Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fact : February 24, 1996 Brothers to the Rescue Shootdown was an act of State Terrorism


Fact Sheet on Brothers to the Rescue Shoot down (February 2011 Update)


"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts" - Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"To forgive is not to forget. The merit lies in loving in spite of the vivid knowledge that the one that must be loved is not a friend. There is no merit in loving an enemy when you forget him for a friend."- Mahatma Gandhi


FACT 1: By definition: Terrorism is the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear)
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=terrorism


FACT 2: Cuba is responsible for violating the right to life (Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) to the detriment of Carlos Costa, Pablo Morales, Mario De La Peña, and Armando Alejandre, who died as a result of the direct actions of its agents on the afternoon of 24 February 1996 while flying through international airspace. 

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
REPORT Nº 86/99 CASE 11.589 ARMANDO ALEJANDRE JR., CARLOS COSTA, MARIO DE LA PEÑA, AND PABLO MORALES vs. CUBA
September 29, 1999
http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/99eng/Merits/Cuba11.589.htm


FACT 3:
Cuba is responsible for violating the right to a fair trial (Article XVIII of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man) to the detriment of the relatives of Carlos Costa, Pablo Morales, Mario De La Peña, and Armando Alejandre, in that to date the Cuban authorities have not conducted an exhaustive investigation with a view toward prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators and have not indemnified those same relatives for the damage they suffered as a result of those illicit acts.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
REPORT Nº 86/99 CASE 11.589 ARMANDO ALEJANDRE JR., CARLOS COSTA, MARIO DE LA PEÑA, AND PABLO MORALES vs. CUBA
September 29, 1999 http://www.cidh.org/annualrep/99eng/Merits/Cuba11.589.htm


FACT 4:
In Alejandre v. Republic of Cuba, 996 F.Supp. 1239 (S.D.Fla. 1997), a federal district court awarded the families of three of the four occupants of the “ Brothers to the Rescue” planes shot down by Cuba in 1996 a total of $187.7 million in damages against Cuba.

Lawsuits Against State Supporters of Terrorism: An Overview by Jennifer K. Elsea, Legislative Attorney American Law Division
http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/crsreports/crsdocuments/RS22094_06232005.pdf


FACT 5:
WASP spy network was involved. One of the “illegal officers” (Gerardo Hernandez) was convicted of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder based on his role in the February 24, 1996, shoot-down of two unarmed civilian aircraft in international airspace by Cuban Air Force jet fighters, which resulted in the deaths of four people, three of them U.S. citizens.

http://www.america.gov/st/pubs-english/2008/June/20070712120209atlahtnevel0.7962915.html


http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/organizations/b/brothers_to_the_rescue/index.html



FACT 6:
Brothers to the Rescue had spotted and saved thousands of rafters in the Florida Straits and was engaged in such a mission on that day. The one plane that skirted the boundary briefly was the only one to return. The other two were shotdown miles away from Cuba’s boundary having never entered or touched it on that day and the planes had been in contact with the Cuban tower throughout the flight.

ICAO Resolution on February 24 shootdown
http://www.icao.int/icao/en/nr/1996/pio199606_e.pdf



FACT 7:
On July 26, 1996 the United Nations Security Council: "Noting that the unlawful downing of two civil aircraft on 24 February by the Cuban Air Force violated the principle that States must refrain from using weapons against airborne civil aircraft, the Security Council this afternoon condemned such use as being incompatible with the rules of customary international law "

On the conclusion of the ICAO report on the shooting down of two civilian aircraft by Cuban Air Force Resolution 1067 (1996) Adopted by the Security Council at its 3683rd meeting, on 26 July 1996
http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,UNSC,,CUB,4562d94e2,3b00f1522b,0.html



FACT 8:
The issue of controversy arose from Jose Basulto's (one of the survivors of the attack) belief that elements in the Clinton Administration collaborated with the Cuban government in this act of state terrorism: ....I'm sure that behind this there was at least intentional, gross negligence on the part of some people in the U.S. government. I don't know who they are. I haven't been able to prove a conspiracy as such, but the possibility exists.''

Clear and Present Danger / The Miami Herald February 16, 1997
http://www.fiu.edu/~fcf/brothers21497.html


FACT 9: Ana Belen Montes, the US intelligence community's top analyst on Cuban affairs had throughout a sixteen-year career at the Defense Intelligence Agency sent the Cuba intelligence service sensitive and secret information and helped to shape US opinion on Cuba. Scott W. Carmichael, a senior security and counterintelligence investigator for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), served as the lead case agent on the Ana Montes espionage investigation. In the first five pages of his book True Believer he indicates that his investigation was triggered by her odd behavior before and after the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down. On September 21 2001 Ana Belen Montes was arrested and subsequently charged with Conspiracy to Commit Espionage for the government of Cuba. Montes eventually pleaded guilty to spying, and in October, 2002, she was sentenced to a 25-year prison term followed by 5 years of probation. Montes is listed as FMC Register #25037-016. Her tentative release date is listed as July 1, 2023.

True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba's Master Spy
http://www.amazon.com/True-Believer-Inside-Investigation-Capture/dp/1591141001
Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator - Ana Belen Montes
http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/InmateFinderServlet?Transaction=IDSearch&needingMoreList=false&IDType=IRN&IDNumber=25037-016&x=16&y=19


FACT 10:
A Cuban pilot said he saw Cuban MiGs rehearsing the shootdown six days beforehand in a October 8, 1998 Miami Herald article.

Cuban pilot: I saw MiGs rehearse shootdown by Carol Rosenberg / The Miami Herald
http://www.fiu.edu/~fcf/migsrehearse.html

 
FACT 11: On December 27, 2010 and again  in a January 19, 2011 clarification the defense of Cuban spy-master Gerardo Hernandez acknowledged that "there was overwhelming evidence that the 1996 shoot-down of two Brothers to the Rescue planes occurred in international airspace, not Cuban territory."

The Miami Herald: Cuban spymaster now claims Brothers to the Rescue shooting was outside Cuban airspace by Jay Weaver December 27, 2010
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/12/26/1989507/cuban-spymaster-now-claims-brothers.html

The Miami Herald Corrections & Clarifications: January 19, 2011
http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/01/19/2022551/corrections-clarifications-january.html#storylink=mirelated


Conclusion based on the facts the Cuban government committed an act of state terrorism when it blew two civilian aircraft out of the sky with air to air missiles while in international airspace after the government planned and prepared to carry out the act months beforehand.

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