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History of Terrorism
Dade County - Miami, Florida 1979

[REFERENCE: Needs Assessment Study, Terrorism in Dade County, Florida, Grant #78-TA-AX-0006.  Final Report by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc. July 1979, Chapter Three]


Writing a short history of anything is always a most challenging task.  The significant adjective is an injunction to be brief, but the question is always, what to omit?  Writing history is a revealing of the past, a bringing to light of things that have been forgotten, or the calling into prominence of things, the significance of which was not appreciated in their time.  This historian is in an advantageous position, in some ways, for he is able to review matters with a completeness and detachment that was not possible for those who lived through the events.  Yet, withal, the historian's work is only a reconstruction, lacking the life and vividness of the real happenings he seeks to depict.  He is, after all, only the interpreter of his sources and the imperative "Be brief!" enjoins on him a selectivity authorized only by his own good judgment.   It is all too easy for the most diligent historian, with all the time and space necessary for completeness, to do violence to the Truth.  He who engages to write a short history will almost certainly fall into error.  This must not be regarded as a fatal deterrent.  Proper consideration of the problems posed by this study demands a history; there is neither time not space for an extended one.  What follows, with all its faults, must suffice for the purpose.  T he first dilemma, as always, is where to begin?  Nowhere does terrorism have a neat, precisely documented beginning.  Even the most seemingly authoritative statements can be misleading.  The Staff Report of the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights states: "Terrorism is not new.  It can be traced to an ancient Arab group, the Society of Assassins, and the French Revolution's ‘Reign of Terror'".  Some six hundred years separate these two unconnected matters.  While terrorism may not be traceable with such pristine certainty, the authority on which part of this statement rests can.  Professor Bernard Lewis, in his book The Assassins (1968) wrote: "In one respect, the Assassins are without precedent - in the planned systematic and long-term use of terror as a political weapon...they may well be the first terrorists".  Brevity, therefore, has its price.  Categorical statements of this kind must always be viewed with suspicion.

It is simply not possible to say when terrorism in Dade County began; probably there has been some terrorism as defined in this study, ever since the County was extensively settled.  What is certain is that it did not become a community or a law enforcement problem of any magnitude until comparatively recently.  Terrorism in South Florida generally, and Dade County in particular, whether of the politically inspired or non-politically inspired variety, is historically tied in a very direct way to relations with the island of Cuba.  Although Dade-Miami has enjoyed a constant interchange with other neighboring Caribbean peoples, notably those of the Bahamas, it is Cuba that has left its deepest impress upon this portion of the mainland, and has so radically altered its culture and outlook on life.  From the start, the reasons have been overwhelmingly political.  The island is very close to the continental United States, well within small boat range.   From the time of the liberation of the island, as a consequence of the Spanish-American war, the military and political interests of the United States have been evident, and only the good faith of President Theodore Roosevelt stood in the way of an outright annexation of the island.  Even today, as the United States plans its withdrawal from the Canal Zone of Panama, it maintains a naval base at Guantanamo on this otherwise communist-held island.  Cuba has always been a vibrant, progressive island by comparison with its neighbors.  But for all the brightness and liveliness of its people, its infectious rhythms and Caribbean setting, Cuba in the 1950's was a backward country, raddled by corruption and vice, and in the grip of a cruel dictatorship.  The tourist drawn by the bright lights and t he good life of Havana saw little of this and cared even less.  Organized crime had a strong hold on the island's vice and American business an equally firm grip on its fragile economy.  Not even a fervent patriotism, a strong communist party, and the makings of effective labor organization seemed likely to disturb that.  Yet resistance to Batista grew, both at home and abroad, and Dade County began to experience, without realizing it, a foretaste of what was to come.  There was plotting and gun-running, and much traveling to and from the island.  Miami was a logical jumping-off point for any operations against the regime then in power, and a convenient place to return to for R & R when a period of revitalization was necessary, or when things simply became too hot.  Then, at the end of the Eisenhower years, there appeared a young man called Fidel Castro who was destined, among other things to change the way of life of Dade Count forever.

Fidel Castro has been in the public eye for a long while.  He has rarely shunned publicity; indeed, at times, he has actively courted it.  Still he remains, in many respects, an enigma; the definitive biography of Fidel Castro has still to be written.  For those Americans who had as little stomach for Fulgencio Batista as their counterparts today have for Anastasio Somoza, the sudden advent of this loquacious, energetic mountain fighter, permanently dressed in fatigues, did not seem a bad thing.  From what was known of him, he did not seem noticeably anti-American and there was some evidence, at least, that he might comfortably adjust to living within the United States' sphere of influence.  His opponents, meanwhile temporarily defeated, had crawled off to South Florida for what most felt certain would be a very short stay before the next round, which was sure to go in their favor.  By mid-1959, there began a definite leftward drift on the part of Castro, disconcerting and confusing to many in charge of United States' policy, and frankly alarming to many Cubans who had either remained helpfully neutral or were even actively siding with the new regime up to that point.  A steady stream of Cuban refugees began to join those already in Dade County.  It is interesting to review the progression of that migration.  The rich, the intellectuals, the opposition politicians came first; they had long enjoyed close ties with South Florida.  Then, after a while, came the middle classes.  And finally, as the floodgates opened, the small entrepreneur and on down to the lowest strata of t he community.  Castro was not long in crossing his Rubicon.  In 1960, he expropriated American businesses and, with little economic alternative, cast himself firmly into the Soviet camp.  This was enough to show the United States where it really stood, and the huge exodus of refugees was enthusiastically welcomed into South Florida as an earnest of the United States' intentions to topple the Castro regime, restore American business to its former glory, and to send these grateful Cuban citizens back victorious to their homeland.  There is no need here to catalogue the miscalculations and disasters that prevented those good intentions from bearing the desired fruit.  Much money and energy was expended in organizing to that end and the fugitive Cuban community that by 1962 had grown to over 150,000 could hardly complain at that time that it had been betrayed or that the United States was half-hearted in the execution of its trust.  As late as December, 1962, President Kennedy welcoming back the 1,113 Bay of Pigs prisoners exchanged for $30,000,000 worth of medical supplies could promise to return them their battle flag in a "Free Havana".  The battle lines were clearly drawn, and only the Soviet Union and the threat of World War III stood between Castro and the fulfillment of that promise.  That it was never fulfilled, cost not only a great deal in the United States prestige and security; it conferred permanent residence status upon what was to swell to an alien community of over half a million in South Florida, nearly all of whom came to settle in Dade County.

The transition from a small, visiting contingent, grateful for shelter, but eager to recover its homeland, to a dispossessed people condemned to perpetual exile was not easy to make.  The period of transition was not abrupt, and there were encouraging signs that the United States, in the first years, had not lost its resolve.  Castro was everywhere depicted as the enemy; any dealings with him - or even visits to him - were regarded as treasonable by official U.S.A., just as, on different grounds they were so considered by the Cuban exile community.  More to the point, the United States was lending considerable covert aid to the exiles in their efforts to organize themselves into a military force capable of fighting its way back into power.  Hundreds of United States case officers "managed" their Cuban charges, who were taught the rudiments (and sometimes more) of the skills it was felt they would require to win back their island home.  This was an exciting, if not very productive, time.  Enthusiasm ran high and the Cubans were convinced that they had a real prospect of military and political victory.  Although no state of war existed between the United States and Cuba, the legal niceties of the Neutrality Act and other provisions prohibiting the raising or training of foreign forces on United States' soil in time of peace were discreetly ignored.  Few had cause to question either the rightness of what they were doing or the interests in which they were doing it.  This is not the place to examine or stand in judgment upon the adequacy of what was then done or even, with hindsight, to evaluate the prospects for success.  Two observations must, however, be made, as they have a bearing on the subsequent turn of events.  The United States never really created an effective army in exile.  Of Cuban bravery and military capacity, there can be no doubt.  It was simply never organized into an effective fighting machine.  Either Castro's real strength was hopelessly misjudged - a simple, but not uncommon, intelligence failure - or those engaged about the direction of the business were ambivalent from the start.  The second point is perhaps even more serious.  The anti-Castro movement lacked any real leadership that might have given it cohesion and led to recognition of a government in exile.  There were many leaders, but no one leader, who might have given the movement a real cohesiveness and purpose.  Once the general disillusionment set in, both these facts made the absorbtion of the Cuban exile population by the South Florida area a much easier and less painful task that it would other wise have been.  The Cubans brought many things with them to the United States including a distinctive culture and a burning hope for return.  What they did not bring was an organized political structure that was going to carry over the "old ways" in a fashion likely to conflict with the democracy into which they were being slowly and almost imperceptibly absorbed.  The result, once the United States had effectively withdrawn from a fight for which it had shown so little enthusiasm in the first place, was a period of drift.  Some of the brave but unrealistic soldiers came back again and again to tilt Quixote-like at the Windmill.  This became an exercise in ego-building rather than a purposeful, military one.  A structure of "fighters in exile" began to emerge but, because of the hopelessness of the struggle, it had no accompanying political ethos out of which a nation in exile, a real political entity could coalesce.  The bulk of the community slowly and painfully adjusted to the reality of a new life in an alien land.  And a new, and more realistic "politics" grew gradually out of this adjustment.

 It is difficult to explain, in a few words, how a large, alien community came so successfully and completely to take over, so peacefully, a large chunk of desirable United States territory.  The success can, perhaps, be best explained by claiming this result as a happy accident.  Because it was never intended, it happened in a way that aroused no opposition or even awareness of the process by which it occurred.  The Cuban community itself was too numbed, too disappointed at its loss to be evincing interests in conquest elsewhere.  Although it clearly did not happen overnight, the South Florida community has, as it were, only just awakened to the fact that two major cities in Dade County, Miami and Hialeah, have more than 50 percent of Cuban residents in their populations.  Overall, the Latin population of Dade County is about 33 percent and rising.  The real "Cuban problem" for the area is only just beginning, and the Dade County Cubans - these new, permanent residents of the United States - are going to have to contribute substantially to finding some of the answers that will be required.  All of this is directly material to the terrorist problem in Dade County; not only that which is already a part of history, but that which is yet to present itself in the future.  New leaders, new politics are emerging to engage the new social problems that arise out of acquisition and integration rather than dispossession and the desperate maintenance of a separate, national identity.  This is a painful, somewhat unnatural process.  Once that all-sustaining hate is removed, what is there to rush in and fill the vacuum?  A community that builds too long on its xenophobia grows up warped, with an inbuilt propensity for social conflict.  The case of Northern Ireland is very much a point.  In particular, the changing needs of the community that the new politics must serve will assuredly give rise to something that has, superficially at least, been largely absent hitherto.  The unique nature of the struggle against Fidel Castro gave the Cuban community in exile the appearance and form of a one-party state.  That "party" was intensely conservative, even reactionary.  Of necessity, that one party was opposed to communism in any shape or form.  It could not tolerate even the suggestion of "fellow travelers".  The defense of its very being as an entity depended upon it.  Freed from that yoke of necessity, the "new" politics will be able to develop its own right, left, and center.  There will be painful moments while it does so, but do so it must, if the chronic deformation that has stunted the growth and social happiness of Ulster is to be avoided in Dade County.  This has profound implications for the future of terrorism in Dade County, for some of the basic assumptions about whether a certain kind of politically inspired terrorism, left-wing terrorism in a broad sense, can or might flourish in a community that has been traditionally antagonistic towards it will be severely challenged.

Some other pertinent observations concerning the character of this "invasion" lie within the discretion of the historian touching upon the present subject.  The high concentration of Cubans in the South Florida area is, itself, the product of accidental circumstances rather than design; or perhaps, with hindsight, the product of a miscalculation on the part of the social engineers of the time.  After their initial reception into the United States, it was assumed that these political refugees, like so many others in the past, would disperse throughout the United States and would be absorbed and integrated into comparatively distant population centers.  This simply did not take place, and any move in that direction was soon reversed.  These were a Caribbean people, whose affinity for the sun and the sea, from which many had garnered a living, was met by the climate and topography of Dade County more perfectly than any other place to which they might have migrated.  Besides it was the closest point to their beloved homeland, a convenient place for the return that virtually all confidently expected.  Moreover, South Florida and its people were good to these "visitors" and there were none of the acute problems of housing, employment, and racial tensions that might have been anticipated in the areas to which they had been notionally assigned.  The population growth and its implications for the area, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically, were simply not foreseen.  By and large, these exiles were a likeable people.  They were industrious, respectful of certain important American values, and, above all, commitedly anti-communist.  What was less apparent, at the start, was that this was not only a community in a strange sort of limbo; it was also a community hermetically sealed from any real interaction with the native community into which it had been transplanted.  That community, relatively small and easy-going, watched these strange happenings somewhat bemused but with little real concern.  After all, it never anticipated having to live with the problem in perpetuity.  The Cuban community seemed to ask for comparatively little and its troubles, internally, were largely its own.  It neither sought publicity for them nor shared them with outsiders.  All Americans really needed to know about these people, so it seemed, was t hat they were against Castro - and that had commended itself strongly to the governments of the day.  It was with something of a shock, therefore, that the other residents of Dade County woke up one day in 1973 to the fact that they were now, by ordinance, a bilingual community.  This may seem, at first sight, to have very little to do with terrorism.  In reality, it has a great deal to do with the perceptions of terrorism in this community.

There has been very little assimilation by the original community of this strange human burden imposed upon it by force of circumstances.  Rather, the Cuban community has grown and developed on its own to the point where, cuckoo-like, it is forcing the native fledgling from the nest.  For many of those who have witnessed, at first hand, these developments over the years, the Cuban community remains as mysterious and incomprehensible as when it came; only now it is larger, more obvious, more powerful - and clearly here to stay.  This mystery was not merely the result of linguistic, or even a cultural barrier.  It was more that there was really little to share of interest to the majority of the "old" community.  The curious, complicated politics in which the Cubans seemed to indulge, their pathological hatred of Castro and his regime and everything that went with being a Cuban in exile, were just too much for the outsider to grasp - unless some special motive existed for making a study of these things.  It is quite likely that, until some sort of homeostasis was reached, the two communities could have grown up harmoniously, side by side, without ever having a greater understanding of each other's ways - had it not been for the violence.  This, and the way in which it was portrayed and perceived, were what really brought the Cuban community under scrutiny by those who had so unconcernedly allowed it to grow up in their midst.  Had the Cubans brought with them an unusually high rate of common crime, or even a reputation for hot-blooded "Latin" violence, it is unlikely that this would have caused such concern.  It could have been more readily explained and, perhaps, understood in terms of America's overall, horrendous crime problem.  But this violence was "political" and was related to a politics that was both foreign and disconcerting.  Moreover, it began to manifest itself at a troubled time in United States' history, at a time when self-examination was already beginning to turn to self-doubt.  Talk of terrorism, world-wide, was already hanging heavy in the air.  The American role in Vietnam was being seriously - and often violently - questioned at home.  And the purposes and methods of many American agencies, most notably the CIA, were being vigorously probed and "exposed" by the growingly vociferous "New Left".  The "received" image of Castro for the larger population of the United States - all, that is, save the Cuban exiles - began subtly to shift.  Castro's achievements, in education, social security, anti-corruption and the like, began to be touted, gaining ready acceptance in a population that had already embarked upon a most extraordinary process of self-flagellation.  This left the Cuban exile community in a somewhat incongruous position, namely that of maintaining its undying opposition to the Cuban Communist leader from a sanctuary that was coming, increasingly, to perceive him in a more and more favorable light.  While part of that community remained confused and mainly anxious to bury the past - though not without grief - and get on with the business of living, others hardened their resolve and vowed to continue the unequal fight even though they had to do so alone.

This history of these events can be divided into a number of convenient, if arbitrary, periods.  The first period, during the presidency of John F. Kennedy, had seen the arming and training of large numbers of Cuban exiles by the United States for what was to be a serious military assault to retake the island and overthrow the newly established Castro regime.  The apt terrain of South Florida began to take on some of the appearance of an armed camp as thousands of the exiles were trained in skills ranging from the rudimentary to the quite sophisticated that it was hoped would serve them in their various tasks.  In the present context, too much ought not to be made of the training by the United States defense forces and the CIA of this "Secret Army".  Certain romantic notions always cling to such episodes and are purveyed to a public, avid for adventure, and, in the main, not too well informed about what such work is really all about, in a way calculated to excite and exaggerate the destructive potential of such a force.  While some covert specialists, with extraordinary skills, are selected and trained for operations of this kind, the majority (who had no special qualifications to commend them for the purpose beyond their nationality and enthusiasm) were given a training little different from that received by many inducted into the United States' forces at that time, and in some ways less intensive or comprehensive.  The United States was not producing, as is sometimes suggested by those given to such hyperbole, a "race of super-terrorists" who, once the employment for which they had been trained had failed to materialize, would turn upon the community at large with their newly acquired skills.  Naturally, the skills taught had an anti-social, domestic use to which they could be put.  But the same argument could be extended with equal accuracy to all those who served with the United States forces, for example, in Vietnam - and the hidden slur would be just as great.  The United States was training soldiers to fight an irregular war with the skills necessary to wage such a struggle.  It certainly was not training "terrorists" as such, nor endowing those whom it trained with terrorist attitudes and philosophies.  These facts should be borne in mind because, due to the climate of the times and certain, occasional journalistic license, they have achieved a prominence and significance beyond what they might properly bear.  The failure of the Bay of Pigs operation and the death of President Kennedy imposed a severe check on these developments, but did not signal the end of the period.  United States sponsored raids on Cuba continued well into the period of the Johnson presidency, but the writing was already on the wall.  While the Cuban community was beginning its slow and painful readjustment to political reality, many of these "surrogates" for the United States in its "war" with Castro were having to start to rethink their own position.

The first thought for many - as it is so often in such circumstances - was to carry on the fight alone.  The words of one who had trained and fought alongside these exiles in earlier times, give a good picture of the situation: "Without U.S. support, however, we were virtually powerless to conduct any cohesive, meaningful action.  Government agencies, including the F.B.I., the coast Guard, and Border Patrol and various Florida law enforcement departments had tightened their surveillance of exile activities, thus adding immensely to the difficulties of mounting clandestine military operations.  In the absence of the stabilizing, unifying influence of the Kennedy's and the CIA in Cuban affairs, dissension prevailed among various exile political and paramilitary organizations."  (Bradley E. Ayers, "And They were the Pros, Part II", Soldier of Fortune, March, 1978).  What happened next was a logical development for those who, on any appraisal of  their own position could only, in relation to t heir adversary now victorious on so many fronts, including the United Nations, consider themselves as the "Weak".  Again, the words of the same writer take up the story: "It was in this atmosphere of discontent and seething frustration in the Miami Cuban community that a handful of highly trained exiles turned to violence on their own.  They were labeled as militants, at first, then called radicals.  Now they are referred to as international terrorists".  The Years of Disillusionment for the Cuban exile militants carried many portents for the future of United States' policy generally, and the change in the United states' world role.  The 1965 intervention in Santo Domingo, while constituting an important and necessary check to Castro in the Caribbean, alienated support for the United States in much of Central and South America; these countries were but slowly recovering from the shock of John Kennedy's death, which affected them very greatly on an emotional plane.  Serious terrorism outbreaks were occurring in Columbia and Argentina, while Peru and Bolivia both faced a serious problem of insurgency in the interior.  Much of this activity was being actively fostered by Fidel Castro, and this CIA trained "Secret Army" had, for some of its members at least, the prospects of useful employment elsewhere.  But, for most, the noble fight was over; if they continued alone, as many vowed, it was without the official blessing of the United States and with eve na stern hint at suppression.  This latter seemed to be directed at denying United States soil and, in particular, South Florida, to the exiles as a staging ground or launching point for attacks on Cuba that were already attracting international criticism.  Relatively overt, paramilitary operations being no longer possible, these "militants" turned to terrorism, much of it of a symbolic or expressive nature.  Virtually all of this was planned and prepared in Dade County, but many of the most significant operations were undertaken elsewhere, some of them overseas.

The year 1968 saw a significant upswing in the violent activities of these Cubans exiles who, by now, were beginning to be identified by the evocative names they had assigned themselves.  This was a significant year for political violence on many fronts.  In the United States, the anti-war protest was at its height and campuses from Berkeley to Columbia University burned (in some cases literally) with radical fervor.  Students took to the streets in London and Rome, and the mighty Charles de Gaulle was nearly toppled by a student/workers coalition.  A mishandled protest gave rise to the formidable West German terrorist movement.  Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated and the decision of President Johnson not to run for re-election paved the way for Richard Nixon to the White House.  By comparison with these and other portentous events occurring elsewhere on the world stage, the efforts by the Cuban exiles to keep their case before the public were puny indeed.  Reviewing the numerous bombings, in Dade County and elsewhere, as well as attacks on shipping in coastal waters, during the period 1968-1972, one is struck not only by its lack of coherence, but also by its overall ineffectiveness.  The devices used, their half-hearted employment lack seriousness when set in their wider historical context.  This was a time of terrorist "spectaculars".  Skyjacking was at its height; the PLO and PFLP were trying to take the world by storm; and the IRA had begun a savage, deadly campaign in Northern Ireland and the U.K.  Little, if anything the Cubans did, or attempted to do, could compare with all this, but it is natural that, in a climate of heightened awareness about terrorism and its potentiality that some of this concern should have rubbed off on this "alien"outgrowth of this new community in the United States.  El Poder Cubano had, on a dispassionate evaluation, little more than symbolic or nuisance value, but it alarmed many by its actions in many parts of the United States, and served to keep the exile cause alive if not in very good shape.  Perhaps its most spectacular and effective exploit, the shelling of a Polish freighter in the Port of Miami was overly ambitious and what let to the temporary abatement of the incipient terrorism in the form in which it then presented itself.  A pediatrician-turned-terrorist, Dr. Orlando Bosch Avila, was convicted of this, and it is material note of history that the American elections of 1968 were coming up, and the federal government was, at that time, in a much stronger position to take the necessary measures against these groups than it was subsequently; J. Edgar Hoover was still Director of the F.B.I.  During this time, there was much talk and comparatively little action among Cuban exile groups for it is evident that little agreement existed among the proliferation of comparatively short lived associations.  This is, incidentally, characteristic of politics in Latin America generally, only one party, APRA, being able to claim anything like a solid history of continuity over many years.  Castro agents were active, too, creating fear and dissension, and there did not exist that climate of trust and purpose in which effective counter revolutionary action against Castro might have been developed.  These groups were united only by their pathological hatred of Castro and a fierce determination to regain possession of their island.  They had no political philosophy in common, running the spectrum from extreme right-wing, not unfairly characterized as fascist in the strict sense, to those inclining towards the position of liberal democrats.  There was plenty of room for ideological and personal disagreement, and petty jealousy, and great opportunity for Castro to engage in tactics of divide and conquer.

In 1970, there occurred an event far from the center of these activities that was to have a profound effect upon their subsequent development.  Politics in Chile had been swinging steadily leftward for more than a decade and only massive intervention by the Chilean Right, covertly assisted by various United States interests, public and private, had frustrated a constitutional take-over of power by the coalition of communists led by Salvador Allende.  Allende finally triumphed through the ballot, and the prospects of another Cuba in mainland South America seemed very strong indeed.  Moreover, the Peruvian military government that had seized power in October, 1968, was noticeably left-leaning and, unlike any of its predecessors, was making overtures to the new government of Chile that could have had far-reaching developments for the security of the hemisphere.

Advisers" from Castro's Cuba were already pouring into the area and an all-out offensive on American business and other interests seemed. Imminent.  The Cuban exiles took on a new lease of life.  Suddenly, their aspirations once again matched the value of their skills.  In 1972, with the Allende government already heading towards deep trouble, Dr. Bosch disappeared from Miami in violation of his parole.  A significant link with Chilean Rightists, themselves, at that moment in the political wilderness, was already in the course of being forged.  While these events did not give the Cuban exile movement the real cohesion that it needed to become an effective political force in the fight against Castro, it did provide it with the fuel necessary to propel it along the road towards an expanded campaign of terrorism.  With the overthrow of the Allende regime, the new Chilean government of Augusto Pinochet found itself in the eye of an international storm whipped up by left-wing elements everywhere.  It came, in 1973, when the Nixon administration was under severe pressure over Watergate, and the American public had embarked upon that extensive process of soul-searching that was not only to reveal all sorts of "wrong-doing" on the part of government agencies at home and abroad, but to end in a severe cramping of law enforcement styles and capabilities.  Into all this, the rejuvenated militant Cuban exiles leaped with enthusiasm.  The Cuban exile terrorist movement, aided now by an "official" Chile, anxious to improve its image abroad and get rid of its enemies at the same time, embarked on an ambitious program of expansion.  The time was no more opportune than it had ever been, but hatred of Castro was still strong and ingrained in the main Cuban exile population and the means were now being provided by a sponsor; the Cuban exiles were - albeit in their own interest - surrogates once more.  In the extensive campaign of terrorism promoted by the Cuban exiles from 1973 onwards, there is no evidence of direct Chilean participation in anything undertaken in Dade County.  This is only to be expected, for the Chileans were using the Cubans who needed only encouragement and material support.  This period spawned a variety of groups with imposing sounding titles and rejuvenated others.  Some had imposing charters and tables of organization.  The identities of many of these "militants", acting in one way or another, became a matter of public knowledge.  An air of excitement is clearly apparent, on any view of the materials relating to the times - especially 1973- 1975, and those participating in these activities, in the planning and preparation phase, clearly expected a dramatic intensification and widening of the struggle.  It seems that the broad intention was to attack selected Cubans, especially those in some way connected with government, in various places around the world.  In addition, the property of those engaged in commercial and other relations was to be the subject of this offensive.  The overall objective seems to have been to demonstrate the vulnerability of the Castro government.  It cannot have been expected that these offensive demonstrations would result only in mild protest from Castro.  Clearly, it has to be anticipated that Castro would retaliate - and he only logical target for that retaliation would have been the large exile community lodged in Dade County.  It is a standard terrorist tactic the world over to provoke retaliation from the opponent, usually the government against which the struggle is waged.  The retaliation falls, inevitably, on the innocent who, it is theorized, can then be subjected to intensive propaganda designed to mobilize their fears and anger and marshal these against the enemy.  That such retaliation did not take place can be attributed either to the lack of concern displayed by Castro and his contempt for these unworthy opponents, or to his own excellent understanding of the principles of terrorism as a weapon of war.  Whatever the case, in this regard Castro simply did not rise to the bait.

In fact, Castro seems - whatever he might have been doing behind the scenes - to have treated most of these attacks with a lofty, statesmanlike disdain.  However he may have felt on a personal level, he allowed nothing to stand in the way of his steady progress towards normalization of relations with the United States.  The dependency of Cuba on the Soviet Union should never be underestimated.  Whatever else Castro may be, he is certainly a realist.  While correctly appraising Cuba's value to the Soviet Union, he is under no illusions about how little leverage, in a political sense, he really has.  Unlike so many other client states, Cuba cannot play off the great powers one against the other.  Cuba must - for all her seeming independence in foreign affairs - dance to the Russian tune.  It has to be assumed that Castro was acting in this matter, as in others, to the orders of his Russian masters in accordance with their overall strategy.  The bombings, the attacks on shipping, the threatened and actual kidnapings and assassinations brought indignant rhetoric and diplomatic denunciation, but no reprisals that might have occasioned a rupture in the softening of the United States' position with regard to improving relations with Cuba.  Castro was clearly determined to play a waiting game while these interesting "negotiations" with the United States were in the balance.  T he resignation of President Nixon in August, 1974, does not seem to have had any marked effect on the resolve of the Cuban exile militants to continue their campaign.  As long as a Republican administration remained in office, they could be reasonably assured that they would nor be too vigorously pursued for the unyielding hard line they were committed to taking against Castro.  Moreover, Castro himself now seemed to be taking a somewhat different line and had commenced, in secret, the expansionist policy of former years.  Now, (doubtless, again under instructions from Moscow), Castro began secretly dispatching troops to Angola in breach of a tacit understanding to the contrary that had been reached with the United States.  In that same year, 1975, Cuban exiles began stepping up their offensive against selected outside of the United States and there seemed to be clear indications that these activities were being directed by Dr. Orlando Bosch Arvila, now a fugitive from federal justice.  Dr. Bosch who was traveling extensively in Central America, the Caribbean, and Venezuela on a Chilean passport appeared to be directing or coordinating these activities through Accion Cubana, a Successor to El Poder Cubano.  In June of the following year, an attempt was made to unify the movement against Castro and to give it some of the cohesiveness it had earlier lacked.  As a consequence, a group known as Coordinacion de Organizaciones Revolucionarias Unidas (CORU) was formed following a meeting in the Dominican Republic.  This had the effect of creating something in the nature of an ad hoc "general staff"and was needed for the greatly increased activity that was now anticipated as a result of this "pooling" of resources.  However patient and forbearing Castro might have felt up to this point, and however disinclined to take his opponents seriously in their increasingly vigorous attacks upon his interests, he was shortly to be presented with a terroristic episode of unprecedented magnitude and ferocity that he could not afford to ignore.  On October 6, 1976, a Cuban airliner plunged into the sea off Trinidad killing all seventy-three persons aboard.  A bomb had been placed aboard the aircraft, evidently in the checked luggage.  This was terrorism of a totally different kind, and many in the Cuban community who had secretly admired and, in their own various way, supported the brave "freedom fighters" must have found it difficult to suppress a shudder at the thought of the innocent victims hurled to their deaths in this way.  Such acts are easy to rationalize for the fanatic; but those less committed have an understandable difficulty with them.  This act, which brought bitter denunciation from Castro and an evident resolve to do something about the matter, led to the arrest of Dr. Bosch and three accomplices by the Venezuelan authorities.  They remain, for the moment, in prison in Venezuela awaiting the determination of their situation by the relatively unhurried processes of Venezuelan criminal justice.  This act of international terrorism may be regarded as the watershed of the Cuban exile movement's campaign to date.

From 1974 onwards, a series of homicides of persons who had played some significant role in the struggle against Castro or as leaders of the exile community took place in the United States.  These events, like all homicides, are significant from a law enforcement point of view, but their precise connection with the terrorism under discussion here is far from clear.  The overall impact of these deaths, by reason of the personalities involved, t he manner of the killings, and the treatment the matter received in the media, all contributed to create a "climate of terrorism" in Dade County.  Nothing that is said here should be taken as denying the gravity of the matter, nor of suggesting that these killings should not have given rise to the highest level of public concern.  What is suggested is that their purport and place in the general scheme of things may well have been misunderstood.  As it was, they went to swell the growing toll of statistics that suggested the Cuban exile "terrorists" were getting out of hand and t hat Dade County was becoming an area having a distinctive and perhaps matchless terrorism problem.  Naturally (and quite rightly), the killing, under still largely unexplained circumstances, of seven prominent Cuban exiles in two years, all in some way or another connected with the militant movement against Castro, was going to alarm and disconcert the community.  But was it terrorism?  An indiscriminate classification by association with other events of the times is understandable, but unhelpful for those who are trying to attain a deeper understanding of the matter.  The matter is further complicated by reason of the fact that undoubtedly acts of terrorism were occurring in Dade County during this time, as they were elsewhere, in consequence of activities undertaken by various elements of the Cuban exile community.  Of these, one, by reason of its nature and consequences, merits special attention here.  A bomb placed under the automobile of Emilio Milian, a Cuban exile journalist and news director for Miami Radio Station WQBA exploded on April 30, 1976, severing both his legs.  This was an undoubted act of terrorism that seems to have been intended both to silence an outspoken critic of the tactics to which the militants were now resorting and to serve as a stern warning to others.  This act, more than any other, brought home the nature of terrorism to the larger, law-abiding Cuban exile community, as well as the other non-Cuban residents of the area.  They could understand, condone, perhaps even applaud the campaign designed to strike at Castro wherever his interests might be found.  Indeed, it still seemed, to many Cubans, unpatriotic not to do so.  But an act of this sort, directed at a peaceable member of their own community revealed this violence for w hat it really was.  It led to an unprecedented questioning of what was being done.  If the prime purpose of the intensified terrorist campaign was to raise the level of fear in Castro's Cuba, it clearly was not having the desired effect.  There is no doubt, however, that the bombing of Emilio Milian had a formidable effect on the Cuban exile population and on the climate of opinion, generally, in the United States.  Unprecedented pressure on law enforcement was brought to bear by responsible members of the community to bring those responsible to justice and to increase protection for those who might be similarly targeted in the future.  The federal government was strongly urged to lend its resources to t he search for the culprits and to make serious endeavors to eradicate terrorism from the Cuban exile community.  There were many who took the view, even if it was not articulated in such strong and direct terms, that the federal government, having been responsible - albeit with good purpose and a long while back - for the creation of this monster, it was now incumbent upon those presently in office to destroy it or, at the very least, curb its activities.  Yet the attitude towards terrorism, as such, remained ambivalent.  Extreme fanaticism for a cause is not poorly regarded in a Hispanic community.  There were still those who saw little wrong with the making and placing of bombs - provided it was not done so close to home.  As one was to put it in connection with a later incident, "If the bomb had something to do with Cuba, why didn't they put it in Cuba?"

The strenuous campaign begun by CORU and the loose coalition that had existed before it was formed, ran roughly from March through October, 1976.  It is worth recalling, for the purpose of measurement and comparison that during time, until the fatal explosion aboard the Cuban airliner, an impressive catalogue of violent incidents had occurred: February 27, a bombing attack against the Soviet Embassy in Costa Rica; April 5, two Cuban fishing boats machine-gunned and sunk, one fisherman killed; April 22, two officials of the Cuban Embassy in Lisbon killed by a bomb; July 5, Cuban Mission to the United Nations bombed; July 9 a suitcase bomb waiting to be placed aboard a Cuban airliner exploded in a luggage cart at Kingston, Jamaica; July 10 Cuban Airlines office in Barbados bombed; July 11, bombings at Bridgetown, Barbados of an office, boat, and automobile owned by BIWI airlines; July 17, (an exceptionally busy day) bombing of an automobile belonging to a Cuban diplomat in Bogota; bombing of an office of Air Panama in Bogota; machine-gun attack against Cuban Embassy in Bogota; July 23, attempted kidnaping of Cuban Consul General at Merida, Mexico; August 9, kidnaping of two Cuban Embassy officials in Buenos Aires; August 18, Cuban Airlines office in Panama bombed; September 1, bombing of Consulate of Guayana in Trinidad.  No attempt is offered here to evaluate the effectiveness of that campaign, but the list speaks for itself as to the truly terroristic nature of what was being done.  This small group of determined militants was engaged in an international operation of considerable proportions, directed by persons well known in Dade County and maintaining close links with the Cuban exile community there and elsewhere.  The way in which the unsolved homicides of people like Donestevez Dominguez (found shot at his place of business April 13, 1976) and Gonzalez Cartas (discovered shot in a field outside Miami, May 29, 1976) were viewed in the community was substantially colored by the impact of these other events taking place overseas.  Whether there was, in fact, any material connection between them and what that connection might have been was unimportant and uninfluential in forming the views of those whose exclusive diet in these matters was comprised of media accounts embellished by local rumor-mongering.  Whatever the intent of the perpetrators, a climate of fear was generated in Dade County that helped to establish the "track record" of these various Cuban exile groups.  The names of these groups, and their initials so frequently brought to the public notice, began to take on a substance that must have been not unpleasing to those engaged in these activities.  At the same time, there was rising concern among local law enforcement authorities on account of the extension of these violent activities in this international fashion, beyond the scope of the resources available to cope adequately with them.  Contemporaneously with the events listed above, that concern was vividly, yet realistically expressed by Lieutenant Tom Lyons and Investigator Raul Diaz of the Dade County Public Safety Department in testimony given before the Sub-Committee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate on May 6, 1976.  It is particularly important, in any review of the history of this subject, to see how matters appeared, at that time, to those who were daily engaged wit the law enforcement problems presented.  The difficulty of determining the nature of the threat posed and in accurately evaluating its magnitude came over very clearly, and the lack of real information available to these officers os as to be able to cope with the problem as well as to be able to respond to the Sub-Committee's concerns is very strongly apparent.

Another most material happening, that was to have far-reaching consequences, occurred in Washington, D.C. on September 21, 1976.  A car carrying Orlando Letelier, a former Chilean Ambassador to the United States under Salvador Allende, and two companions, exploded while traveling around Sheridan Circle only a few blocks from the Chilean Embassy.  An explosive device that had been placed in Dr. Letelier's automobile was detonated by remote control killing Dr. Letelier and his companion Ronni Moffit, who was hit by a shard of metal, wounding also her husband, who had been treveling in the back seat.  That such an event could have been protagonized by foreign interests in the heart of the nation's capital was exceptionally shocking to many and had very frightening implications for security during the United States presidential election, then little over a month away.  The operation had been carried out with great precision and showed an unusual degree of sophistication and expertise.  It was evidently the kind of operation that those having some sort of "official" backing can accomplish more readily than those who do not.  What was even more shocking than the event itself to many people, who had no vested political interest in the affair, was the apparent inability of the appropriate law enforcement authorities to penetrate to the heart of the affair and to assign responsibilities in the matter.  It was recognized that prosecution of the perpetrators might prove difficult, but the not unnatural suspicion that the Chilean government of General Pinochet might somehow be directly involved gave the investigation an extraordinary political importance as well as its delicate character.  There were other more sinister suspicious that were being planted and propagated by those whose campaign in all matters of this kind was now swinging into full gear.  There were ugly suggestions that agencies of the United States were themselves involved in this affair, and that much of the mystery surrounding it and the apparent inability of law enforcement to solve it to the public satisfaction were part and parcel of a deliberate cover-up such as the public was now accustomed to seeing exposed by the new and most effective profession of "investigative journalism".  This was at a time when United states involvement in the overthrow of Salvador Allende was coming to light, and the CIA's role in that as well as the Agency's earlier involvement with the Cuban exiles was brought before a public deliciously thrilled by these discovered "wrongdoings" of its public servants.  Encouraged by a constant media campaign, itself fueled by an understandable desire to find what was evidently a most extraordinary story, it was not difficult for the public to see deadly assassins of DINA stalking the streets of the District of Columbia as they were persuaded, at that time, that the agents of SAVAK were wont to do.  The whole matter was given substantial credence by the identity and character of the victim.  Of all the Chileans in exile, Dr. Letelier probably constituted the biggest thorn in the side of the Pinochet government which was not only fighting to pull together an economy that had been plunging recklessly downhill since long before Salvador Allende took charge of the nation's destiny, but also trying to improve its image, internationally, after a brief but cruel and bloody revolution against a constitutional government.  There was not too much sympathy for Chile, outside of the United States at that time, and sympathy within the United States was most delicately poised in advance of that country's presidential election.  Orlando Letelier, from a bse in a leftist Washington, D.C. "think tank" was using all his great diplomatic skill and personal charm, as well as his considerable economic knowledge, to attack the Chilean government in those areas where it was likely to hurt most.  It is probably not exaggerating to aver that this former ambassador was the most dangerous foe of the Pinochet government anywhere in the world.  Into all this was introduced the suspicion not merely of Chilean government involvement and CIA complicity, but the very real possibility that the assassination might have been actually accomplished by Cuban exiles, acting alone or in concert with Chileans for the purpose.  Viewed against the background of what was happening elsewhere, the fingers of suspicion cannot be said to have been irresponsibly pointed.

It is unnecessary to retail here at any length the painstaking investigation that led to a substantial uncovering of the facts of the Letelier case and the remarkable expedition with which the actual perpetrators were apprehended, taken into custody, and tried.  To those accustomed to viewing these things on a superficial basis, it did much to reassure the American public as to the capacity of its law enforcement apparatus when faced with a difficult problem such as this case presented.  The extradition, trial, and conviction of the Chilean agent Michael Townley and the subsequent apprehension, trial and conviction of his two Cuban exile accomplices was impressive in the extreme and certainly did much to allay public concern that there lurked in society's midst a class of protected persons "that the law simply could not reach".  The event served to confirm the connection between the Chileans and the Cubans that was behind much of the violence of 1976, but that is not the purpose of its statement here.  The real significance of these matters goes much deeper and has a considerable relevance for the subject matter under consideration in this study.  The true significance of the event becomes clear when reference is made to the words of Lieutenant Lyons in his testimony referred to above (pages 631/632); "This is probably one of the most complex areas that we have to deal with.  It is made even more so with the lack of substantive information of an international nature because this is, as we have been stating, an international type of crime.  When the CIA is not allowed to furnish us information because of reasons of security and privacy or even internal controls on their reports, it makes it just that more difficult for us to piece together just what is occurring in our Latin American community."  It is quite clear that in the Letelier case, all these inhibiting considerations were swept away in the interests of establishing the credibility of the long arm of United States criminal justice once it had been decided to extend it in this matter.  Without the appropriate directive at the highest level of responsibility, it would have been impossible to have identified those responsible, much less to have brought them to justice before a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States.  This is an encouraging example of what can be done provided there exists the desire to do it.  Clearly, those who perpetrated this crime had reason to believe that the formidable arm of the United States would not be raised against them.  At a different time in the nation's history, it might well not have been.  This serves to highlight the "political" nature of the administration of justice in this area and the very real concerns it raises for law enforcement personnel.  It serves to give point and substance to the arguments of those who claim that if similar facilities were made available in some of the cases that have occurred in or have been the concern of the law enforcement authorities in Dade County, these too would be cleared in similar fashion.  The argument is a strong one, and while no attempt is made to adjudicate upon it here, it is clear that while there is even the suspicion - justifiable or otherwise - that official information is being held back from those charged with investigating these cases, public confidence in the probity of the investigation is not well served, and the confidence in t he probity of the investigation is not well served, and the confidence of law enforcement in its own abilities is weakened.  The belief that there is a class of "protegidos" to whom the United States is in some way indebted or by which it is compromised by association, is one that dies hard in the Cuban exile community.  It is one which substantially colors the views taken of some of the events described and it is one that has dangerous and continuing implications for law enforcement in the area of terrorism.  Fact is much less important than cynical belief in these delicate matters.]

The real beneficiary of this violence that began and substantially ended in 1976 was, as is so often the case, Fidel Castro.  It provided a convenient excuse and something of a smokescreen behind which he was able to hide some of the major shifts of policy in which he was then engaged.  Some of the CIA attempts on Castro's life (a few, bizarre in the extreme) had now become public knowledge.  There were others that the Cuban leader had been inclined to take more seriously.  He was now, especially following the crash of the Cuban Airliner, able to point to all this violence with great indignation, some of it probably quite real, and to claim that the CIA was once more master-minding these strikes.  None could deny that at one time or another, many of those engaged in this violence, including Orlando Bosch had once had the closest associations with the CIA.  The real unproven question raised by Castro at this time was whether these associations continued and what they portended.  Certainly, to the unbiased, Castro raised a good prima facie case.  He was able to point to a certain cordiality of relationships existing between Bosch, a rabid, self-confessed perpetrator or intellectual author of a variety of terroristic activities, and high officials of the Venezuelan government known to have or to have had links with the CIA.  He was able to demonstrate the connection between these relationships and those known to exist between Bosch and the government of Chile.  He could argue quite convincingly that these would never have been established without some assistance from a third party such as the CIA.  Whatever the truth of these involved matters, Castro acted with a certain amount of expeditious concern and not only capitalized, propaganda-wise on the events, but succeeded in curtailing Bosch's welcome in Venezuela.  Bosch and his companions were arrested by the Venezuelan authorities and are incarcerated at the present time awaiting the outcome of judicial inquiry into various matters imputed to them.  There are persistent rumors that this matte may be drawing to a close and that Orlando Bosch may shortly be released in Venezuela.  The abatement of this violence during Bosch may shortly be released in Venezuela.  The abatement of this violence during Bosch's incarceration since 1976 can hardly be coincidental, and the possibility of a renewal of the violence on his release - following the earlier precedent in his case - cannot be discounted.  He continues to have important links with the exile community in Dade County and while a warrant is out for his arrest in connection with his parole violation, his return to the area after he is put in liberty by the Venezuelans cannot be ruled out.  In any event, his release and a subsequent return to his former activities is certain to have repercussions in Dade County regardless of where he might eventually settle and make a base.  Bosch has, in the past, shown an informed sense of political timing and he is likely to have learned from past errors.

While these events of a violent nature have been taking place, life for the Cuban exile community has proceeded on a more prosaic but ultimately more useful level.  Twenty years is quite a long time on this scale of events, time enough to put down firm roots in new soil and time to be radically affected by the dramatically increased tempo so well explained by Alvin Toffler in "Future Shock".  This is no longer a "refugee" community in the conventional sense; the United States and the rest of the world have a much more pressing refugee problem on their hands in 1979.  The trauma of the old upheaval is still painfully evident and many adjustments have yet to be made.  But both the United States and the Cubans themselves have become substantially reconciled to the fact that this is their new, permanent, home, and "this" means Dade County.  By any standard, it is one of the most extraordinary transplants of modern times.  What all this holds for the future is not a task to be examined here, but there are already signs that it will be, so far as the problem of terrorism is concerned, quite drastically different from the past.  New community leaders are emerging and these, though ever mindful of the legacy of disillusionment and dispossession that these exiles cannot yet shake off, are courageously engaging in what may be termed a "politics of reconstruction".  It is based less on consuming hatred for a remote adversary from the past than on a real desire to capitalize upon this community's tremendous potential for the future.  It recognizes the historical facts and makes no apologies for them; but it is not weighed down by them either.  This is a community that had become genuinely concerned about its own potential for self-destruction.  It had seen the possibility of internecine violence in its midst and wanted no part of it.  It had become concerned even about taking the traditionally "patriotic" view of supporting violence abroad, while condemning it in the United States.  The events of 1976 had clearly shown that the distinction could not always be so neatly made.  The community had made great material progress, beyond the wildest dreams of some.  They had shared, and shared fairly in what were mainly "good" years for those who lived in the United States.  Most would have had to think very carefully before opting for a return to Cuba, on the assumption that their homeland had been recovered and scoured forever of communist influence.  Further progress, materially and spiritually depended to a large extent upon a quiet acceptance of matters as they are.  And this, naturally, forces an unpleasant but necessary recognition of Castro and all he stands for an has come to symbolize for the exiled population.  This is a very hard thing indeed to do, but it is not unique.  The same choice faces the Arabs with regard to the existence of the State of Israel.  The "fanatics" among the Cuban exiles may very appropriately be compared with those in Islam who cannot and will not ever accept the consequences of the stroke of history that brought the State of Israel.  The "fanatics" among the Cuban exiles may very appropriately be compared with those in Islam who cannot and will not ever accept the consequences of the stroke of history that brought the State of Israel into existence.  Others have shown themselves more malleable and although risking their political positions and perhaps eve ntheir very lives, have decided upon an accommodation with their adversaries that they hope will redound to their own greater advantage.  Such choices are never easily made.  They are even more difficult to translate into terms of practical politics.  They are a fertile breeding ground for terrorism.  Nevertheless, the Cuban exile community towards the end of 1978 made that choice, with all the consequences, good and bad, that it entails.

The present situation has been a long time in the making.  With hindsight, it serves to explain some of the events of earlier times and to rationalize some of the violence of 1976 in terms of a brittleness designed to resist the inevitable.  Indeed, what occurred in 1977 may have been, at least in part, a reaction to the violence of 1976.  On September 1, 1977 the United States and Cuba established "Interest Sections" in Washington and Havana, marking a renovation of direct, diplomatic contact between the two countries for the first time in sixteen years.  Meanwhile, unadvertized talks were proceeding between some influential members of the Cuban exile community and the Castro government.  The principal topics of discussion were the release of political prisoners held by the Castro regime and the re-unification of families.  A group of young exiles of the Antonio Maceo Brigade visited Cuba in that same year to work as volunteers, talk with Cuban officials, and see relatives.  At a news conference on September 6, 1978, Castro made a dramatic offer, inviting members of the "Cuban community abroad" to "A Dialogue" aimed at setting the stage for a comprehensive program of freeing the political prisoner, reunifying families, and allowing exiles to return as visitors to the island.  This conciliatory gesture by Castro was regarded with the greatest of suspicion by even the most interested members of the community, but the benefits and hopes it held out were too great to be resisted save by the most intractable.  The "two Cubans" thus began the process of dialogue which, while not leading to a political reconciliation as such, was to change completely the premises upon which the exile community had based much of its existence.  The changes were rapidly translated into practical action.  In the first three months of 1979, nearly 22,000 exiles had traveled to Cuba, and it was confidently expected that more than 100,000 would do so before the year's end.  The effect this has had on the community as a whole is profound.  This has been a time of confusion and agonizing choices for the "Cuban community abroad".  The Miami Herald in an evocative article on the subject published April 8, 1979, described the situation as giving rise to a choice between "Blood and Politics".  It is, perhaps, rather the fashioning of a new kind of politics.  A clear majority, judged by its conduct, is in favor of the change, of some sort of dignified rapprochement that will allow the two communities to live their separate fashions but yet remained united by the ties of blood rather than bitterly divided by the dictates of politics.  Yet others remain unreconciled to the changes that twenty years of history have wrought and are, if anything, further hardened in their resolve to fight in to the bitter end.  There is a certain Latin pride involved here that can make no concession to the victor; indeed, it will not even concede him his victory.  This spirit is expressed in a letter published in U.S. News and World Report, May 28, 1979, and is worth pondering in the present context:

"Exiles insult the dead, the incarcerated, every tragic victim of the Caribbean satrap when they visit Castro's Cuba for any purpose other than to help overthrow the abominable regime.  Confiscation of private property, end to freedom of assembly and of the press, government by ukase, church worship a treasonable act, debased living standards - this and more has been Castro's Cuba.  Self-respecting Cubans can never condone it or reconcile with this political, social and economic wasteland of tyranny and poverty."

The principal vehicle through which this attempted accommodation with Castro is being approached is a loose coalition of interests that has titled itself The Committee of 75.  This group of community representatives has a dangerous and daunting task before it.  Again the comparison with President Sadat of Egypt invites itself.  A sudden, bold initiative has challenged fundamental assumptions and has polarized opposition.  The Committee of 75 has twenty years of hatred and suspicion to overcome and it has but a fragile constituency to which to appeal.  Like President Sadat, it will be judged by results.  In a community that has traditionally given little credit for altruism and has seen enough political speculation in the past to make it truly cynical, it may be difficult to live up to expectations of the kind raised.  But for those who have chosen to be a part of this endeavor, there is now only the road forward, for there can be no turning back.  A high price has already been exacted for the progress made.  A member of the Committee, Carlos Muniz, aged 26, a member of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, a tour operator in Puerto Rico promoting visits to Cuba was murdered in San Juan on April 28, 1979.  The precise connection between the death of this young man and the intricate politics of the moment is far from clear, but it is really unimportant for the present purposes.  What is significant are the interpretations being given to his demise, the speculation surrounding its implications for the safety of others, and the impact of all this on the community.  It would be premature to jump to conclusions regarding this matter or even positively to assign political motives to this killing.  The experience of the past suggests that it is all too easy to forge links that are stronger than the best available evidence can bear.  One is tempted to enquire why, if this indeed was an attack upon the Committee of 75 through this member of it, a more prominent member of it was not chosen for the purpose and why the killing was not carried out in Miami where, one would have supposed, it might have had the most fearful effect upon the community.  Most certainly other members of the Committee have been harassed and threatened both before and after the death of Muniz, but, so far, none has been physically attacked.  This cannot be on account of the protection these people are assumed to enjoy, for few have bodyguards and their overall security is not such as to give them adequate protection against the type of attacks that have taken place in the past.  These observations should not be taken as detracting in any way from the very real assessment of danger that each of these individuals must face as a result of his or her participation in the work of this Committee.  All must have been aware of this when they took upon themselves, voluntarily, these obligations for the community as a whole.  But a hysterical, over reactive approach is unlikely to be of much protective value.  Just such an approach is that taken by The Miami Herald Editorial of May 5, 1979, under the title "Terrorism Among Cubans Calls for Immediate Action".  The florid language of that article can hardly have contributed to lowering the tensions existing in a polarized community and can only be calculated to increase whatever apprehensions are currently felt.  It is, of course, an undisguised appeal for federal assistance and, in so far as this might be appropriate to the case, the appeal is only to be welcomed.  It will be interesting to see if it is sustained if it is carried to its logical conclusion.  It is material to cite in full one portion of the Editorial having a bearing on this : "Only Federal authorities have the resources fully to combat terrorism linked to Cuban politics.  The conspiracies involved, if any, almost certainly are both interstate and international.  Suspects and witnesses are scattered over thousands of miles.  Local authorities can only help; they cannot solve the problem".  This language, from a different standpoint, is strikingly like that contained in the Lyons testimony to which reference has been made.  The real issue involves the ability to obtain and utilize information; it is not a narrow jurisdictional one.  Would the Herald and other concerned media interests support such a needed move to expand the law enforcement intelligence system?  This is a public relations matter which needs to be carefully addressed.

Good cases are spoiled by latent or patent exaggeration.  Some statements take on an overpowering flavor from the context in which they are set.  The same editorial dealing with "Terrorism" reports that "Federal and local law enforcement authorities investigated more than 100 bombings and six political murders in South Florida between 1973 and 1976."  The inference is surely that all this constituted unassailable evidence for a "wave of politically inspired terrorism" that "must not be permitted to return".  While all would agree that everything must be done to keep the community free from violence of any sort, such uncritical statements are unpersuasive and unhelpful to the case.  When these bombings are considered on a case by case basis, many are seen to be the result of private matters, some were done for self-advertisement and others had criminal extortion as t heir purpose.  It is not necessary to examine here, in detail, each of the six "political" murders to which reference is made, but most if not all can only be regarded as such in the sense that the victim had at some time or another been engaged in politics.  Certainly few if any of these individuals to whom allusion is made were killed because of their politics.  It is far from clear what enhanced federal involvement is being sought here.  Unless there is evidence of a violation of a federal criminal statute, it would be grossly improper for state and local law enforcement to be superseded.  It is just such a supersession that the Herald Editorial seems to call for and it does great disservice to the proper law enforcement authorities having jurisdiction over the matter and raises unwarranted expectations in the larger readership that cannot be expected to appreciate these niceties.  It cannot help abate the understandable concerns of the community or to lower the climate of terrorism by weakening public confidence in the capabilities of its law enforcement system.

Since that controversial Editorial was published, much of its substance has already taken on a moot quality. The matter has simply been overtaken by events of a much grimmer kind than those presaged by the writer of the Editorial.  Dade County has been struck by an unparallel wave of non-politically inspired violence beside which anything done by militant Cuban exiles in their hey-day pales into insignificance.  Recent though these events are, they still belong to history, but they represent the "tail" of the immediate future; the beast is but a little way ahead.  How much of this violence can be properly described as terrorism must await a more leisurely examination of the evidence.  A pattern is certainly forming already, and what is known gives cause for the greatest public concern.  Politically inspired terrorists operating in the Cuban exile community were, in the main, very careful not to alienate their "constituency".  They did not engage in indiscriminate or even incautious killing; their victims were carefully chosen and dispatched with a minimum of danger or even inconvenience to the general public.  The message of fear was clearly written, but it was carefully addressed and was not specially broadcast throughout the community.  There was much boasting, much ugly rhetoric, but the average Cuban resident of Dade County had little to fear from even the most rabid militant, in the sense of some direct assault upon his person or property.  Politically inspired terrorism reaps relatively high dividends in terms of the fear quotient for the expenditure of comparatively little real effort.  The current drug-related violence carries with it a high degree of involuntary involvement for the citizen at large.  The killings that took place in Dadeland Mall in July, 1979 were reckless in the extreme; anyone who had the misfortune to be in the vicinity at the time of the action was quite likely to have been targeted.  Once started, these "wars" are exceedingly difficult to stop.  The words of the Editorial of May 5 can be nicely adapted with but little variation to the present situation; only they are even more apposite when so amended.  There it was said: "The danger, as this community learned to its sorrow in 1975, is that a wave of politically inspired terrorism, once unleashed, takes on a momentum of its own."  The only recommended addition to make that observation germane to the present situation is the word "non" before "politically-inspired".  A full history of this wave of violence will make interesting professional reading.  It will certainly be most productive of knowledge concerning non-political terrorism and its impact on a community such as that of Dade County.  What is highly significant is the new dimension that has been added to the terrorism picture by the incursion of "outsiders", violence-prone individuals who are not a part of the now-stable resident Hispanic community.

All history, like cartography, is a compromise.  It is largely a matter of perspective how it is reported and what is made, by way of exposition and commentary, of those reports.  Some things are drawn larger than life, while others appear unduly small.  Much depends on the historian's purpose.  Here the objective has been to provide a tool by which the dimensions of the problem might be usefully examined.  It is material to enquire as to what was, in the past, called terrorism by law enforcement, by the media, by the public.  How serious a problem, in retrospect, was this?  What might have been done to alter the course of history, to reduce the impact of this on the life of the community?  A review of history allows for such speculation, a sort of "Monday morning quarter-backing"; "those who do not learn the lessons of the past are compelled to repeat them in the future."  There are many such lessons to be drawn upon for the purposes of the present study.  Firstly, there is the danger of taking the narrow view; those who are in the trenches generally see very little of the battle.  It is understandable that those actually involved in the action should see a larger and less meaningful portion of the canvas than those who are able to stand back and take a more expansive view.  The historical perspective offers useful correction to the narrow view formed at the time.  It is useful to recall that while Miami was suffering from the politically inspired violence of 1975, that is now so vividly recalled by some, that it was not alone in these matters.  On October 27, 1975, ten bombings were carried out by the FALN in an attempt to gain attention for Puerto Rican independence and the release of Puerto Rican "political prisoners".  On October 31,v 1975, the very day Rolando Masferrer Rojas was assassinated in Miami, the New World Liberation Front was blowing up a storage building in California in support of Puerto Rican independence, while the Emilio Zapata Unit was bombing a Safeway store not far away.  It is little comfort to the inhabitants of Dade County to know that others are suffering the same problems, though for different reasons, elsewhere.  But it is very necessary for those organizing and directing the response to keep the wider picture in mind.  In the struggle against terrorism it is always to avoid overaction.  To overreact emotionally and materially is to play into the terrorists' hands.  The first serves only to alarm the community and to heighten the level of fear, thus doing the terrorist's job for him.  The second is simply wasteful and the mistake has been repeated over and over again.  Whole armies have been tied down by a handful of terrorists.  The indiscriminate use of manpower and material does little to curb the problem and may, on occasion be positively dangerous; the Howard Johnson incident which took place in New Orleans on January 7, 1973, in a case in point.  General Grivas pointed out that you do not hunt field mice with tanks; a cat will do the job much better.  A needs assessment study must be primarily concerned with findings the right kind of cat for the job and training it to do its work well.  The lessons of history, if well learned, can serve as useful orientation for the future.

An overview of past terrorism by types - A summary
Politically inspired terrorism

This has been, until recently, by far the commonest kind of terrorism occurring in Dade County.  It has been almost exclusively Cuban in origin and related to matters of interest to the Cuban community in exile.  Quantitatively, bombing has predominated, but there have been political killings and widespread extortion to finance these militant movements.  Kidnaping and hostage-taking have not been featured activities in Dade County.  Some skyjacking out of Miami took place during the period when this crime was more prevalent, and although Cuba was a destination, political motivation so far as it related to the Cuban exile struggle was not in point.  Discriminating analysis of violent events involving the Cuban exile population in Dade County shows the number that can be positively assigned to this category to be much smaller than is the case impressionistically.

Non-politically inspired terrorism

This has not constituted a significant problem in Dade County until comparatively recently.  The "old" organized crime interests, concerned mainly with gambling, money-lending and vice settled their disputes in an orderly way.  Their impact on the community at large was of an insidious but non-threatening character.  Such "terrorism" as existed was largely an internal matter.  The narcotics trade has radically changed this picture and the fact that this, in Dade County, is now largely in Hispanic hands has disturbed the overall position considerably.  A power struggle is proceeding for control of the drug traffic engaged in form this area and this is giving rise to a great deal of violence, some of it of a terroristic nature.  An exact appreciation of its kind and quantity cannot usefully made at this time, but it is safe to opine that it currently presents a more serious problem for the community than does its politically inspired counterpart.

International or transnational terrorism

Some of the politically inspired terrorism protagonized by the Cuban exile groups has had this character.  Operations have been planned and prepared elsewhere and executed in Dade County.  There have been links and movements that have substantially passed beyond the jurisdictional, if not the investigative bounds of local law enforcement authorities.  There have, so far, not been activities of an overt nature by other international, politically inspired terrorists in the Dade County area.  No information has revealed planning or preparatory action by any Palestinian group, Iranians, Puerto Ricans, or any of the many active Left Wing Latin American groups.   The recent, non-politically inspired terrorism has been of a transnational type involving mainly Columbians.

Domestic terrorism

This, again, has been almost exclusively related to internal struggles within the Cuban exile community or in protest against United States' policies with regard to Cuba.  Most of the terrorist bombings that have taken place in Dade County can be so classified.  The bombings by Rolando Otero Hernandez in March/April, 1975, are typical examples of what might be assigned to this category.  No black or white-anglo groups have been active in Dade County for many years.  It should be recalled, in an historical context that although El Poder Cubano was organized and operated out of Dade County, its domestic terrorist activities especially during 1968, were nationwide.  On July 19 of that year, it was responsible for three bombings in Los Angeles, for another on August 3 in New York City, and yet another in Miami on August 17.

High technology terrorism

There has been no evidence of anything that could be so characterized in the Dade-Miami area.  This is not particularly surprising, as there has been, as yet, very little manifestation of such developments. Most of the terrorism taking place in Dade County or associated with it in any way has been, technologically speaking, of a comparatively low order.  This is not due to any backwardness or lack of knowledge in the community.  The potential is clearly there, for the Letelier bombing was indicative of considerable skill.  It is also interesting to note that Florida Power and Light employs an unusually large number of Cuban engineers.  While there have been no threats involving this type of terrorism in Dade County, it is worth recalling that on October 27, 1970, in Orlando, Florida, a 14 year old science student demanded $1,000,000 and a safe conduct or he would explode a hydrogen bomb, of which he submitted a credible diagram.

Quasi terrorism

There has been a lower incident of this type of criminality in Dade-Miami than in many other comparable population centers elsewhere.  Quite strikingly, there have been very few hostage-taking incidents and this seems to have followed the pattern established by politically inspired terrorists.  The Dade County Public Safety Department, the City of Miami Police Department, and the City of Miami Beach Police Department all have excellently trained SWAT teams that have had very little employment in this regard during the last few years.

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