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 11:50 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
updated 9:00 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
updated 7:32 PM EDT, Sun September 28, 2014
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
updated 4:12 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
updated 8:49 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
updated 10:42 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
updated 2:13 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
updated 4:10 PM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
updated 11:03 AM EDT, Sat September 27, 2014
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
updated 9:54 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
updated 11:29 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
updated 10:23 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
updated 9:36 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT