Cuba Belongs in Axis of Evil

When President Bush originally spoke of the Axis of Evil he only identified the three countries that provided support to international terrorism and either had or were developing weapons of mass destruction.

Fidel Castro’s Communist Cuba, as evil as the other three-and which most recently has attracted attention for its imprisonment of pro-democracy activists-does not have weapons of mass destruction but actively supports international terrorism.

In August 2001, only a month before the September 11 attack, Colombian authorities arrested three Irish Republican Army (IRA) terrorists. They had been training narco-terrorists from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The FARC, which is controlled by the Communist Party of Colombia, and makes its money as a major narcotics producer and distributor, has long received support from the Castro government.

The three IRA men had come to Colombia from Cuba and one was the permanent representative of the IRA in Havana. Since 1998, 15 IRA operatives have been in and out of Colombia providing aid to the FARC. Al Qaeda and FARC have cooperated in the narcotics traffic.

Terrorists need both patron-state support and a support apparatus in the target countries. Castro’s Cuba has served as a patron state for terrorism for decades. Its sympathizers have been in terrorist support groups as well as carrying out terrorist acts. In the 1960s and ’70s Cuba brought down hundreds of young Americans supposedly to cut sugar cane. In reality, the visitors, called the Venceremos Brigade, were in Cuba for indoctrination. Julian Torres Rizo was the Cuban intelligence officer assigned to manipulate the young Americans. Later he was the Cuban ambassador to Grenada and is now a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba.

In 1971 in a lecture to the members of the Venceremos Brigade, Rizo said, "The first thing that a U.S. revolutionary must be convinced of is precisely the fact that he does come from a decadent society, that he comes from a society that must be destroyed." He also explained to the young Americans that they had to "understand the struggles of the different peoples of the world as part of the same struggle."

Some of the Americans trained in Cuba were put in touch with terrorists in the Middle East, Canada, and Latin America by their Cuban advisors.

The terrorist support apparatus in the United States and other target countries engage in illegal activities, such as providing "safe houses," weapons and logistical support to the terrorists. They also provide some help that is not against the law. This includes propaganda support and legal defense. Lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild, organized in the 1930s by the Communist Party but now controlled by a variety of anti-American leftists, has provided for the legal defense of captured Muslim extremist terrorists. What they have in common is a hatred for the United States.

After 9/11 the National Lawyers Guild issued an advisory to Muslim and Arab-Americans not to cooperate with the FBI. They wrote: "Talking to the FBI can be very dangerous. You can never tell how a seemingly harmless bit of information might be used to hurt you or someone else. . . . The safest things to say are ‘I am going to remain silent,’ ‘I want to speak to my lawyer.’ . . ." The help of Muslim and Arab. Americans was vital to the FBI in tracking down the terrorist cells. We have seen in recent months how successful the FBI was in preventing terrorist attacks.

Organizations "friendly" to Communist Cuba have provided propaganda support to a wide range of terrorist groups, Marxist, Muslim, etc. Only a week after September 11th the Committees of Correspondence, a splinter group of the Communist Party USA, organized to protest any American response to the terrorist attack. They have a close association with Cuba, and helped organize some of the demonstrations against the war in Iraq. A rival Marxist-Leninist group, the Workers World Party, organized most of the anti-war demonstrations. They too are close to the Cubans but even closer to the Communist dictatorship in North Korea.

Even in Germany, Cuban supporters provide propaganda help to the terrorists. From 1985 until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, a magazine was published in West Germany called Geheim. Its major purpose was spreading Soviet and East German disinformation. Its editor and publisher was Michael Opperskalski. When the Berlin Wall fell, Geheim no longer had the money to publish and closed down. It was later revealed that the files of Stasi, the East German secret police, showed Opperskalski as an agent in their disinformation program. Sometime later Geheim reappeared with the same Opperskalski as editor and publisher. But now it has a distinct Cuban flavor.

The December 2002 issue carried an article defending the five Cuban spies arrested in the United States operating against the Cuban Americans. One of them had provided the information to the Cuban secret police that allowed them to shoot down two airplanes over international waters that had been helping escapees make it to the United States. In that attack four Cuban-Americans-U.S. citizens-were killed. The same issue of Geheim carried a number of articles in support of Iraq, attacking the anti-Saddam Iraqi opposition and defending the al Qaeda branch in the Philippines, the Abu Sayyaf Group that has kidnapped and murdered Americans.

The war against terrorism will not be over until all of the patron states of terrorism have a regime change. In some countries it may be possible to do this without war. The Castro dictatorship, the mullahs in Iran and even the Communist dictatorship in North Korea may be brought down by economic and other measures, short of war.