On Oct. 6, Caribbean and US political and peace activists commemorated the 41st anniversary of the CIA-bombing of a Cubana airliner in 1976 at the peace monument in Bridgetown, Barbados.
The bombing and destruction of Cubana Airlines Flight 455 killed 73 civilians.
Among them were 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese, and 5 North Koreans. Traveling on the plane were all 24 youthful members of the 1975 Cuban national fencing team that had just won all the gold medals at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in Venezuela. Five of the Guyanese were flying to Cuba to study medicine at the Latin American School of Medicine.
As wreaths were laid at the monument, Cuban Ambassador to Barbados, Francisco Fernández Peña, and Barbados Foreign Minister, Maxine McClean, spoke movingly how this calculated, horrible act ironically solidified relationships between Caribbean islands nations and Cuba.
Two Cuban Americans, Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, planned and assisted in carrying out this act of terrorism. Both worked for the CIA. Bosch is dead. Posada Carriles walks freely in Miami.
The commemoration took place in the context of the First Caribbean Peace Conference at the headquarters of the National Union of Public Workers, Oct. 6 & 7.
The US government condemns terrorism today but, as exemplified by the events of October 6, 1976, it blatantly enabled it.