated by the evidence. Political complications quickly arose when Cuba accused the US government of being an accomplice to the attack. CIA documents released in 2005 indicate that the agency “had concrete advance intelligence, as early as June 1976, on plans by Cuban exile terrorist groups to bomb a Cubana airliner.”

Former CIA terrorist operative Luis Posada Carriles denies involvement but provides many details of the incident in his book Caminos del Guerrero (Ways of the Warrior). The Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations, of which Carriles was a member, is widely seen as responsible for the bombing.

Four men were arrested in connection with the bombing, and a trial was held in Venezuela. Freddy Lugo and Hernán Ricardo Lozano were each sentenced to 20-year prison terms. Orlando Bosch was acquitted and later moved to Miami, Florida, where he lived until his death on April 27, 2011.

Luis Posada Carriles was held for eight years while awaiting a final sentence but eventually fled. He later entered the United States, where he was held on charges of entering the country illegally, but was released on April 19, 2007. [Wikipedia]

RECENT DEVELOPMENT

October 2015 — A declassified document from the US State Department, dated 1976, points to Luis Posada Carriles as the main suspect.

The memorandum, sent by two high-ranked officials to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, analyzes the accusations made by the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, about the possible involvement of Washington in the tearing down of the aircraft

The report, which was brought to light in 2014 confirmed Castro’s concerns about the links between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with extremist groups of Cuban exiles in southern Florida.

According to the memorandum, the CIA was linked to three of the people “allegedly” involved in the downing of a Cuban airliner.

The memorandum concludes that “any role those persons may have had in the demolition took place without any knowledge of the agency.” [National Security Archive]

RELATED POST: Former CIA Director John McLaughlin Tells a Whopper: “We don’t blow up civilian airliners…”

UPDATE (May 23 2018) — Luis Posada Carriles was one of the most hated figures in Cuba for his alleged role in the bombing Flight 455.

“Born in Cuba in 1928, he fled the island after the 1959 communist revolution which brought Fidel Castro to power.

After serving in the US army, he was recruited by the CIA in 1965 and is reported to have worked for the agency until 1976.

His lawyer said Mr Posada Carriles died at “a government home for veterans” in Miramar, Florida, after developing throat cancer.”  [BBC]

Peter Kornbluh — the head of the independent National Security Archive’s Cuba project that fought years to declassify documents relating to Posada — viewed him as an unrepentant terrorist:

“The CIA created and unleashed a Frankenstein.”

The bombing of a Cuban airliner 455 was the deadliest in-flight explosion until the 1988 Pan Am flight bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.

END of UPDATE

Peter Kornbluh on Acquittal of Luis Posada Carriles

REFERENCES

LUIS POSADA CARRILES: THE DECLASSIFIED RECORD — National Security Archive

Luis Posada Carriles: Cuba anti-communist activist dies — BBC

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Suspicious Aviation Tragedies — October 6 1976 : Cubana de Aviacion Flight 455

Suspicious Aviation Tragedies — October 6 1976 : Cubana de Aviacion Flight 455 [UPDATE : Luis Posada Carriles is Dead (February 15, 1928 – May 23, 2018)]

Remembering Cubana de Aviacion Flight 455  (October 6 1976)

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