Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos

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"We placed the bomb and so what?"

A Confession of the Guilty

by Angelica Paredes
Sept. 13, 2009
Reprinted from Radio Cadena Agramonte

As if it was only yesterday, Venezuelan journalist Alicia Herrera's 1981 book entitled: "We Placed the Bomb and So What" is a powerful reminder of who the true authors are in the bombing of a Cubana airliner on October 6, 1976 that killed all 73 people on board.

"Surely enough, the movie is back," said the researcher while making herself comfortable in a small living room in a Caracas hotel.

"It's a movie that was made almost 30 years ago, when in solidarity with Freddy Lugo, one of the terrorists that participated in the bombing of the Cubana airliner, I went to the San Carlos Prison to visit him."

Lugo was a photographer and her co-worker at Pagina Magazine of Capriles Publishing House. Alicia went to the prison, but not only interested in him. She wanted to do something less boring and saw the possibility of writing something different.

"He shared the prison cell with the renowned international terrorist Orlando Bosch, who received many visits not only from his friends in Venezuela but also his accomplices in Miami.

"They had lots of privileges while in jail. Meetings were held in the cell and on occasions Freddy Lugo would talk to me on the side.

Later we'd be joined by Orlando Bosch, a man with an impressive theatrical way of speaking. He loves to have a public always applauding him as he tells stories of his supposed feats.

"That was how I began to understand, little by little, that it was possible that these people could have had something to do with the sabotage of the plane."

Alicia recalled how time passed and then came the first confession.

"Freddy tells me that while he, Bosch and Hernan Ricardo were in the patio of the San Carlos Prison, where they would go to exercise or get some sun, they would argue. They had strongly discussed the issue of the plane and in a state fury Hernan Ricardo screamed in front of the soldiers and officials:

We Placed the Bomb and So What?

Alicia was surprised by the confession. She acknowledges that she was very scared.

"Then he told me: look, 'in reality we did plant the bomb' and they gave me the story of what they did on the plane. It was a terrible confession, a horrible moment in my life. The terrorist told me how Hernan Ricardo went to the plane's rear bathroom with his package, which is how he called the bomb.

"He locked himself in the bathroom and then couldn't open the door and a flight attendant had to help him out.

"When he got out, he sat next to Freddy, and told him everything was ready, but that he was scared because he felt as thought he would also be blown up in mid-air. They were suspicious that the people that had hired them, Posada and Bosch, could betray them. That was what Freddy told me and what I wrote in the book, like a guilty confession of the terrorists."

Later there was another revelation, that of Orlando Bosch. "During the visit to Venezuela of Cuban ex-guerrilla commander Hubert Matos, Bosch was very jealous of all the attention that was being given to Matos. He was welcomed like a Head of State by the government of Luis Herrera Campins."

"Bosch couldn't stand it. I arrived at the prison cell one day and found him very upset, throwing things around and shouting how was it possible that so much attention could be given to a man that had never struggled for the freedom of Cuba, while he had blown up an airplane full of communists.

Bosch said that in front of me." When did you decide on making public this denunciation?

"I decided to go public with the information amidst a very serious ethical conflict: either I say it or I am an accomplice. I made a decision.
"After Freddy Lugo confessed that they had placed the bomb, months went by before Bosch said the same. I wanted and needed to hear their confessions.

"I knew they were going to tell me. I said to myself, if I make the announcement, I had to do it completely and make it solid, where I could effectively prove that these are the terrorists that placed the bomb on the Cubana airliner.

"It was very hard what I went through, but I also had the satisfaction that honest people, true Venezuelans, supported me and they are the same people that support me today and whom are pushing this ahead.

"Before the international community, Venezuela was marked as a country without justice, an accomplice of a horrible crime. But here we are today, demanding Posada Carriles be tried here in order to bring an end to the impunity. The 'So What' still exists, it remains in the air."

As a professional of the mass media, what do you think of the manipulation of the case by the US government and the powerful mass media?

"They definitely live on another planet. It's incredible the indifference in such a serious case. The anti terrorist rhetoric by the US government does not correspond with the real events.

"Their transnational media is handled by them [the US government], they do not report anything and of course silence what is convenient for them. It's a double standard, it's the system."

Alicia asks herself: Has the time arrived for justice in the name of the victims and relatives of so many innocent people?

"This is the time, which is why we fight and must continue demanding that this terrorist be tried in Venezuela as well as his accomplice Orlando Bosch. It's time to do justice. It's been too long. If they don't extradite him to Venezuela, what kind of justice can we believe in? What world do we live in?"

They planted the bomb, but in the name of justice the 'So What' demands an answer. Fortunately for humanity there are people in this world like Venezuelan journalist Alicia Herrera who do not silence the truth.


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