The Miami Herald
September 18, 1999
Havana seeking lengthy prison terms for 3 Guatemalans in terrorism case

 HAVANA -- (AP) -- Prosecutors are seeking sentences ranging from 20 to 30
 years in prison for three Guatemalans charged with terrorism for attempting to
 place bombs at tourist spots last year, the government said Friday.

 The Communist Party daily newspaper Granma said prosecutors have
 recommended 30 years for Miguel Abraham Herrera Morales and 20 years for
 Maria Elena Gonzalez, both of whom were arrested in March 1998, after allegedly
 trying to plant explosive devices in public places.

 Prosecutors are seeking a prison sentence of 25 years for Gonzalez's husband,
 Jazid Ivan Fernandez, who was arrested two weeks later, when he arrived in Cuba
 to try to get his wife out of jail. Authorities say that at the time, he confessed to
 involvement in the plan to bomb tourist installations.

 A court date was not announced for the three, who remain in jail while awaiting

 Two Salvadorans, Raul Ernesto Cruz Leon and Otto Rene Rodriguez Llerena,
 were sentenced to death in a related case in March. Their cases are being

 Cruz Leon was convicted of planting bombs in five hotels and one restaurant,
 including one blast that killed an Italian tourist in 1997. Rodriguez Llerena was
 convicted of planting a bomb in a hotel and of plotting similar bombings at sites
 sacred to Cuban communists, including the tomb of revolutionary icon Ernesto
 ``Che'' Guevara in the central city of Santa Clara.

 Last year, Cuba charged that the five Central Americans were part of a Central
 America-based network directed and funded by the Cuban American National
 Foundation, based in Miami.

 The foundation denied those accusations and has always denied using violence in
 its campaigns against the government of President Fidel Castro.

 Cuba has also charged that the five defendants got their instructions from Luis
 Posada Carriles, a Cuban exile accused of responsibility in the 1976 bombing of a
 Cubana airliner that killed 73 people.

 Posada Carriles was twice acquitted of that action, but spent nine years in a
 Venezuelan prison before escaping in 1985.

                     Copyright 1999 Miami Herald