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MASTER’S VOICE: Cubana Flight 455: Why a “US-backed” terrorism attack on the Caribbean still matters

“Since fair’s fair, given that a crime was committed on our soil by men who were—and still are—walking free in the US, when exactly are we going to see any politician here grow a spine and call for their extradition for trial here?

“Or at least call the US out on its hypocrisy and always selective memory?”

The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Corey Gilkes of La Romaine on the Cubana 455 terrorist attack and its context regarding the extradition of Kareem Ibrahim and Abdul Kadir from Trinidad and Tobago to the United States:

Photo: A plane prepares to land. (Courtesy Globalresearch.ca)
Photo: A plane prepares to land.
(Courtesy Globalresearch.ca)

I just stay so and remembered something.

The 6th of October this year marked the 40th anniversary of one of the worst atrocities that involved this country and so far as I know, justice for that has never properly been served.

On 6 October 1976, a Cuban airliner was blown up in mid-air just after taking off from Barbados by a bomb that was placed in it by four anti-Castro dissidents. These goodly men were in Trinidad first, under false names, and apparently seemed to have made their presence felt [here], if the bombing incident at the Guyanese consulate in Port of Spain is any indication.

So it was very heartening a few years ago when the US—who trained [the perpetrators of the Cubana Flight 455 attack] before that bombing and who sheltered them afterward—in the spirit of keeping the world safe from people who wish to harm innocent lives, pressured T&T to hand over some Trinis who supposedly plotted to blow up JFK airport.

Never mind that that whole incident was wide open to some serious questions that should have been openly asked by those in authority—but never did. Never mind that some learned people I personally know who study terrorism as a career, along with people in the oil industry who understand fuel safety system rubbished the allegations.

No, all that matters is that the ever vigilant guardian of the free world halted a major crime from happening on their soil and struck terrorism another blow.

Photo: Cubans protest in memory of the victims of the Cubana Fight 455 disaster.
Photo: Cubans protest in memory of the victims of the Cubana Fight 455 disaster.

Soooooo, since fair’s fair, given that a crime was committed on our soil by men who were—and still are—walking free in the US, when exactly are we going to see any politician here grow a spine and call for their extradition for trial here? Or at least call the US out on its hypocrisy and always selective memory?

Is it that it’s only terrorism when the act is committed against the West, not when it’s committed by the West or their agents?

There’s a point to this: our rising drug violence and religious radicalism stems as much from economic and political decisions made in Washington and Bretton Woods as it does from our own leader’s politicking, collusion and/or incompetence.

As such, given that come November one out of two corrupt, racist warmongers will occupy the White House—one of whom already has questions to answer for concerning Haiti and Honduras—we had better start understanding the ways we are powerful on the world stage in spite of our tiny size and learn how to use that power… For our own sakes!

Or at the very least, watch this taking of bush tea for other people’s cold. Stop being other people’s pawn and plaything.

Photo: Guyanese victims of a terror attack on a Cuban airline by anti-Castro dissidents trained by the CIA. (Copyright Kaieteur Newsonline)
Photo: Guyanese victims of a terror attack on a Cuban airline by anti-Castro dissidents trained by the CIA.
(Copyright Kaieteur Newsonline)

Editor’s Note: October 6 is the anniversary of the first act of terrorism against civilian aviation in the western hemisphere—the unparalleled Cubana air disaster on the coastline of Barbados on 6 October 1976—the Barbados crime. Cubana flight 455 was hit by two C-4 explosives bombs just after the aircraft took off from the then Seawell Airport (now the Grantley Adams International Airport) in Barbados at an altitude of 18,000 feet.

Rather than crashing into the white sands of the beach called Paradise and killing the vacationers, the Cubana pilot, Wilfredo Pérez Sr, courageously banked the plane away from the beach and towards the Atlantic Ocean, saving the lives of many tourists. It crashed in a ball of fire one mile north of Deep Water Bay. The crash occurred about eight kilometres short of the airport.

Cubana flight 455 was a routine, scheduled commercial, passenger flight of no military significance. There were no survivors. All 73 passengers and five crew members aboard the plane were assassinated: 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese, and five North Koreans. Click HERE to read more.

Photo: Remembering Guyana's victim aboard Cubana Flight 455, which was bombed by anti-Castro dissidents trained by the CIA. (Copyright Kaieteur Newsonline)
Photo: Remembering Guyana’s victim aboard Cubana Flight 455, which was bombed by anti-Castro dissidents trained by the CIA.
(Copyright Kaieteur Newsonline)

(Wired article) Portrait of the Modern Terrorist as an Idiot:

[…] Terrorism is a real threat, and one that needs to be addressed by appropriate means. But allowing ourselves to be terrorised by wannabe terrorists and unrealistic plots—and worse, allowing our essential freedoms to be lost by using them as an excuse—is wrong.

The alleged plan, to blow up JFK’s fuel tanks and a small segment of the 40-mile petroleum pipeline that supplies the airport, was ridiculous.

The fuel tanks are thick-walled, making them hard to damage. The airport tanks are separated from the pipelines by cutoff valves, so even if a fire broke out at the tanks, it would not back up into the pipelines. And the pipeline couldn’t blow up in any case, since there’s no oxygen to aid combustion.

Not that the terrorists ever got to the stage—or demonstrated that they could get there—where they actually obtained explosives. Or even a current map of the airport’s infrastructure.

Click HERE to read more.

Photo: Convicted terrorist Kareem Ibrahim. (Copyright CNC3)
Photo: Convicted terrorist Kareem Ibrahim.
(Copyright CNC3)

(Times article) The JFK Plot: Overstating the Case?

[…] The four suspects, Russell Defreitas, Kareem Ibrahim, Abdul Kadir and Abdel Nur, allegedly schemed to blow up fuel tanks and a fuel pipeline at JFK Airport. This plan did not target passenger terminals or airplanes. It was an attack on … jet fuel. Which would have been rather hard to pull off successfully.

“Jet fuel is flammable and can be made to explode, but it’s difficult,” says Richard Kuprewicz, an independent energy consultant who has worked with pipeline operators for 33 years. Even if someone did manage to blow up a fuel tank, the resulting fire would not spread through the main pipeline, he says.

“Are they true terrorism targets that would shut down JFK for weeks or even days? No.”

Excerpts from taped conversations with the suspects, included in the complaint, make it clear that while they may have dreamed of pulling off a major terrorist strike, they had very little idea what they were actually doing. In the worst-case scenario, there might have been a fire — which would have been contained to an unpopulated area of the airport, since that’s where the tanks and the pipeline are located.

Click HERE to read more.

About Corey Gilkes

Corey Gilkes is a self-taught history reader whose big mouth forever gets his little tail in trouble. He lives in La Romaine and is working on four book projects. He has a blog on https://coreygilkes.wordpress.com/blog/ and http://www.trinicenter.com/Gilkes/. Vitriol can be emailed to him at coreygks@gmail.com.

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15 comments

  1. Unfortunately I never knew about this until today.

  2. Yes, a terrible act of terrorism on the Region. And, the perps are enjoying freedom. Such anguish for the family of the victims. Such blatant disregard for the loss of Caribbean lives.

    Did not realise that we are honouring the victms with a plaque at the airport. But real news/analysis in the news.

  3. They’re still interfering..see Vene, Brazil and now Uruguay

  4. I see the author used the word “fair” quite a bit….”Fair” is what those in charge designate as “fair”…TnT is not in charge. Look at the noise surrounding FATCA, and consider whether there is much needed legislation that would benefit TnT citizens that we have been waiting on for years now…The Caribbean govts’ response or lack there of is the same response we give when we see something but say nothing..

  5. .. Nobody in Caribbean government could be bothered. They lack the ideological clarity and political balls..

  6. What do you think about us trying to impose ourselves? Akins? Keith?

  7. The CIA sure left their mark all over the Caribbean and South America. Sigh.

  8. great read Lasana … for the life of me, i dont know why this dont get the much needed press

  9. Ah, Cu455. Forever a dagger through the heart of many Guyanese, and countless more Cubans.

  10. Lasana Sunday 9th – 11.00 am at Piarco Airport in the Atrium of the main terminal building – unveiling of a plaque and viewing of exhibition re 40th anniversary of the bombing of Cubana flt 455 on October 6th 1976.