The news is in; an infamous terrorist who was responsible for the deaths of many people aboard commercial aircraft is dead. But if you think I’m talking about Osama Bin Laden, it’s understandable given the breaking news.
But I’m not. I’m talking about Orlando Bosch, the Cuban-American anti-Castro terrorist who – along with co-conspirator Luis Posada – was responsible for numerous terrorist acts, including Cubana Flight 455 from Barbados to Jamaica, which was destroyed on Oct. 6, 1976 by two-time bombs and killed 73 people on board – including all 24 members of the 1975 national Cuban fencing team that included teenagers.
Bosch was no lone wolf; he was part of the Cuban-American terrorist movement that regularly targeted the island in order to overthrow the communist Castro regime from our very own Afghanistan – Miami, with full complicity of the U.S. government, up to and including the Bush administration. George Bush senior released Bosch from the INS for his activities at the request of his son and future Florida governor Jeb:
“The Bush family connections go back to 1984 when Jeb Bush began a close association with Camilo Padreda, a former intelligence officer with the Batista dictatorship overthrown by Fidel Castro.
Jeb Bush was then the chairman of the Dade county Republican party and Padreda its finance chairman. Padreda had earlier been indicted on a $500,000 (£320,000) embezzlement charge along with a fellow exile, Hernandez Cartaya, but the charges were dropped, reportedly after the CIA stated that Cartaya had worked for them.
Padreda later pleaded guilty to defrauding the housing and urban development department of millions of dollars during the 1980s.
The president’s younger brother was also on the payroll in the 80s of the prominent Cuban exile Miguel Recarey, who had earlier assisted the CIA in attempts to assassinate President Castro.”
According to the 2006 Atlantic Monthly article, “Twilight of the Assassins:”
“On August 17, 1989, Jeb Bush attended a meeting he had arranged for Ros-Lehtinen with his father to discuss the matter. The following July, President Bush rejected his own Justice Department’s recommendation and authorized Bosch’s release. Not long after that, Bosch announced that he was ready to ‘rejoin the struggle’ and called the agreement he had signed forswearing violence ‘a farce.'”
“Ros-Lehtinen” refers to Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), an ultra-rightist who supports – among other things – the Iranian Mujahideen e-Khalq, a group that’s on the State Dept.’s foreign terrorist organization list.
The New York Times noted that Bosch was acquitted of the Flight 455 bombing on the grounds that the prosecution’s evidence was inadmissible, yet he displayed a Bin Laden-ite worldview in a statement he made in 1979 when he was jailed in Venezuela for the crime:
“You have to fight violence with violence. At times you cannot avoid hurting innocent people.”
Posada was overheard saying, “We are going to hit a Cuban airplane” and “Orlando has the details,” according to a declassified CIA report. “And in 2006,” reported the Times, “the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a report quoting an informant in Caracas, Venezuela, as saying that one of the men who had planted the bomb called Mr. Bosch afterward with the message, ‘A bus with 73 dogs went off a cliff and all got killed.'”
As Americans celebrate in the streets at the news of Bin Laden’s death and chant “USA! USA!” it’s easy to think that terrorism’s not only Islamically-driven, but also exclusively anti-American. Yet not only do both men have a Bush-connection (Osama’s wasn’t as direct), but both men also – in their own times and in their own ways – have put their terrorism to work for American interests:
“But as the Economist magazine noted soon after September 11, ‘[U.S.] policies in Afghanistan a decade and more ago helped to create both Osama bin Laden and the fundamentalist Taliban regime that shelters him.'”
Those policies centered around the U.S. and Saudi funding of Islamist Mujahideen that flocked to Soviet-occupied Afghanistan to fight the godless communists:
“During most of the 1980’s, the CIA secretly sent billions of dollars of military aid to Afghanistan to support the mujahedeen – or holy warriors – against the Soviet Union, which had invaded in 1979.
The U.S.-supported jihad succeeded in driving out the Soviets but the Afghan factions allied to the US gave rise to the oppressive Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda.”
Osama Bin Laden took a path different from Orlando Bosch – he bit the hand that fed him and chose to fight the American empire, going so far as to take that fight to American soil; otherwise known as 9/11. For that, his body lies at the bottom of the sea, while Bosch lived out his days in Miami and received a dignified funeral. One can see how defiance of the American empire is punished – and continued service to it is rewarded.
At the end of the day, both men saw themselves as freedom fighters and both fought for their freedom with the most immoral means at their disposal. Yet, one was the target of America’s war on terror, while another fought his war of terror from America. Both forms of terror stem from both sides of the imperialist coin and all terrorism can end when those patriotic mobs chanting “USA!” choose to mob up in the streets and chant “Down With American Power!”