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 1:20 PM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by ISIS militants brings into focus the risks faced by reporters in conflict zones.
updated 8:24 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
About $35,000 was taken from the bank accounts of four passengers on board Flight 370.
updated 9:53 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Five survivors of acid attacks capture India's attention with a "ground breaking" photo shoot.
updated 1:32 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
The execution of a journalist by a British-accented jihadist is a direct challenge to the international community. It's time for the U.S. to move, writes Frida Ghitis.
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
updated 4:58 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
updated 11:35 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
You've seen her turn on the catwalk, but her income might make your head spin.
updated 8:36 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
updated 5:04 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
19-year-old Udi Segal explains why he won't join the country's military.
Drinkers guzzled an incredible 10.3 billion liters of this brand in 2013, making it the world's No.1 beer. And you may have never heard of it.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT