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Cablegate: Cuba: 2001 Annual Terrorism Report

R 141343Z DEC 01
FM USINT HAVANA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9600

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HAVANA 004690

S/CT FOR REAP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER CU
SUBJECT: CUBA: 2001 ANNUAL TERRORISM REPORT

REF: A)STATE 198912 B)HAVANA 3721 C)HAVANA 3817
D)HAVANA 4110 E)HAVANA 4186

RESPONSES ARE KEYED TO REF A, BEGINNING WITH THE QUESTION
IN PARAGRAPH C.

C) POST IS NOT AWARE OF ANY JUDICIAL RESPONSE IN THE GLOBAL
FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM AFTER THE TERRORIST ACTS OF 9/11.
ON DOMESTIC TERRORISM ISSUES, THREE GUATEMALANS ACCUSED OF
PLANNING A BOMBING CAMPAIGN TO DESTABILIZE THE CASTRO
GOVERNMENT WERE FINALLY BROUGHT TO TRIAL AND SENTENCED IN
NOVEMBER. THEY HAD BEEN IN DETENTION SINCE 1998.
SPECULATION IS THAT CUBA DECIDED TO TRY THE THREE IN THE
WAKE OF THE 9/11 ATTACKS TO DEMONSTRATE HOW CUBA HAS ALSO
BEEN A VICTIM OF TERRORISM.

D) IN 2001, THE GOC DID NOT REQUEST THE EXTRADITION TO CUBA
OF ANY SUSPECTED TERRORISTS, NOR THE USG REQUESTED THE
EXTRADITION OF ANY SUSPECTED TERRORISTS FROM CUBA FOR
PROSECUTION IN THE U.S. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE U.S.-CUBA
EXTRADITION TREATY WAS SUSPENDED FOLLOWING THE BREAK IN
DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS IN 1961. HOWEVER, DURING A
CONVERSATION WITH GOC OFFICIALS FOLLOWING 9/11 WHEN GOC
COOPERATION WAS SOUGHT, PO SUGGESTED THAT CUBA RELEASE INTO
U.S. CUSTODY FUGITIVES FROM JUSTICE RESIDENT IN CUBA.

E) CUBAN AFFINITY WITH AND SYMPATHY FOR COUNTRIES, GROUPS
AND INDIVIDUALS WHO PURPORT TO ADVOCATE INTERESTS
ANTITHETICAL TO THE UNITED STATES COULD IMPEDE CUBAN
GOVERNMENT PROSECUTION OF TERRORISTS, AND EXTRADITION COULD
BE IMPEDED BY THE LACK OF A FUNCTIONING EXTRADITION TREATY.
NEVERTHELESS, USINT IS AWARE OF NO INSTANCE IN 2001 IN
WHICH THIS OCCURRED.

F) PUBLIC STATEMENTS FROM THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT IN RESPONSE
TO 9/11 BEGAN WITH AN INITIAL MESSAGE OF SYMPATHY AND
STEADILY DETERIORATED. (REF C) HOWEVER, EVEN IN THE FIRST
MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCE, THE NOTION THAT CUBA HAS BEEN A
VICTIM OF TERRORIST ATTACKS PERPETRATED BY INDIVIDUALS
RESIDING IN THE UNITED STATES WAS UNDERSCORED. THE GOC
HELD A MASSIVE DEMONSTRATION IN LATE SEPTEMBER PROTESTING
THE 1976 DOWNING OF A CUBANA AIRLINER BY ALLEGED TERRORISTS
ORLANDO BOSCH AND LUIS POSADA CARRILES, AT WHICH CASTRO
UNVEILED HIS NEW MANTRA, "NO TO TERRORISM, NO TO WAR." (REF
B) THIS WAS FOLLOWED BY TWO MONTHS OF HIGHLY CRITICAL
MEDIA REPORTING ON THE `MURDEROUS' WAR WAGED BY THE U.S. ON
AFGHAN CHILDREN. (REF D) GOC OFFICIALS PRIVATELY MADE
MINIMAL EFFORTS TO COOPERATE WITH POST EFFORTS TO COLLECT
INFORMATION ON THE ATTACKS, ALTHOUGH GOC OFFICIALS,
INCLUDING THE FOREIGN MINISTER, REPORTED PUBLICLY THAT THEY
HAD COOPERATED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT POSSIBLE. (REF E)

G) THE GOC PARROTED ITS THEME "NO TO TERRORISM, NO TO WAR"
AT BOTH THE UNGA AND THE IBERO-AMERICAN SUMMIT. CUBA
SIGNED THE IBERO-AMERICAN DECLARATION ON TERRORISM AT THIS
YEAR'S IBERO-AMERICAN SUMMIT - A DEPARTURE FROM ITS
ATTITUDE DURING THE PREVIOUS SUMMIT, WHEN IT REFUSED TO
SIGN A SIMILAR DECLARATION BECAUSE IT DID NOT INCLUDE
SPECIFIC LANGUAGE CENSURING TERRORISM AGAINST CUBA. CUBA
HAS SIGNED AND RATIFIED ALL 12 INTERNATIONAL
COUNTERTERRORISM CONVENTIONS.

H) CUBA PERMITS UP TO 20 MEMBERS OF ETA TO RESIDE IN CUBA,
AND PROVIDES SOME DEGREE OF SAFEHAVEN AND SUPPORT TO
MEMBERS OF THE COLOMBIAN TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS FARC AND
ELN. THE GOVERNMENT OF COLOMBIA IS AWARE OF THIS
ARRANGEMENT AND, TO POST'S KNOWLEDGE, DOES NOT OBJECT. A
GOC SPOKESPERSON REVEALED IN AUGUST THAT SINN FEIN'S
OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR CUBA AND LATIN AMERICA, NIALL
CONNOLLY, WHO WAS ARRESTED IN COLOMBIA UNDER SUSPICION OF
TRAINING COLOMBIAN REBELS IN THE USE OF EXPLOSIVES, WAS
BASED IN HAVANA FOR FIVE YEARS.

I) CUBAN PRESIDENT CASTRO AND VISITED IRAN, SYRIA AND LIBYA
IN MAY 2001. CASTRO WAS QUOTED AS SAYING "IRAN AND CUBA,
IN COOPERATION WITH EACH OTHER CAN BRING AMERICA TO ITS
KNEES. THE U.S. REGIME IS VERY WEAK, AND WE ARE WITNESSING
THIS WEAKNESS FROM CLOSE UP."

J) THERE HAS BEEN NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THE CUBAN
GOVERNMENT'S ATTITUDE TOWARD INTERNATIONAL OR DOMESTIC
TERRORISM IN 2001, OTHER THAN POST 9/11 COMMENTS NOTED
ABOVE.

K) THERE HAS BEEN MINIMAL COOPERATION FOLLOWING THE EVENTS
OF 9/11, ALTHOUGH THE GOC AGREED TO INCREASE SECURITY
AROUND USINT. THEY BY PROVIDED INFORMATION FOLLOWING 9/11,
BUT IT PROVED TO BE NOTHING OF VALUE.

L) SHORT OF POST 9/11 COMMUNICATIONS REPORTED IN REFTELS,
POST IS NOT AWARE OF ANY U.S. REQUESTS FOR COOPERATION FROM
THE GOC DURING THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS IN THE INVESTIGATION
OR PROSECUTION OF AN ACT OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM AGAINST
U.S. CITIZENS OR INTERESTS.

M) AS THERE HAVE BEEN NO U.S. REQUESTS FOR COOPERATION FROM
THE GOC IN THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS, POST HAS NO INFORMATION
THAT WOULD BE RELEVANT TO THIS SUB-SECTION.


NIGRO

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