Skip to main content

Cuba says it foiled terror plot, claims exiles planned 'violent actions'

By Patrick Oppmann, CNN
updated 7:14 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The State Department says it hasn't heard from Cuba about the accusations
  • NEW: Cuban exile: "It's all a smoke screen to start a crackdown on dissidents"
  • Cuba says it's arrested four U.S. residents involved in a terrorist plot

Havana, Cuba (CNN) -- Cuba says it foiled a terrorist plot by Cuban exiles to attack military facilities on the island and has arrested four U.S. residents.

According to an Interior Ministry statement, the men -- identified as Jose Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodriguez Gonzalez, Raibel Pacheco Santos and Feliz Monzon Alvarez -- were arrested last month after traveling to Cuba to "promote violent actions."

It was not clear whether the men had been officially charged or appointed attorneys.

The statement said Cuban officials would ask the U.S. government to investigate the activities of the men, who the statement said were all U.S. residents.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday that she did not have additional information about the accusations.

"The Cuban government has also not been in touch with us yet on these cases," she told reporters.

The Cuban government alleged that the arrested men have ties with Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban exile and former CIA operative accused of blowing up a Cuban commercial airliner in 1976. Posada has denied he participated in that attack, but he remains a wanted man in Cuba and Venezuela for his alleged role in the airline bombing, which killed 73 people.

In its statement Wednesday, Cuba's interior ministry also accused several other Miami-based exiles of orchestrating plans for an attack.

One of them, Santiago Alvarez, denied any association with the men Cuba says it arrested.

"I don't recognize the names," he said. "It's all a smoke screen to start a crackdown on dissidents."

CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet and Adriana Hauser contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:45 PM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
ISIS has published a video titled "A second message to America," showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff.
updated 9:35 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions and pleaded for U.S. help in interviews with CNN.
Hundreds of jihadis in Syria are from abroad -- which countries have the biggest problem?
updated 3:51 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
CNN attends a funeral where mourners keep their distance.
updated 5:13 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Libyan militia members have apparently turned the abandoned U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, into a water park.
updated 7:26 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
A few miles south of the town of Starobeshevo in eastern Ukraine, a group of men in uniform is slumped under a tree.
updated 9:25 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Beijing says only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive, prompting criticism.
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 8:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
In a major breach of privacy, a hacker leaked a series of pictures allegedly showing Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities in the nude.
Instead of weaving garments sold in the West, children should be in school
According to the International Labour Organization, there are 168 million child laborers around the world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT