DVD Savant Review: Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up.



Will the Real Terrorist
Please Stand Up

Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up
Cinema Libre Studio
2010 / Color / 1:78 enhanced widescreen / 82 min. / Street Date July 26, 2011 / 19.95 
Starring Danny Glover, Fidel Castro, Saul Landau
 Roberto Chile, Haskell Wexler
Film Editor Rick Tejada-Flores
Original Music Camilo Landau, Greg Landau
Produced and Directed by Saul Landau


Reviewed by Glenn Erickson 

Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up is a reasoned and factual documentary about the political mess of this country’s relationship to Cuba, the communist dictatorship 90 miles off the coast of Florida. This proximity made Havana a tempting target for American gangsters and corporations before Fidel Castro’s revolution, and remains an embarrassment to this day: America deals regularly with countries with regimes much more abhorrent than Cuba’s, yet insists on dictating terms to this tiny island nation in its own back yard. 52 years after the revolution the U.S. is still dead-set against Cuba for a number of reasons, some of them legitimate. Although America’s politicians and media vilify Castro’s Cuba as a dangerous threat, producer-director Saul Landau’s Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up calmly demonstrates that the opposite is the case. Every documentary has a political bias and this show is no different. But the facts presented here, often by U.S. officials and politicians, are pretty damning to our foreign policy as regards Cuba.

Saul Landau ventured to Cuba during the revolution and has made several films about Fidel Castro; his 1971 docuFidel follows the dictator on a tour of the Cuban provinces. Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Upsticks to the specific conflict between Cuba and the “exiled” community that transferred itself to Southern Florida after the revolution. Fidel got rid of Fulgencio Batista’s worst generals and officers, but many of the upper-class Cuban rich and the middle-class professionals left the country. Fidelistas would say that they were either too cozy with payoffs from American companies, or unwilling to commit to a new society. Anti-Fidel Cubans either consider the (appallingly corrupt and unjust) Batista regime a good republic (it made many of them rich) and Fidel an abomination.

The docu shows how the exiled Cubans formed what can only be considered terrorist groups for anti-Fidel activities. While the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations attempted assassinations, exile agents carried out a campaign of sabotage and killings in Cuba, trying to destabilize the Castro regime. The C.I.A. encouraged “private” bombing raids over Cuba; Eisenhower refused to acknowledge the air strikes and simply replied that Cuba should shoot the planes down if they wanted to.

Interviews with ex- government officials spell out a number of disturbing facts. While U.S. speakers at the U.N. denied any anti-Cuban activity, the C.I.A. schemed to kill Castro and launched the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. Turning a blind eye to the “unofficial foreign policy” of the Cuban exiles, the U.S. slammed Cuba with economic sanctions, terrorist subversion and open aggression. The welcoming of the Soviet Union to Cuba and the Missile Crisis are the grave wrongs that Americans won’t forgive, but it’s obvious that Fidel, faced by American hostilities, was forced to accept Soviet aid and military protection.

Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up continues with several decades’ worth of egregious hostilities by the Cuban exile community, which was allowed to plant bombs in Havana and drop leaflets over the city for further provocation. Pleas to Washington to ground these flights were ignored. Ronald Reagan encouraged more unofficial hostilities against Cuba. Cuban intelligence warned the U.S. of an assassination attempt against Reagan and was given a very quiet “thank you”. But the U.S. intelligence agencies stayed mum when they learned that a Miami based terrorist was going to blow up a Cuban airliner. An entire Cuban fencing team, the equivalent of the Israeli Olympic athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists in Munich, were lost on the plane. More than one Cuban exile terrorist is seen bragging about his activities in news film, including the instigator of this airliner bombing. The U.S. allows him to operate freely.

The final card played in Landau’s docu regards the “Cuban Five”, a group of Cuban intelligence agents arrested in Florida, convicted of espionage and imprisoned for life. We see various campaigners lobbying and pamphleteering on their behalf, including actor Danny Glover. The argument is that the agents were not gathering information about the U.S. military, U.S. security or any other government activity — they claim to have come here to infiltrate Cuban exile terrorist organizations as a defense measure against bombings of hotels in Havana, a U.S.-encouraged effort to cripple the island nation’s tourist industry. When Havana finally took Eisenhower’s advice and shot down two exile planes provoking Cuba by flying over the city, the Cuban Five were convicted as complicit in that “murder”.

The docu has a lively pace and a great variety of film and news video resources to back up its arguments — it’s particularly educational when we see American diplomats contradicting one another on foreign policy.  1The final message is that America tolerates the exile Cubans’ terrorism against Havana because doing so is politically advantageous to politicians who seek to gain office by encouraging anti-communist hysteria. While the criminal activity continues, conservatives have encouraged Cuban exiles to run for national office. The show leaves us with a number of memorable quotes. One inspired the docu’s title. Another is from a U.S. Congresswoman, who openly and cheerfully calls for the murder of Fidel Castro. This blatant hypocrisy puts the lie to any government action that claims to be based on a so-called “war on terrorism”. Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up uses no rhetoric and presents many anti-Castro speakers to state their case. It’s a good docu and a good public information film.

Cinema Libre Studio’s DVD of Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up is a high quality disc with excellent new video shot in Miami and Havana. An aged, weak-looking Fidel Castro appears in some interview footage. Reels of older news film and video reports provide the official evidence to support the film’s arguments, as do national magazine covers promoting the ‘brave patriots’ that took part in the Bay of Pigs invasion. The audio uses some unobtrusive but pleasant Cuban music where appropriate. All of the speakers are identified.

For an extra Cinema Libre adds several uncut interview slices, including anti-Castro activists. The disc opens with promos for other Cinema Libre docus, all of which center on anti-globalization issues and the efforts of new regimes in Latin America to free themselves from American economic and political control.

On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor, Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up rates:
Movie: Very Good
Video: Very Good
Sound: Very Good 
Audio: Spanish and English
Subtitles: English and Spanish but selective: no English subs for Spanish dialogue & vice-versa
Supplements: extended interviews with key subjects
Packaging: Keep case
Reviewed: July 26, 2011


1. The show uses two impressive film clips to illustrate its case. A clip from The Godfather Part II shows the Mafia and big corporations “cutting up the Cuban Cake” in an informal ceremony on the balcony of a Havana hotel. Near the end, a sample of a video game reveals that an entire “first person shooter” game is based on the premise of penetrating Fidel Castro’s personal compound and shooting him dead. As the killer (you) closes in, the animated Fidel uses a prostitute as a human shield. 


Screening July 26th

Posted: July 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


Screening and Release to the Public,
Tuesday, July 26, 7 p.m.
Laemmle’s Monica 4-Plex, 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica
Q& A with Saul Landau
The screening will coincide with the release of the documentary to the public and is the first time that it will be shown in Los Angeles.
Produced by Emmy Award Winner Saul Landau, “”Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?” shows that US-backed violence against Cuba continued for decades. Some Bay of Pigs participants and the most well-known terrorists appear on camera to boast or re-evaluate their activities over the years. Orlando Bosch, Jose Basulto, Luis Posada Carriles and Antonio Veciana discuss assassinations and other actions they took to bring down the Revolutionary government.
The new film, with Danny Glover, Cuba’s top counter spy and Fidel Castro himself (filmed recently), is combined with fascinating archival footage and a rare recorded interview from prison with one of the Cuban 5. These men are serving long sentences in US prisons for trying to stop terrorism against tourist sites in their country.
“’Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?’ provides every professor and specialist with an invaluable teaching and learning tool about US-Cuba policy and the history of terrorism in that policy. It also explains the story of and context for the ‘Cuban 5,’ the Cuban agents who penetrated Miami exile groups to stop their plans for violence against the island, and ended up in US prisons,” Julia Sweig, Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies and Director for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
“It’s a real Who’s Who of key figures in the more than half-century-long grudge match over Cuba,” Tracey Eaton, former Dallas Morning News Bureau Chief, Havana.
“Perhaps the best cinematic summary of this reality was rendered in the film by none other than the current chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who declared for all to see and hear that she would welcome the assassination of Fidel Castro. No matter how cynical one may have become, that is an astonishing scene. A U.S. Congresswoman asking for the murder of another country’s leader — a most egregious, unbelievable demonstration of this undeclared war with Cuba,” Lawrence Wilkerson, Colonel, US Army (Retired)Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff (2002-05)
This event is organized by Cinema Libre Studio
Partial list of sponsors: Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, El Rescate, Film4Cuban5, International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5, Law Offices of R. Samuel Paz, Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles Chapter, Office of the Americas, Operation USA, Socialist Workers Party, Union del Barrio, and Venice Peace and Freedom Party.
$10 entrance fee
To learn how to purchase this new documentary write to: info@thecuban5.org


Posted: July 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


by Lawrence Wilkerson

(A billboard in Cuba which reads, “What barbarians. They have liberated a terrorist”. The billboard pre-dates Posada’s April 2011 acquittal, and is more likely in reference to a 2004 pardon he received for the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro. The pardon was granted by former Panamanian president, Mireya Moscoso under pressure from the United States.)

Several nights ago (6 April), I watched “Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up” at the West End Cinema in Washington. Six months ago, Saul Landau, the filmmaker, had given me an earlier rough-cut version on DVD that I had watched, but I was not prepared for the final version with all of the added footage gained by Saul’s recent sojourn in Cuba itself and the slap-in-the-face showing on the large screen.

But the added footage from the island and the bigger screen were not all that made the final version more electrifying. It was, all in all, the pro-Cuba aspect of the film that stunned me.

And it was clear that this pro-Cuba aspect was not conjured by the filmmaker but by history. Perhaps, I told myself, I knew much of this history, intellectually, academically. But I had never seen it so graphically put before me, in such a tight, cinematic package that seemed to leap off the screen almost in synch with the beating of my pulse.

The backdrop of the film was the U.S.-Cuba relationship from the 1959 revolution to the present. That relationship was portrayed quite accurately, leaving no doubt why Theodore Roosevelt referred to the island as “that infernal little Cuban Republic” even though TR pre-dated the revolution by a generation-plus. That is chiefly because the one-sided nature of U.S. policy has been the same from 1823 to the present. TR’s remark demonstrated well before the Cuban revolution, well before the dictator Fulgencio Batista, well before the U.S. mob took over Havana, well before Fidel Castro shouted “¡Bastante!” from the Sierra Maestra, well before Jesse Helms displayed his latent racism toward Cubans, just how badly the U.S. had treated its island neighbor since the beginning of our republic. So badly, in fact, that the portrayal of it, however evanescently, by a master filmmaker made one want to weep for his country and its policies. I doubt there was a single person in the audience that night who felt any differently, except perhaps the several Cubans who were present who, indeed, probably wept for el coloso del norte as well but for different reasons.

And then there was the main point, the point embodied in the film’s title.

Clearly shown and vividly documented was the fact that the United States sponsors terrorism. In Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch alone, there are overtones of Osama bin Laden and Aman al-Zawahiri, the nefarious leadership of al-Qa’ida. In the film, Carriles and Bosch as much as tell us this in their own words. Moreover, they seem to rejoice in it, as they live today undisturbed and unmolested in Miami; indeed, as heroes among the ignorant Batista-like refuse whose mother’s milk sustains them. Neither man has even the redeeming feature of religious asceticism that some would argue gives bin Laden and Zawahiri a grudging respect; instead these two terrorists seem precisely what the film depicts, criminal thugs.

Whether it is bringing down a Cuban airliner with more than 70 people on board—including the young people on the Cuban fencing team—or murdering a young Italian man in a Havana hotel, these terrorists appear to take joy in what they have done, declaring in so many words and facial expressions that such deaths are the collateral damage of war. War? Yes, a war waged from the territory of the United States—the state of Florida primarily—and against another sovereign country. A war that continues to this day with the United States doing almost nothing to stop it and, as the film depicts in subtle ways, from time to time even aiding and abetting the terrorists who are waging it.

Once, of course, the dictates and fears of the Cold War afforded a patina of credibility to this war waged from our own shores and against the laws of our own land. As a U.S. soldier for 31 years, I participated in that twilight struggle most of my professional life, so I understood its demands however imperfectly they were sometimes met. But the Cold War ended almost 20 years ago. Not the case, however, with the undeclared war against Cuba.

Perhaps the best cinematic summary of this reality was rendered in the film by none other than the current chairman of the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who declared for all to see and hear that she would welcome the assassination of Fidel Castro. No matter how cynical one may have become, that is an astonishing scene. A U.S. Congresswoman asking for the murder of another country’s leader—a most egregious, unbelievable demonstration of this undeclared war with Cuba.

Most vividly and disconcertingly, however, the film goes on to portray this continuing illegal war through the case of the Cuban Five. These are the five Cuban intelligence agents who, in the 1990s, were dispatched to Florida to help the government in Havana defend itself better in this undeclared war.

We know a little of their story. After infiltrating the Cuban-American terrorists ranks in Florida, they accumulated information about planned terrorist activities against Cuba. Alarmed at what they learned, they informed their government in Havana. That government, itself now alarmed, confided in the FBI, hoping that that law enforcement organization would act on the evidence thus accumulated and break up the terrorists ranks in Florida. Instead, the FBI—no doubt at the prompting of the White House—used the information to identify the five Cuban agents, then arrested them. Afterward they were tried in a Miami Court—like trying an Israeli spy apprehended in Iran in a Tehran court. Surprise, surprise, the Cuban Five were not only convicted, twelve years later they are still rotting in U.S. federal prison with the “worst” of them having been awarded two life sentences-plus.

At the very worst, these five Cubans were “foreign agents operating on U.S. soil”, an offense warranting 18 months in jail under U.S. law. As the film makes quite clear, however, usual U.S. practice—for Russians like Anna Chapman, e.g.—is deportation. Instead, these men still languish in jail. Perhaps had they been sexy, provocative women…?

When the film ended and the short, crisp vignettes came on, interspersed among the film’s credits, the main points were hammered home adroitly by some of the film’s principal characters.

As these characters summed up from the screen, I don’t believe there was any doubt in anyone’s mind in that audience—Cuban or American—who the “real terrorist” in the U.S.-Cuba relationship actually is.

The question that had to be buzzing around in everyone’s mind, however, as they walked out of the theater—again, Cuban and American—was what to do about it?

Just like the failure to close the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay, the extension of the draconian provisions of “the national security cover-up” methodology in courtroom after courtroom across America, the civil liberties-usurping parts of the Patriot Act, the military tribunals for the likes of Khaled sheik-Mohammad, and on and on in the litany of dangerous and illegal acts by the U.S. Government in the name of perfect security and corrupt, special interest politics, the affair of the Cuban Five, and all it represents about the U.S.-Cuba relationship, stains the very fabric of our democratic republic.

Recently, a long-serving veteran of the CIA wrote a heavily-redacted yet still extremely eloquent and convincing memoir of his days in that agency, days that included the most intense period of our so-called Global War on Terror during the George W. Bush administrations. Here is one of his final conclusions in that memoir:

“I saw that a few of our leaders, in their insularity and sanctimonious certainty, corrupted the laws and started to corrode our social compact. We can take actions, however, to diminish such men, and that reaffirm our society’s commitment to our principles, our institutions, and the rule of law.”

That is the answer to our question and Saul Landau has taken a powerful action.

– Lawrence Wilkerson

Film: Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang – IPS.

Link TV will air the 1981 Emmy-winning PBS film by Jack Willis and Institute for Policy Studies fellow, Saul Landau. The release of radiation from damaged nuclear plants in Japan makes the warnings of this documentary very relevant today.

Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang is a poignant and potent documentary that exposes the government’s suppression of the health hazards caused by low-level radiation — all the more significant in light of the release of radiation from damaged nuclear plants in Japan, and reports that long-term effects of the Chernobyl disaster may have been covered up.
Paul Jacobs, an IPS fellow and co-founder of Mother Jones magazine, also became a victim of lung cancer, which his doctors believe he contracted while he was investigating the claims of the Atomic Energy Commission at the Nevada Test Site in 1957. He died in 1978, before this film was finished. The documentary follows Jacobs in his last days as he re-visits those who were exposed to radioactive fallout in Utah and Arizona –downwind from the Nevada nuclear tests. He also talked to servicemen exposed by the government as it tested the impact of radiation on soldiers who might have to experience nuclear battlefields. Farmers living around the Rocky Flats, Colorado plant, which produced plutonium triggers, told of their tumors and the death of their animals. By the time this film was released, many of the people Jacobs interviewed had died from the cancers caused by what the government claimed were safe levels of radiation. Jacobs also interviews government scientists, some of whom lost their grants and jobs when their research contradicted the claims of the nuclear agencies about the dangers of low-level radiation.

The film, produced by Jack Willis and Saul Landau, won an Emmy and the George Polk Award for investigative journalism in 1981.

IPS encourages you to take one of the following opportunities to revisit this prescient documentary on Link TV: DIRECTV Channel 375 | DISH Network Channel 9410:

Eastern Standard Times:

Saturday, May 28th – 05:00 am
Saturday, May 28th – 12:00 pm 
Saturday, May 28th – 06:30 pm
Sunday, May 29th  – 02:00 am
Sunday, May 29th  – 10:30 am
Sunday, May 29th  – 12:00 am
Friday, June 3rd  – 02:00 am
Saul Landau is an internationally known scholar, author, commentator, and filmmaker on foreign and domestic policy issues. He has been a fellow at IPS since 1972 and at the Transnational Institute since 1974. He has written 13 books, thousands of newspaper and magazine articles and reviews, and made more than 40 films and TV programs on social, political, economic and historical issues.

A Convenient Refuge: Review of “Will The Real Terrorist Please Stand Up” – IPS.

The new film by IPS fellow Saul Landau is an effective and at times chilling portrait of one of the last Cold War conflicts still playing out.

As the curious life and career of Luis Posada Carriles illustrates, justice is wielded when it is convenient for the institutions tasked with enforcing it. The 83-year-old has had a horrifyingly prolific career, including participating in the Bay of Pigs invasion, blowing up Cubana Flight 455 and its 73 passengers, and planting a series of bombs in Havana hotels that killed one and injured 11. He hasdodged justice numerous times, always slipping by on his CIA connections.

Contrary to the stern declaration by George W. Bush that the United States would “make noPoster of Landau's film, distinction between terrorists and the nations that harbor them – and hold both to account,” Carriles has found sanctuary in this country. Saul Landau’s new film “Will the Real Terrorists Please Stand Up?” explores the sordid history of U.S. support for violent counter-revolutionaries and regime change in Cuba, explaining why someone like Carriles could end up inside the United States.

Landau grabs some startlingly candid interviews with the major players in the bloody drama. What emerges is a portrait of men who are accustomed to a culture of total impunity and who operate solely through the application and threatened application of violence.

A perfect example of these characters is Orlando Bosch a former CIA backed operative and head of Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations. In an interview, Bosch – described by the FBI as an anti-Castro terrorist umbrella organization – dismisses his killing of innocent civilians as “unfortunate”. Declassified documents in 2005 show Bosch likely collaborated with Carriles to carry out the airline bombing. Landau turns the camera on Carriles, showing him strutting through the Cuban exile community in Miami, treated like a hero and grinning from ear to ear.

Throughout, Landau keeps things interesting and quickly paced. He narrates, relating how his personal history intersects with the history of Cuba (the set of his film Fidel was even bombed by members of a terrorist group). It helps to give the documentary structure and a relatable point of view. There is a large cast of characters, but effective titles help to keep everyone identifiable.

By the time the Cuban Five come into play, Landau has made the case that these men were responding to a legitimate threat coming from the exile community in Miami. Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up? is an effective and at times chilling portrait of one of the last Cold War conflicts still playing out.

Zach Kreinik is an intern at the Institute for Policy Studies and an undergraduate student at Evergreen College.

barrylando: Whose War on Terror?.

Whose War on Terror?

by Barry Lando

At a time when the White House is spending hundreds of billions and has dispatched killer teams to liquidate Osama Bin Laden and lesser targets, imagine what the leaders of other countries might do if they were to declare their own War on Terror. Cuba, for instance. That question is provoked by a disturbing new documentary chronicling the past half century of Cuban-American relations and titled, “Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand up.”
Written and Directed by radical, Emmy-award-winning filmmaker Saul Landau, the report shies away from revolutionary cant and vague rhetoric. Instead, Landau backs up his case with research and interviews that, taken together, represent a damning indictment of U.S. policy. Most of the facts he cites are not news to those who have closely followed relations between Cuba and the U.S. since February, 1959 when Castro came to power. But the great majority of Americans have not paid attention. And most of what they have been told has been filtered through a Cold War prism that continues to warp U.S. -Cuban relations to this day.  
Washington’s war against Castro began long before May 1961 when he declared himself a Marxist-Leninist. Indeed, almost from the time that Castro marched into Havana and made it clear his revolution was the real thing, American Presidents—Republican and Democrat–have attempted to combat and then overthrow his regime by every possible means, from an embargo that strangled the country’s economy, to allowing Cuban exiles operating from Florida to attack Cuba’s refineries, infrastructure, sugar cane fields, and assassinate government officials.  Of course, there were also notorious attempts by the CIA to kill Fidel himself. And then came the disastrous Bay of Pig’s Invasion in 1961.   
Incredibly, after Cuba charged—accurately—that the U.S. was behind the invasion, U.N. Ambassador, Adlai Stevenson, had the gall to “categorically” deny the allegation:  The United States has committed no offense against Cuba and no offensive action has been launched from Florida or any part of the United States”
As part of the agreement ending the Missile Crisis in the Fall of 1962, President Kennedy pledged that the U.S. would not invade Cuba, but the White House and the CIA continued to support the radical exile groups based in the U.S. intent on using terror and violence to topple Fidel.
According to Landau’s report, for instance, in October 1976, the CIA had information that one of the Cuban exiles linked to them was planning to plant a bomb on a Cuban airliner—but the U.S. never informed the Cuban government. All seventy-three passengers were killed. Altogether, the Cubans estimate that more than three thousand of their people have been died in such terrorist acts.
All this, of course, would have been immediately denounced and  massively countered by the United States –if such a campaign had been waged against the U.S. or its allies by the likes of Iran, North Korea, Hamas–or Cuba.
On several occasions, Castro attempted to negotiate with the U.S. government. And there were Americans who argued for a change in policy.As John Burton, the former President of the California Senate put it,  “We do business with all sorts of bad quote undemocratic countries without free elections, but we pick on Cuba because we can, because they’re small because they’re political benefit to doing it in Florida.”
Even after the end of the Cold War, millions of voters in Florida still view the struggle to bring down Castro as a holy crusade, which is the reason no American President—including Obama–has had the guts to change course. In effect, Florida is the only state with its own foreign policy. One of the best comparisons is the lock that the powerful pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. has had on  America’s Mideast policy.
In the face of unrelenting attacks from U.S. territory, Castro’s government did what any government would have done: it dispatched intelligence agents to the U.S. to infiltrate radical exile Cuban groups and thwart their plans.
One of the groups they targeted was “Brothers to the Rescue”, flying small planes out of Florida to buzz Cuban cities, dropping anti-Castro leaflets and propaganda.  According to Landau’s report, the group was also experimenting with weapons that could be fired from the air.
In 1996, Fidel Castro told visiting Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico:  “You’ve got to tell your government to get control of these people.” As Fidel declared, “What would the U.S. do to if the Cubans flew over Washington?  How long would that plane last?” Richardson relayed the message to Morton Halperin point man for Cuba on Clinton’s National Security Council staff. Halperin said he would raise the issue with the FAA. The flights continued.   
Again, a top Cuban official asked Saul Landau to alert Halperin that there would be drastic consequences if the U.S. didn’t stop the flights. According to Landau, Halperin indicated he would have the FAA cancel the licenses of the exile Cuban pilots. But the FAA didn’t. And on February 24,1996 Cuban Migs shot down two of three small Cessnas over international waters, killing their passengers. Clinton, who reportedly had been hoping to loosen American policy towards Cuba, instead was forced by political pressure to further tighten the embargo.
Radical Cuban exile groups also targeted Cuba’s vital tourist industry, warning potential visitors they would turn the island into a free-fire zone. They bombed several Havana hotels, injuring and killing the innocent.
According to Landau, in 1998 Fidel Castro gave a letter to Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez to transmit to President Clinton: to stop the violent exile groups, Cuba would be willing to cooperate with the FBI. An FBI team was dispatched to Havana and the Cubans supplied them with substantial information about exile terrorist activities.
Instead of dismantling those exile groups, the FBI used the information to discover the identities of the undercover agents in Florida working for the Cuban government. On September 12, 1998, five Cuban intelligence officers were arrested in Miami and charged with, among other things, conspiracy to commit espionage and murder. Among the allegations–they had giving the Cuban government the information needed to shoot down the “Brothers” illegal flights.
The Cubans denied that charge, but spent more than a year in solitary confinement and—most important—were denied a motion to move the trial from Dade County, an area seething with anti-Castro sentiment. They were found guilty and received maximum sentences; in the case of one of them, two life sentences without possibility of parole. Last October, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down their appeal to have the trial remanded for change of venue.
A couple of months later, on the other side of the world, a CIA contract operative, Raymond Davis, was arrested by Pakistani authorities after killing two men in Lahore, presumably part of America’s War on Terror. After a barrage of calls to Pakistani officials from the highest levels in the U.S. government and the payment of “blood money” to the murdered men’s relatives, Davis was quietly released to American authorities and spirited out of Pakistan.
 Meanwhile, in Florida the most prominent of the radical Cuban exiles—those proudly linked to the campaign of terrorism against Castro’s Cuba–remain free and the toast of many inside and outside the exile community.