Cuba Defends Truth in Case of Light Aircrafts Brought Down

News from Cuba | Friday, 24 February 2012

from Prensa Latina

Cuba on Saturday repeated its defense of truth in the incident on February 24, 1996, when two light aircrafts owned by Miami-based terrorist groups were brought down on Cuban territory.

An article published in Granma newspaper lists the actions that Cuba took to prevent that incident, as well as the elements that uncover that provocation and Washington's complicity.

"The regrettable incident of the light aircrafts brought down on February 24, 1996, could have been avoided. The William Clinton administration presented a very negative image of Cuba to public opinion by manipulating information, falsifying data and distorting facts, turning the issue into an election campaign "show", the article says.

Granma, the official publication of the Communist Party of Cuba, recalls that on more than 20 occasions, Cuba had discussed the issue with U.S. authorities through diplomatic channels, and was waiting a reaction in that regard based on the détente propitiated by the migration talks that began in 1994.

The newspaper notes that in addition to diplomatic channels, Cuba expressed its concerns about the provocations and the need for the White House to stop them during visits by U.S. politicians, congress people, entrepreneurs, union leaders and religious figures.

After Cuba's air space was violated on January 9 and 13, 1996, to carry out "a political plan of civil disobedience" , Cuban public opinion started to express concern about the possibility of a dangerous escalation by those counterrevolutionar y groups, which considered that they could not be punished, adds Granma.

According to the source, groups such as Brothers to the Rescue, which on Washington's orders received Cessna planes previously used by the U.S. Air Force against El Salvador and Vietnam, acted aggressively and challenging to the warnings on the dangerousness of those acts.

Cuba could only appeal to U.S. authorities to end those actions, act or allow impunity. The latter variant was completely ruled out, due to the content and tone of Havana's denunciations after flagrant violations of Cuba's air space, the newspaper points out.

It is evident that the U.S. government was fully aware of the provocations by Brothers to the Rescue and their risks, Granma says.

"More evidence is known today, like the United States saying that the radar records were lost and its refusal to hand over satellite evidence that cast much light on that day's events," adds the newspaper in an article entitled "Could the February 24 Incident Have Been Avoided?"

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