CUBA

Cuba arrests Miami-based 'terrorists' over alleged plan to attack military

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 May, 2014, 10:18pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 May, 2014, 12:26am

Cuba has arrested four Miami-based exiles suspected of planning attacks on military installations with the goal of promoting anti-government violence on the communist-run island.

Labelling the suspects "terrorists", it said they were linked to Luis Posada Carriles, 86, a Cuban exile and former CIA operative living in Miami who for many years sought to overthrow then-president Fidel Castro.

The April 26 arrests could antagonise the already poor relations between Washington and Havana, and the case recalled a series of plots from the exile community in Miami against Cuba.

Cuba said it would contact US officials about the investigation and that the four suspects had admitted to planning the attacks.

By reaching out to US authorities, Cuba said that it hoped to "avoid acts by terrorist organisations or elements located in that country".

The State Department said it had seen the Cuban statement but had no further information.

"The Cuban government has also not been in touch with us yet on these cases," spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The suspects were identified as Jose Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodriguez Gonzalez, Raibel Pacheco Santos and Felix Monzon Alvarez, relative unknowns among Miami exiles.

Cuba said they were working for three others in Miami, who are well known, and who had close ties to Posada Carriles, a polarising figure seen as a terrorist in Cuba but a hero to some anti-Castro exiles.

A lawyer for Posada Carriles denied any connection to the allegations.