4 Miami-based exiles arrested in Cuba

Suspects accused of planning terrorist attacks on the communist-run island

By Christina Vazquez - Reporter, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

HAVANA - Authorities in Havana say four Cuban exile residents of Miami have been arrested on the island. It accuses them of planning "terrorist actions."

An Interior Ministry statement alleges that they were plotting to attack military installations "with the objective of furthering violent actions."

The statement names the detained men as Jose Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodriguez Gonzalez, Raibel Pacheco Santos and Felix Monzon Alvarez, and claims all four men had ties to Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban exile and former CIA operative who lives in Miami.

Posada Carriles is wanted in Cuba and Venezuela over the bombing of a Cubana Airlines jet in 1976 that killed 73 people.

He was convicted of the plane bombing in Venezuela but escaped from prison in 1985.

The Interior Ministry statement says the suspects were arrested April 26 but does not offer more details. It was published Wednesday in Communist Party newspaper Granma.

"Honestly, there's no free press, so the information we get is going to be the information that is released by the Cuban government," said Jose Azel, a Cuban exile scholar from the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies. "So, we are at the mercy of what they want to tell us, and you know, this could be a made up story, this could have some realities to it. We just don't know, and I suspect we're not going to know the full truth for a long time."

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