Terrorist attack in
South Florida condemned
Organizations of Cuban-Americans in
Miami have strongly condemned the terrorist attack
committed April 27, in Coral Gables, against Airline
Brokers, a travel agency specializing in charter
flights to Cuba, and called for an end to U.S.
government restrictions on travel to the country.
The agency had recently made arrangements for a
delegation of 300 people who traveled to Cuba to
witness the Pope’s visit to the island.
The statement was signed by the
Alianza Martiana, the Antonio Maceo Brigade, the
José Martí Association, the Miami Bolivarian Circle,
the Association of Christian Women in Defense of the
Family, according to Prensa Latina, in addition to
the Foundation for Normalization of US-Cuba
Relations, the Cuban-American Defense League and the
Socialist Workers Party, among other non-governmental
groups which support the Cuban people.
"We regard this criminal action as a
terrorist attack, not only against this company, but
also against the right of all American citizens to
travel to Cuba and, particularly, to share time with
and to help their families," the statement said.
"Terrorist actions like this one
violate democracy," added the text, which urges the
U.S. government to lift all Cuba travel bans and
calls on local and federal authorities to conduct a
swift and thorough investigation that can lead to
prosecution of the culprits.
"As long as terrorists walk the
streets of Miami as free men, actions like this one
will continue to be perpetrated by them or by others
who think and act like them," the statement warned,
emphasizing that those responsible must be found and
appropriately punished so that acts such as this are
not repeated in South Florida.
After pointing out that no member of
Congress or any other elected state official has
condemned the attack, the document adds that this
must happen as soon as possible, since the situation
is "truly disgraceful."
The fire at the travel agency, which
occurred during the early morning hours, has been
described as deliberate by authorities speaking to
the local press, and is being investigated by the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (AFT), as well as the
Coral Gables Fire Department.
The case has revived memories of the
1970’s and 80’s, when Miami suffered a rash of
politically motivated arson attacks and car-bombings
targeting those perceived as sympathetic to Cuba.
In January, 2011, the Obama
administration slightly modified regulations
limiting travel to Cuba, but has left untouched the
economic and commercial blockade of Cuba imposed by
the U.S. more than 50 years ago.