Far-right Cuban activist Orlando Bosch died in Miami on April 27 at the age of 84. He had “a long and painful illness,” according to a statement by fellow right-winger Pedro Corzo. Although accused of involvement in a number of terrorist actions targeting Cuba’s leftist government, Bosch was only convicted of one: a Sept. 16, 1968 rifle attack on a Polish freighter docked at the Port of Miami. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison but fled the US after getting parole. In 1976 Venezuelan prosecutors charged Bosch and longtime US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) asset Luis Posada Carriles in the 1976 bombing of a Cubana de Aviación jetliner; 73 people died in that attack. A Venezuelan military court acquitted Bosch and Posada in 1980, but they remained in prison pending a prosecution appeal to a civilian court. Posada escaped in 1985 and went on to work in US operations to supply the right-wing contra rebels in Nicaragua. The Venezuelan civilian court acquitted Bosch in 1987.
Bosch returned to Miami in 1988 and served three months in federal prison for violating parole in the 1968 case. Legally he could have been deported from the US as a convicted felon, but apparently the US refused to repatriate him to Cuba and no other country would accept him. This left Bosch free to live in Miami until his death, openly raising money for a campaign he called “Mortar for Masons.” “We’re not talking about flowers or hot meat pies,” Bosch explained in an interview the Miami Herald published in 1993. (Miami Herald, April 28)
In 1997 Bosch denied that he and Posada were involved in the bombings of Cuban hotels that year that left one Italian tourist dead. “The last news I had from [Posada] was about three months ago,” Bosch told Miami’s daily El Nuevo Herald. “I sent him money from some paintings of his that I sold here in Miami…. “We have nothing to do with these attacks. Besides, if we did, we’d still be denying it, since that’s illegal in this country.”
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, May 1.
See our last post on Miami terrorists.