Another US government theft of Cuban funds

Campaign News | Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has learned that on November 27 in the United States, Cuban funds were stolen for the fourth time from money illegally frozen in U.S. banks after the triumph of the Revolution, under the so-called “Regulations for the Control of Cuban Assets,” passed on July 8, 1963, establishing, among other steps, the freezing of Cuban assets in the United States as part of the illegal and cruel policy of blockade against Cuba.

This shameless theft was carried out to satisfy legal rulings on spurious lawsuits filed against our country in U.S. courts by U.S. citizens Janet Ray Weininger and Dorothy Anderson McCarthy. These plaintiffs received a total of $72,126,884 from Cuban funds frozen in bank accounts of the National Bank of Cuba and the Cuban Telecommunications Enterprise (EMTELCUBA). In both cases, U.S. federal courts upheld the rulings issued by a Florida state court.

One of the suits against Cuba was filed in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, a Florida state court, by Janet Ray Weininger, the daughter of American pilot Thomas Willard Ray, falsely alleging that he was summarily executed on April 19, 1961 during the mercenary invasion of Playa Girón.

In reality, he was a pilot who an aggressor from the United States, a CIA agent who was shot down during the invasion and whose body remained preserved at the Cuban Institute of Legal Medicine for 18 years because the U.S. government concealed his identity and refused to admit to his U.S. citizenship, in order to not acknowledge its direct responsibility in that failed invasion. Finally, after steps taken by the Ray family and after the U.S. government admitted to the pilot’s identity and citizenship, it was possible to hand over his body to his family in 1979.

In response to the other lawsuit, filed by Dorothy Anderson McCarthy, the abovementioned state court accepted charges of the supposed torture and extrajudicial execution of U.S. citizen Howard F. Anderson without any proof, and when in reality, he was a U.S. citizen who was tried on April 18, 1961 by the Revolutionary Court of Pinar del Río in Case No. 97 of that year for his subversive activities on behalf of the U.S. government and against the Cuban people, and sentenced to the death penalty.

Anderson had been detained by State Security forces on March 26, 1961, a few weeks before the Bay of Pigs invasion, for being a member of a group of former soldiers at the services of the dictatorship, members of the terrorist groups “Anti-communist Civic Association” (ACA) and “Democratic Revolutionary Front” (FRD), which were preparing armed uprisings, implementing instructions from the CIA. Eight tons of weapons were seized from Anderson’s group, which had buried them on the southern coast of Pinar del Río, and which had been brought to Cuba on February 22, 1961 by a boat with U.S. registration, in a CIA-directed operation. Investigations confirmed that Anderson, who was using the pseudonym “Lee” in Cuba, was the CIA’s liaison with the abovementioned counterrevolutionary organizations in Cuba.

During the processing of the lawsuits against Cuba that have now resulted in another theft of our frozen funds, the U.S. government acted with total complicity with the plaintiffs, arguing that U.S. law permitted the use of those funds to satisfy the rulings favoring the plaintiffs, and therefore that the Treasury Department could not place the slightest obstacle in the way, and even exempted them from obtaining licenses to be able to take possession of the funds.

These actions against Cuba are based on the arbitrary and politicized manipulation of the U.S. government designation of our country as a supposed “state sponsor of international terrorism,” as well as a distorted interpretation of U.S. laws themselves.

It is totally unacceptable for the Cuban state to be accused of the commission of supposed acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens. On the contrary, it has been precisely acts of terrorism and armed attacks against Cuba, perpetrated from that country, that have caused thousands of deaths and serious physical and psychological injuries to Cuban citizens, as well as extensive damages and economic harm to our country.

These and other, similar lawsuits filed in U.S. courts lack validity and legitimacy for Cuba, given they are based on totally false and manipulated arguments, constituting legal aberrations that can only be accommodated by and sustained on the irrational and hostile U.S. government policies toward Cuba.

The Cuban state has repeatedly exposed the illegal actions by successive U.S. administrations using Cuban funds illegally frozen in that country. In the past, these funds have been stolen by the decision or consent of several presidents and by the U.S. Congress itself, on the dates of October 2, 1996; February 12, 2001; and April 29, 2005, to “compensate” representatives of the terrorist mafia in Miami, particularly the families of pilots from the counterrevolutionary organization “Brothers to the Rescue” who were shot down on February 24, 1996 for repeatedly violating our airspace.

With the recent attack on Cuban financial assets frozen in U.S. banks, a total of $170,233,536 in funds has been stolen from our country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs accuses the U.S. government of making yet another unilateral decision to steal Cuban financial assets and therefore flagrantly failing to comply with its obligations to protect and watch over the absolute integrity of those funds, which belong to Cuban institutions.

The Cuban government does not recognize the jurisdiction of U.S. courts to judge the Republic of Cuba. Neither the U.S. government nor the legal agencies of that country have the legitimate right to hand over frozen Cuban funds to terrorist groups or to families of U.S. citizens involved in aggression against our country, thus directly encouraging this type of activity.

The Cuban government condemns these most recent attacks on Cuban funds frozen in the United States, given that they constitute actions in violation of international law and are yet another expression of the criminal U.S. government policy of blockade and hostility against our country.

Cuba will never renounce its right to demand that full responsibility should be taken by the U.S. government for the theft down to the last cent of funds that are legitimately ours.

Havana, January 10, 2007

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