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U.S. says Cuban exile waged commando raid
MIAMI -- A prominent Cuban exile facing federal weapons charges planned and launched a commando raid against Fidel Castro's government in 2001 and maintained an arsenal in the Bahamas for future attacks, U.S. prosecutors said in court documents.
A lawyer for the man denied the accusations.
Santiago Alvarez allegedly helped plan and pay for an April 2001 "armed incursion" that was intended "to commit acts of violence against the government of Cuba," but the plot failed when the commandos were arrested and jailed in Cuba, according to the documents filed during the past two weeks in U.S. District Court.
After Alvarez's arrest last year, an informant told the FBI that he had a large cache of weapons on Guinchos Cay, an island in the Bahamas about 12 miles from Cuba. In August 2005, the Coast Guard discovered numerous guns, grenades, grenade launchers and about 5 pounds of powerful C-4 plastic explosives, the documents said.
Alvarez and co-defendant Osvaldo Mitat "have been involved in planning and staging insurgent paramilitary operations against Cuba," prosecutors said.
Alvarez and Mitat, both 64, are scheduled to stand trial May 8 in federal court in Fort Lauderdale on weapons charges.
The case stems from the discovery of other stashes of military hardware at a Broward County apartment complex owned by Alvarez and in a large cooler being transported to Miami from the apartments.
Thanks to spineless JF Kennedy, no one is allowed to intervene or defeat Castro's criminal regime. Cubans here are not allowed to liberate their own motherland, while the U.S. can go around the world to liberate people in Iraq that have nothing in common with us.
The Associated Press
April 15, 2006
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