Anti-Castro militants say Cuban spy shot in Havana
By Madeline Baró Diaz
MIAMI · A group that advocates the forceful overthrow of Cuba's
communist government claims that anti-Castro operatives in Cuba pulled
off an assassination
attempt on a Cuban spy.
Rodolfo Frómeta, director of Comandos F-4, a Miami-based paramilitary
organization, said members of the group in Cuba tried to assassinate Juan
early on Dec. 16 in Havana. Roque was wounded during a shootout, which killed one member of Comandos F-4 and a man accompanying Roque, Frómeta said.
Roque is a target of the militants because they think he is responsible
for the 1996 shootdown by Cuban MiGs of two Brothers to the Rescue Cessnas,
in which four
Cuban-Americans on board died. Roque, a Cuban spy who joined Brothers to the Rescue in an undercover operation, returned to Cuba the day before the
The Cuban government, however, vigorously denied that Roque was wounded.
At a news conference last week, National Assembly President Ricardo
Alarcón denounced acts of terrorism against Cuba by Cuban exiles
and the apparent
unwillingness of U.S. authorities to deal with the "terrorists." Alarcón denied that the assassination attempt had occurred and questioned whether the FBI was
investigating Frómeta's claim.
"This gentleman declares in Miami that he ordered an attempted assassination
that, according to him, was carried out in Havana," Alarcón said.
"Has [the FBI] called
him so he could explain how it is possible that someone publicly acknowledges the organization of an assassination carried out in another country?"
Frómeta, a spokesman for the Comandos F-4 members in Cuba, said
the attempt on Roque's life was carried out by members of a clandestine
anti-Castro cell on
the island. In the United States, members of the group obey the nation's laws, he said.
"I have never said that I order assassinations from here," said Frómeta, who said he is the highest-ranking member of the organization in the United States.
Frómeta said he did not know whether Roque died, but said that
if Roque is indeed alive the Cuban government should show him riding a
bicycle on the streets of
The FBI declined comment Tuesday.
Madeline Baró Diaz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-810-5007.
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