Phantoms in the White House

Campaign News | Tuesday, 28 October 2003

From Granma International

PRESS FREEDOM, U.S. VERSION Phantoms in the White House

BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD —Special for Granma International—

IT had to be seen to be believed, Ninoska Lucrecia Pérez-Castellon in the White House Rose Garden on tiptoes to show her smile from the second row of those assembled, individuals claiming to represent the Cuban-American community. Visibly excited, she was begging for a glance from President “Dubya,” who reserved his attention for the “fatties” positioned in the front row of a savage protocol.

Strange scene in the White House Rose Garden: the U.S. president effusively embracing Luis Manuel de la Caridad Zúñiga Rey, a terrorist of Cuban origin and one of the heads of the so-called Council for Cuban Freedom (CLC), the grouping of all the former directors of the Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF) most identified with such actions. Zúñiga was sanctioned in 1974 for carrying out an operation of that nature on the island. In the early 90s, as part of the CANF terrorist group, he supplied, recruited and made contact with Cuban nationals traveling temporarily to the United States, whom he instructed in acts of sabotage on economic objectives on the island. He is one of the most fanatical aides of Ninoska Pérez-Castellón (also present), life president of the CLC and the wife of Roberto “Macho” Martín Pérez, son of Lutgardo Martín Pérez, one of the most notorious torturers in Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship.

Really, the fundamentalist leader – who heads Miami’s most fascist Mafioso fauna – deserved to be treated better. Even if only for her role as organizer of the campaign of pressure, blackmail and unmentionable maneuvers to be unleashed in Miami next year with the aim of maintaining the candidature of the Bush dynasty No. 2.

But on October 10, when the White House leader – alongside Colin Powell and Mel Martínez, his state and housing secretaries respectively – in order to announce his “latest” measures of harassment addressed several of the most controversial individuals from terrorist Miami in the White House Rose Garden in order to announce his “latest” measures of harassment, many of them couldn’t get close to him either.

Worse still. Several of the Bush family’s old and trusted friends were intentionally located beyond the range of the television cameras, behind columns and on the rough ground, from where they religiously listened to the president announce how the empire was going to punish the rebel island of Cuba once again.


The U.S. press, in its entirety, reported (with tremendous self-discipline), that Bush spoke “in the presence of several dozen Cuban-Americans” without actually identifying them. Tremendous pro-government reserve from the presidential press services.

It was only just disclosed that three Republican Congress members from South Florida were present – all of them the heirs of families linked to Fulgencio Batista’s bloody dictatorship defeated in January 1959 – and, accidentally, the attendance of Ninoska Lucrecia Pérez-Castellon and Sylvia Iriondo, infamous in Miami for her hysteria whilst leading the campaign to prevent young Elián González from being reunited with his father. She subsequently promoted herself as a human rights defender in Geneva, where she was provided with a significant budget by funds from the anti-Cuban National Endowment for Democracy, the US Agency for International Development and, more directly, the CIA.

Ninoska of course, needs no introduction. She is the leader of the neofascist Cuban Liberty Council alongside her husband, Roberto “Macho” Martin Pérez, son of Batista henchman Lutgardo Martín Pérez, one of the dictatorship’s most notorious torturers. She herself is the daughter of another such henchman.

Sylvia’s traveling companions to Geneva included Ernesto Díaz, Janisette Rivero from the Democratic Revolutionary Directorate, and Jésus Permuy from Cuban Unity. Díaz was detained in Cuba for his participation in a terrorist operation organized by the group, Alpha 66. Janisette Rivero, from the Democratic Revolutionary Directorate, honorably represented her boss, Orlando Gutiérrez-Boronat, who was one of the most active terrorists in the Cuban Liberation Organization (OPLC), founded by Ramón Saúl Sánchez Rizo and Eduardo Arocena Pérez, who were described by the FBI as founder members of the Omega 7 terrorist organization. Permuy was a colleague of killer pediatrician Orlando Bosch, described by the Justice Department in 1989 as “the most dangerous terrorist in the hemisphere” and whose best buddy José Ramón “Raymond” Molina is currently fundraising for the defense costs of Luis Posada Carriles and his three accomplices imprisoned in Panama.


Long before the ceremony, the whole of Miami knew that Bush had finally chosen which one of Miami-Dade’s two extremist gangs to hook up with, when he decided not to invite executive members of the Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF) and more specifically its leader, Jorge “El Niño” Mas Santos to his October 10 meeting, bestowing that privilege on their rivals.

Founded by Jorge Mas Canosa under the direction of George Bush Snr. and the CIA, the CANF had always been the White House’s privileged interlocutor. The omnipotent organization was extremely arrogant towards the other hysterical Miami factions and even had the finances to open its own “embassy” in Washington.

Suspiciously, in August 2001, a few weeks before September 11, CANF expelled several of its executive members, all of them characterized by their evident links with terrorism.

The purge began with registered terrorist Roberto Martín Pérez, responsible for its concealed funds, and then his wife Ninoska Lucrecia Pérez-Castellon, the organization’s spokesperson at the time. Then former president Alberto Hernández was also shown the door, along with Feliciano Foyo, former treasurer responsible for financing terrorist activities, and directors Diego Suarez, Horacio García, Elpidio Núñez, Delfin Pernas and José Antonio Llamas.

This troop of pure Batista stock soon created a new organization, the Cuban Liberty Council, which openly supports terror, as it has stated in several public assemblies, and furthermore demonstrated by engaging in strident press campaigns and fundraising to pay the defense costs of the four international terrorists imprisoned in Panama.

Lately the White House - the second home of more than 30 individuals directly linked to the Miami mafia, from Otto Reich and Mel Martínez to Daniel Fisk and John Bolton – seemed somewhat confused when it was time to decide how it would seduce the Cuban-American electorate in the strategic state of Florida.

How to get its bearings in this community apparently dominated by those nostalgic for the Batista dictatorship and fanatical supporters of terrorism, but which, when it comes to expressing its views in opinion polls, in its vast majority favors a normalization of relations with the island and an end to the blockade?

The government simply, and na?vely, chose the self-proclaimed rivals of the Cuban-American National Foundation.

Wooed for some time now by Armando Pérez-Roura and Ninoska Pérez-Castellon - respective (vitalicio) leaders of the Cuban Unity and the Cuban Liberty Council and Miami radio’s two most fanatical voices – the president’s advisers have chosen the camp of extremism, shameless blackmail, pressure, threats and political maneuvering; the camp that through the aborted vote recounts in Miami-Dade handed Bush the White House throne.

They sidelined the rusty machinery of “Niño” Mas Santos, destabilized by poor investments and, in addition to a significant number of its personnel, forced to sacrifice its two flagship emblems: the pseudo-embassy in Washington and Freedom Tower in Miami.

Whilst those who support trade liberalization and a lifting of travel restrictions are increasingly vocal both in Congress and in the Senate; whilst the vast majority of the Cuban-American community is demanding the normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations, Bush – whilst adopting measures further restricting the rights of U.S. citizens – has chosen to support the most radically fanatical camp linked to the dictatorship that Cuba rejected 40 years ago.

Whilst the U.S. public is speaking out in favor of normal exchange between the two neighboring countries and against absurd policies, Bush is still clinging to the most repugnant sectors of the Miami mafia.

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