Skolnick and I were talking about shortwave radio and he had 
suggested, since I speak Spanish, that I tune in Radio Havana and 
hear their perspective on the downing of the "Brothers to the 
Rescue" plane. As fate would have it, I was wandering the 
frequencies and I found Radio Havana -- *in* *English*. I don't 
know when that happened, but Radio Havana now broadcasts in 
English at 6000 KHz, 9820 KHz, and 9830 KHz. I was receiving them 
between 7 and 8 p.m. Central Standard Time.
According to Radio Havana, U.S. authorities had been repeatedly 
notified regarding the intrusions into their air space by 
"Brothers to the Rescue" (BTR) planes -- yet did nothing. The 
unfortunate result, the downing of the BTR plane, is connected by 
the Cubans to what they call Miami's virulent "anti-Cuban Mafia" 
and efforts to push through the "Helms-Burton Bill". The word 
"conspiracy" was actually used, which was unusual to hear it 
being freely bandied about over their air waves without any 
snickering -- as is the norm here in the U.S.
Also noted was that a group called "Pastors for Peace" has begun 
a "fast for life", presumably in protest over U.S. promoted 
isolationist policies against Cuba. You wouldn't know it from our 
own "news" reports, but demonstrations have been held in numerous 
cities throughout the U.S., and indeed throughout the world, 
protesting "our" government's policy toward Cuba. According to 
Radio Havana, "virtually every country in the world is calling on 
the Cuban embargo to end."
Radio Havana further opines that the recent brouhaha between us 
and Cuba is nothing more, at bottom, than "posturing for 
Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Robeina(?) said as follows 
in an address delivered, apparently today (March 6, 1996), to the 
United Nations [excerpts only]:
  It has even been said that the Brothers to the Rescue 
  organization had a humanitarian character. The General 
  Assembly should know that that gang, which was established in 
  1991 and was officially registered as a non-profit 
  organization, free of political interests, is indeed financed 
  with obscure money from the extremist Mafias of Miami.
  It would be interesting to investigate the links between the 
  Cuban-American Foundation and that group, or to go deeper, 
  into the intense efforts carried out by Representative Ileana 
  Ros, so that the U.S. Defense Department donated Brothers to 
  the Rescue (or sold them at a low price) three of the planes 
  they used against Cuba. That organization's key figure, Jose 
  Basulto(sp?), is well-known by Cuba. He was recruited by the 
  Central Intelligence Agency, got his training in Panama and 
  Guatemala, and infiltrated into Cuba both before, and after, 
  the Bay of Pigs invasion. In 1963, he was infiltrated into 
  Cuba as the radio operator of a terrorist commando group, and 
  he worked for the CIA in Brazil, in 1966. The Cessna 337 he 
  personally uses in his anti-Cuba errors bears a big "2506" 
  number -- after the Bay of Pigs invasion, of course, known as 
  the "2506 Brigade".
  This is the background of an individual who is now being 
  portrayed as a champion of humanitarian causes.
  With the signing by Cuba and the United States of immigration 
  agreements that put an end to Cuban illegal immigration into 
  the United States, that organization's [Brothers to the 
  Rescue's] apparent objective of promoting that illegal 
  immigration ceased to exist. This is how orchestrating, 
  planning, and conducting terrorist acts have become their 
  sole and definitive purpose. In their hostile, dangerous 
  actions against Cuba they have used twin-tail Cessna planes 
  of a military design, used by the U.S. Air Force in 
  exploration and combat missions during the Viet Nam War. 
  Anyone with any doubts about it can see the Miami Herald's 
  July 19th, 1992 edition where a Brothers to the Rescue plane 
  is shown with the "USAF" (or "United States Air Force") 
  This gang's aggressive plans have left no room for doubt that 
  it is a paramilitary, terrorist organization engaged in an 
  open war against Cuba.
  Would the United States have tolerated provocations like the 
  ones Cuba has had to tolerate? Would U.S. authorities allow 
  planes from Cuba or any other country to illegally enter U.S. 
  air space and drop subversive leaflets? What would have 
  happened if civilian airplanes from Cuba had disobeyed 
  instructions of U.S. air controllers regarding air traffic? 
  Could Cuban civilian aircraft have been allowed to enter air 
  zones of U.S. military bases like Andrews, or Fort Meade, 
  near Washington? And how would U.S. public opinion have 
  reacted to such bravado and impunity of provocateurs like 
  these? Well, the answer is not difficult to imagine. The 
  United States would *not* have allowed this -- as a U.S. 
  Defense Department spokesperson recently acknowledged when 
  asked by journalists.
  Suspicious enough, these events have one common point: the 
  passing, in the U.S. Congress, of the infamous Helms-Burton 
  Bill. Its ultimate aim is to make the world implement a 
  blockade against Cuba following more than 35 years of failure 
  of an economic and financial U.S. blockade that this General 
  Assembly has condemned for 4 consecutive years. Evidently, 
  the whole issue has been a conspiracy by the Cuban-American 
  ultra right, in connivance with the most extremist figures in 
  the U.S. Congress; a conspiracy not only against Cuba, but 
  also against the very U.S. administration, so as to drag it 
  into serious contradiction, and problems of even a warlike 
  nature, in the middle of a fierce electoral fight. The first 
  consequence would be, at least, to see the criminal Helms- 
  Burton Bill finally approved. The government of the United 
  States, which is now taking measures against Cuba, should 
  understand that these provocations are also aimed against it. 
  The U.S. government's decision to support that bill is, in 
  fact, an open challenge to the overwhelming condemnation of 
  the blockade against Cuba by this assembly.