La Coubre explosion, dramatic page in Cuba’s history

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Moments of profound sadness were experienced by the people of Cuba on March 4, 1960. Hundreds of thousands of its children flooded the streets of the capital to accompany, in a mournful pilgrimage to the necropolis of Colon, the victims of the abominable sabotage on the steamship La Coubre.

Forty-eight years after one of the first terrorist acts against our country, to prevent the acquisition of weapons for its defense, La Coubre continues to be an unclarified fact, and perhaps the material perpetrators of the crime walk with impunity along the streets of any town or city on the planet with the certainty that they will never be denounced or handed over to justice. Who is protecting and sheltering them?

Evidence accumulated over more than four decades on the circumstances in which the French ship exploded reveals that in the early years of the Revolution, U.S. intelligence agencies, under the government of Dwight D. Eisenhower, watched with suspicion the incipient military strengthening of the Greatest of the Antilles on not a few occasions, pressured European nations to suspend the sale of arms to Havana.

Who but the U.S. has always been interested in those weapons not reaching their destination? Who but the U.S. has always been interested in diminishing the defensive capacity of this nation? Fidel, in that memorable speech in the historical corner of 23 and 12, moments after the victims of La Coubre were buried, warned that after that action was looming the danger of an American invasion to our country. A year later, in April 1961, history would corroborate it.

Other investigations into the horrendous crime call attention to the silence Washington has maintained for years around the circumstances in which Donald Lee Chapman, an American reporter who took photos of the place where the explosions took place, was arrested in Havana. Suspectedly, Chapman had boarded the steamer La Coubre in a European port bound for Nebraska, on a voyage that would only take him to Florida. a geographic point quite far from his final destination.

The story reveals another interesting detail. Five days after the La Coubre explosion, the WH 4 group was formed, which would have the macabre mission of “structuring the execution of the so-called Covert Operations Plan”, signed by President Eisenhower on March 17. The truth is that when the bombs were detonated inside the French steam, this plan had already been implemented.

La Coubre directed from the US

The U.S. government’s connection to the La Coubre massacre is evident. Abundant information incriminating the U.S. for its direct participation in that ominous sabotage must exist in the CIA and Pentagon’s own secret archives. The question then is, when will they be unveiled?

No one should be surprised by the silence that for years has dominated successive U.S. administrations and their powerful media in relation to La Coubre. It is the same position that they have historically adopted when the stubbornness of the facts questions the veracity of the versions that the hegemonic media of the empire spread.

It is the same cynical position they maintained for years to give protection and shelter to Luis Posada Carriles, the most notorious terrorist in the Western Hemisphere, responsible for the blast of a civil aircraft in mid-flight, which caused the death of 73 innocent people. He passed away as a hero to the U.S. government.

Faced with this climate of perennial hostility since 1959, the Cuban Revolution has had no choice but to defend itself and entrust to many of its children the risky mission of infiltrating the enemy’s ranks in order to prevent terrorist acts and their disastrous consequences.

Knowing the truth about the sabotage of La Coubre there will be a permanent claim of this people who, under the historical slogan of Homeland or Death, pronounced by Fidel on that sad day in March 1960, will never give up defending their homeland in exchange for their own life if necessary, with the clear conviction that “to die for our homeland is to live”.


Jorge Luis Lora Moran

Webmaster Jorge Luis Lora

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