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[REF:  binder part 7 ]

U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington D.C. 20535

October 29, 1993


            Omega 7, a violent Miami, Florida-based anti-Castro Cuban terrorist group, was formed on September 11, 1974, by Eduardo Arocena.  The name Omega 7 comes from the fact that there were seven original members from different anti-Castro Cuban factions.  The number of individuals actively participating in this group was believed to be less than 20 members.  However, Omega 7 was condoned and supported by the Cuban Nationalist Movement (CNM), whose membership and resources were considerably larger.  The CNM, a violent anti-Castro Cuban exile group, was founded in 1960.  However, pressure on the CNM as a result of the September 21, 1976, car-bomb assassination of the former Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier, and the arrest of Armando Santana, its leader in the late 1970s, essentially destroyed the group.

            The main areas of operation for the Omega 7 were the New York, New Jersey, and Miami, Florida, areas.  Its primary targets were representatives of the Cuban Government or any individual, organization, facility, or business that dealt with or supported in any way, the communist government of Fidel Castro.  The majority of Omega 7 attacks were bombings, shootings, and assassinations.  Its terrorist attacks were usually well-planned and flawlessly executed.  Many of the Omega 7 members were veterans of the Bay of Pigs invasion who were trained in demolition, intelligence, and commando techniques.  Their expertise, combined with the financial resources available to them through the exiled Cuban community, gave the Omega 7 an almost unlimited potential for terrorist activity.

            In 1983, Arocena was arrested and prosecuted on 42 counts of violating Federal statutes pertaining to conspiracy, explosives, firearms, destruction of foreign government property within the United States, and destruction of property in interstate and  foreign commerce.  Several Omega 7 members were prosecuted during 1984, for refusing to testify before a Federal Grand Jury.  During 1986, three of its members pled guilty to conspiracy to destroy property of a foreign government.  There have been no Omega 7 attacks since 1983.


            Omega 7 developed out of the Cuban anti-Castro community in Newark, New Jersey.  Like potential future violent anti-Castro groups, Omega 7 was composed of militant members of established organizations who wanted immediate action against the Government of Cuba.  During late 1974, Eduardo Arocena, founder and leader of the group, recruited members of the Movimiento Insurreccional Martiano (MIM) to form the nucleus of Omega 7.  The MIM, which is named after the 19th Century Cuban writer-politician Jose Marti, was organized after a split occurred within the anti-Castro group Insurrectional Movement for Revolutionary Recovery (MIRR) during the late 1960s.  Arocena also began to contact members of the Cuban Nationalist Movement (CNM).  The cnm had been active in the United States since 1959 and had conducted several bombings and terrorist attacks during the 1960s.  For instance, in 1964, Guillermo and Ignacio Novo, members of the CNM, fired a bazooka at the United Nations building while hero of the Cuban revolution, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, was delivering a speech.  The shop fell short of the United Nations, landing in the East River almost hitting a freighter.

            After Omega 7 was formed, it remained independent of both the CNM and MIM, although individuals from the three different groups continued to associate with each other.  According to Arocena, Guillermo Novo, leader of the CNM during the mid-1970s, knew that Arocena and others were members of Omega 7; however, in an effort to confuse law enforcement authorities, the CNM claimed that it was Omega 7.  These coordinated deception efforts were effective.  From 1975 until early 1981, it was generally believed that the CNM was Omega 7.  It wasn't until  after investigations linked the CNM to the September, 1976, car bombing which killed former Chilean Ambassador to the United States Orlando Letelier and his associate Ronni Moffet that it was determined that Omega 7 and the CNM were separated organizations.  Pressure on the CNM as a result of the Letelier investigation and the arrest of Armando Santana, its leader in the late 1970s essentially destroyed the group.  Currently, Virgilio Paz and Dionisio Suarez, CNM members who were also known to be associated with Omega 7, remain FBI fugitives for their roles in the Letelier assassination.


            During December, 1980, shortly after a bombing at the Cuban consulate in Montreal, Canada, Pedro Remon and Ramon Sanchez were stopped by U.S. immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) officials when they attempted to run the border back into the United States.  Their identities were determined and they were released by INS.  The information obtained by INS was forwarded to the FBI and the Omega 7 investigation began to focus on their activities and those of their associates Eduardo Arocena, Andres Garcia and Eduardo Fernandez Losada.  All these suspects were from the Newark, New Jersey area with the exception of Sanchez, who was known as a staunch anti-Castro activist from Miami, Florida, who had a previously proven propensity for violence.

            Investigation into Pedro Remon's background indicated that he was in frequent telephonic contact with Eduardo Arocena, with many of the telephone calls occurring around the times of Omega 7 crimes.  Moreover, record checks and interviews at car rental agencies disclosed that Arocena and Remon had rented cars at Newark International Airport shortly before several Omega 7 crimes.  Comparison with New York City Police Department records revealed that one of Arocena's rental cars received a parking ticket across the street from the Cuban Mission to the United Nations (CMUN) in New York on the day Omega 7 assassinated Cuban diplomat Felix Garcia Rodriguez.  Subpoenaed records turned up a copy of Arocena's canceled check paying the parking ticket.

            FBI investigation into the activities of the suspects led to grand jury proceedings in the Southern District of New York.  On September 2, 1982, Arocena and other suspected Omega 7 members were subpoenaed to appear and testify before the grand jury.  All the suspects except Arocena asserted their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.  Arocena, although advised of his status as a subject in the investigation, testified and insisted that he had no connection to Omega 7, that he had no idea how Omega 7 raised funds, and that he knew nothing about Omega 7 other than what he read in the newspaper.

            Following his grand jury appearance, Arocena gave fingerprints and handwriting exemplars.  While doing this, he was urged to cooperate with the government.  Arocena said he would think about it and, after several additional contacts, agreed to meet on September 24, 1982.  After some initial discussion in which Arocena claimed that he "represented Omar," the leader of Omega 7, Arocena finally admitted he was Omar.

            While cooperating, Arocena provided the first solid insights into Omega 7 and details on the numerous bombings and two murders committed by the group.  After cooperating for 5 days, and traveling from New York to Miami, Florida in an attempt to locate over 600 pounds of explosives to which Pedro Remon allegedly had access Arocena failed to attend several scheduled meetings with the FBI.  On October 1, 1982, Arocena telephoned Agents and said that he had gone into hiding.  He remained a fugitive until his arrest in Miami on July 22, 1983.

             OMEGA 7 ACTIONS

            The two murders committed by Omega 7 were the assassinations of Eulalio Jose Negrin, a pro-Castro Cuban activist in Union City, New  Jersey and Felix Garcia Rodriguez, a Cuban diplomat assigned to the CMUN.  Arocena, while cooperating, identified Pedro Remon as the trigger man in both of the assassinations.  Negrin, who was shot in front of his son on November 25, 1979, was killed because of his pro-Castro activities.  Garcia, killed on September 11, 1980, the sixth anniversary of the founding of Omega 7, was shot with the same weapons as Negrin, a MAC 10 machine gun.  He was assassinated because he was a Cuban official and represented a target of opportunity.  Arocena had originally planned to have four Cuban officials killed on September 11, 1980, however this plan was aborted when Omega 7 members following the Cuban officials lost them in heavy traffic.

            Arocena, while cooperating, also provided information on the Omega 7 attempts to assassinate Raul Roa-Kouri, Cuban ambassador to the United Nations, and Ramon Sanchez Parodi, Chief, Cuban Interests Section (CUBIS), Washington, D.C., during 1980.  The Roa-Kouri attempt was conducted on March 25, 1980 when Pedro Remon placed a bomb with a radio controlled firing system on the gas tank of Roa Kouri's car.  The firing system for this bomb had originally been assembled for use in a bomb intended to assassinate Fidel Castro in October, 1979 when he attended a session of the United Nations.  However, this attempt was aborted because Arocena was not able to have the bomb placed close enough to Castro.  Arocena subsequently disassembled the bomb and retained it for future use.

            In the Roa-Kouri assassination attempt, the bomb, with the same radio controlled firing system used in the aborted attempt on Castro, was attached to the gas tank of the car by magnets; however, it fell off and was discovered after the chauffeur accidentally backed into another vehicle while parking.  Arocena, who had the responsibility of detonating the bomb by remote control, called off the attack after the bomb fell off the car because of a large number of school children in the area.

            The assassination attempt on Sanchez Parodi was to be conducted during late September, 1980 but was cancelled after Remon and Eduardo Losada Fernandez were arrested in Belleville, New Jersey on September 24, 1982, while attempting to steal a car.  Remon and Losada were going to use the stolen car to drive to Washington, D.C. to bomb CUBIS in an attempt to kill Sanchez Parodi.

            In addition to providing information on the assassinations and attempted assassinations, Arocena provided the FBI with details on how he constructed bombs used in most of the Omega 7 operations and information on a split in the organization which occurred during late 1980.  Arocena stated that he personally constructed most of the explosive devices used by Omega 7.  The bombs usually consisted of either Gelodyne, dynamite or military C-4 and were constructed using detonating cord as a booster.  Arocena, who received his training in explosives from Cuba exiles who had been trained by the CIA, would prime the detonation cord with the blasting cap, knot the detonation cord on the other end and place the knot into the main explosive charge.  This was done because some commercial blasting caps are not powerful enough to detonate certain types of explosives, especially C-4.  (Appendix 2 contains a list of Omega 7 actions.)

            While cooperating with the FBI, Arocena acknowledged that early 1981 an ideological split took place in Omega 7.  According to Arocena, Omega 7 members Pedro Remon, Eduardo Ochoa, Ramon Sanchez, Alberto Perez and Jose Gracia, Jr. were aligning themselves with the philosophy of Huber Matos (supra) and his group CID.  Arocena considered Matos an opportunist with socialist and communist tendencies.  He did not want Omega 7 members associated with his philosophy or organization; consequently, a split took place.

            In addition to philosophical differences within Omega 7, it appears that in late 1980, Pedro Remon and Ramon Sanchez may have been attempting to take control of the group from Arocena.  The fight for control of Omega 7 and the philosophical differences between Arocena and Remon led to a permanent split in early 1981.  Arocena, and Remon led to a permanent split in early 1981.  Arocena, who had moved to Miami, Florida in the fall of 1980, completely ended his relationship with Remon and the other Omega 7 members and began recruiting new members for the group in Miami.  Some of these new recruits were Ernesto Gomez, Gerardo Necuze, Ignacio Gonzalez and Justo M. Rodriguez.  Remon, Sanchez, Garcia, Losada and Ochoa remained together and bombed the Cuban Consulate in Montreal, Canada in December, 1980.  As previously stated, it was after this bombing that Remon and Sanchez were stopped by INS officials and FBI investigations began to focus on their activities.

            A full understanding and conclusive identification of Omega 7 members did not take place until Arocena began cooperating with the FBI in September, 1982.  Although his cooperation only lasted five days, after which he fled and resumed bombing attacks in Miami, he provided the FBI with a general understanding of the past activities and objectives of the organization.  The information Arocena provided directly implicated himself and other members of Omega 7 in the numerous bombings and two murders.  Although it remains unclear, it is believed Arocena cooperated because he believed Remon and other Omega 7 members were cooperating with the grand jury and implicating him in the murders of Negrin and Garcia and the Omega 7 bombings.  Arocena also apparently believed that Guillermo Novo (supra), who was involved in the Letelier assassination in 1976, had identified him as the leader of Omega 7 to law enforcement authorities as early as 1979.


            While Omega 7 was active, a significant portion of the Cuban exile community viewed the attacks against Cuban officials and Castro supporters in the United States as a continuation of the patriotic fight against communism.  Omega 7 members considered themselves liberators of the Cuban people and vowed to continue their fight until Cuba was free of Castro and communism.  Elements within the exile community provided Omega 7 with support by contributing money for operations or merely denying knowledge of Omega 7 activities.  The support usually came about either out of sympathy or fear of reprisal.  For instance, individuals who were believed to be in contact with Omega 7 members would often intentionally supply misleading or incorrect information when interviewed by the FBI.  Even when confronted with documentation such as surveillance logs and photographs placing them in contact with Omega 7 suspects, the individuals being interviewed would disclaim association.  This type of support provided Omega 7 with a secure base of operation which was difficult for law enforcement personnel to penetrate.

            Although current information is incomplete, it appears that some Cuban exile businessmen in the Union City, New Jersey, area clandestinely funded Omega 7 and other Cuban anti-Castro groups.  The businessmen established a network which would collect money in the form of "taxes" from all segments of the Cuban community who were able to contribute and then divide the money between the various groups they supported.  The businessmen would not necessarily sanction or direct specific anti-Castro activities; however, their ability to provide financial support probably gave them, at a minimum, indirect control over the various groups.  Current reporting, although fragmented, suggests that the businessmen, who may still be active in funding anti-Castro groups, were involved in the flow of over $100,000 to the various groups.


            In contrast to being viewed as freedom fighters against the tyranny of Cuban communism by the exile community, the GOC identified Omega 7 as its number one enemy in the United States, and in so doing enhanced the status of the group within the exile community.  The GOC has historically considered its principal target in the United States to be the anti-Castro groups.   The Cuban intelligence services (CuIS) actively direct assets in the United States to report on the plans, objectives, goals, and personnel of the various anti-Castro groups.  CuIS have also been known to use their assets in the United States to attempt to confuse and fragment the exile community.  In 1981, for instance, when Huber Matos' group CID was gaining power and support within the exile community, CuIS was gaining power and support within the exile community, CuIS contacted one of their assets and had him print leaflets sharply critical of the CID.  The leaflets were fraudulently signed by another exile group, the Junta Patriotica  Cubana (JPC).  The CuIS objective in this operation was to cause a confrontation between the JPC and CID, thereby disrupting the entire Cuban exile community.

            Although the CuIS were and continue to be able to successfully penetrate most of the anti-Castro groups, they never penetrated Omega 7.  The GOC had a justifiable fear of Omega 7 because of the six bombings against the CMUN between 1976 and 1979, the assassination of Garcia and attempted assassinations of Roa-Kouri and Sanchez Parodi.  Reports indicate that even though Omega 7 is no longer active, GOC officials in the United States continue of take extraordinary measures to protect themselves from attack.  For instance, Cuban officials are usually armed when outside establishments and rarely travel alone.  Generally, they socialize only among themselves and are highly suspicious of individuals who are not known to them or their associates.


            In addition to receiving support from the exile community, Arocena and Omega 7 apparently  obtained some of their operating funds by performing collection functions for a narcotics trafficker.  Beginning in late 1981, after Arocena had split with Remon and moved to Miami, Florida, he came in contact with Manuel Fernandez, a major marijuana trafficker.  Fernandez provided Arocena with $50,000 and instructed him to collect money owed to him by Cuban exiles and South American narcotics users and traffickers.  According to Fernandez, his agreement with Arocena was that Omega 7 would receive approximately 35 percent of the money they collected.

            In addition to using Arocena to collect money owed him, Fernandez instructed Arocena to kill Luis Fuentes, a drug associate who had shot and robbed him, in May, 1981, of 40,000 pounds of marijuana worth about $8 million.  When Arocena thought he had located Fuentes, he provided Fernandez with surveillance photographs.  After examining the photos, Fernandez told Arocena that although the person in the photos resembled Fuentes, it was not Fuentes.  Arocena continued to look for Fuentes but Fernandez eventually learned that Fuentes was in jail, so the murder contract was canceled.

            After Arocena's arrest, a list from Fernandez identifying Cuban exiles who owed him money was found among Arocena's possessions.  The total amount of money Fernandez had outstanding, according to the list, was $6,000,000.  Also found with the list were surveillance notes and photographs indicating that Arocena and other members of Omega 7 had collected information on various individuals on the list.  According to testimony by Fernandez and his associate, Maximiliano Lora, Arocena and Omega7 ultimately received a total of $150,000 for their services although Arocena never turned over any "collection" money to Fernandez.  Arocena did, however, sell two used but functioning MAC 10 machine guns with silencers to Fernandez.  Although Arocena and other Omega 7 members were involved with Fernandez, no information has been developed indicating that Arocena or Omega 7 members used narcotics.

            Review of the available information on Omega 7 suggests that the organization was able to successfully conduct anti-Castro terrorist attacks over an eight-year period because:  it was a small, tightly knit group of dedicated anti-Castro fanatics, most of whom were unknown to law enforcement authorities; and, it received financial support and some cooperation, at a minimum, silent approval which could be construed as tacit approval, from some elements of the Cuban exile community in the United States.  In addition, the late 1980 split between Arocena and Remon and the creation of an entirely new group after Arocena moved to Miami, Florida, further hampered investigations.

           As has been discussed, most of the original Omega 7 members were recruited from the active anti-Castro organizations in the Neward, New Jersey, area.  They were supported both financially and morally by segments of the Cuban exile community in the United States and considered themselves to be fighting for in freedom and liberty of the Cuban people.  There are also indications that some Omega 7 members, particularly Arocena, may have believed they had the implicit support of the U.S. Government in their fight against Castro.  Reports indicate that some exiles who received explosive training from the CIA provided training to Arocena and other members of the anti-Castro community.  Consequently, Arocena or other members of the anti-Castro community may have construed prior U.S. Government support for operations against Cuba tacit approval for future anti Castro operations.  Although there is no firm evidence to support this hypothesis, Arocena's initial defense during this trial was that he was working as a U.S. Government agent.

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