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Cuba marks 45th anniversary of US terror attack on civilian plane

CUBAN President Miguel Diaz-Canel paid tribute on Wednesday to the victims of the most “horrendous crime” as Cuba marked 45 years since a civilian plane was bombed off Barbados by the US.

Mr Diaz-Canel slammed Washington’s hypocrisy, saying that the terrorists who killed all 73 people on board were protected by both Republican and Democrat governments.

“Forty-five years have passed, but not in 100, nor ever, will we forget the abominable crime of Barbados,” he said.

Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz called the bombing of the plane “one of the worst and most abominable acts of state terrorism carried out against the Cuban people.”

CIA operatives were behind the bombing of Cubana de Aviacion flight 455 from Barbados to Jamaica on October 6 1976, which killed 57 Cubans, including the Olympic fencing team.

Washington protected those known to be responsible for the atrocity, including Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, despite repeated calls for their extradition to Cuba.

They were part of a network of Cubans known as the Co-ordination of United Revolutionary Organisations (Coru), which plotted terror attacks against supporters of the Havana government.

The umbrella group is known for more than 50 bombings in Miami, New York, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico and Argentina, while some of its members armed and trained the anti-communist Contra death squads in Nicaragua.

Despite his terror activities, Mr Carriles was afforded immunity and died peacefully in a Florida hospital in 2018 and was never held to account for his crimes.

Almost 3,500 Cubans have been killed and more than 2,000 injured in terrorist attacks with US support, a Cuban government report has stated, yet Washington continues to denounce Cuba for human rights abuses.

Mr Diaz-Canel honoured the victims of US aggression on the socialist island, describing it as “a pain we harbour as they keep trying to stain history by adding our country to the infamous list of state sponsors of terrorism.”

The US has pumped billions of dollars into opposition groups as part of its regime change efforts, while its six-decade blockade of Cuba island has cost the Caribbean island an estimated $1.1 trillion since 1959, according to a 2015 report by Al Jazeera.

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