June 1974. p. 3.
By Hilda Inclan
Miami News Latin Community writer
Copyright 1974, The Miami News
Orlando Bosch says he is the man who maps the strategy and calls the shots for much of the Cuban exile terrorism today.
Bosch, pediatrician by profession, poet and painter by avocation, has been in hiding in the Miami area since Cuban exile leader Jose Elias de Torriente was murdered in Coral Gables April 12.
The FBI is looking for Bosch, a paroled federal prisoner who once shelled a Polish flag ship with a makeshift cannon from the MacArthur Causeway.
Now Bosch says he is fleeting the United States and going underground to lead an international war against the regime of Fidel Castro.
The war of terror will climax, he said, with Castro’s of up to $3 million to the assassin.
Bosch, who has changed his hiding place daily since Torriente’s murder, revealed in a clandestine, exclusive interview with The Miami News that he is the leader of Accion Cubana.
The organization has been bombing Cuban consulates in Latin America under his direction since last August, Bosch claims.
Now, he said, “I’m going underground in a Latin American country to be able to direct the internationalization of the war against Castro.”
This will include more bombings he said, followed by “escalation,” with direct acts against Cuban officials around the world, with kidnappings and assassinations likely. Bosch said these activities will be coordinated with sabotage inside Cuba.
Accion Cubana expects to sell $10 million worth of “bonds” to finance its work, and up to $3 million will be reserved for the person or group who kills Castro, Bosch said.
That assassination, and the deaths of Castro’s inner circle of supporters, is essential, Bosch said. But he added that others would be spared, because “We are not vengeful… We know that most of those bearing weapons for Castro now would turn against him if given the chance. We plan to incorporate them in our struggle.”
The “bonds,” in denominations ranging from $10 to $1,000, are being sold secretly among Cuban exiles. But, Bosch claimed, he already has insured his movement’s economic life.
Said Bosch, the former leader of a group called Cuban Power, which blew up ships of nations which traded with Cuba, “I’m tired of fighting with holes in my shoes.”
The “bonds” are not redeemable in cash, at least at present. Each bond bears on one side the Cuban flag, the face of a Cuban patriot of independence, and Accion’s slogan, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Justice is sovereign.”
The other side features a drawing of Cuba, the face of a more modern revolutionary, and the words of Jose Marti, “He who has a homeland, let him honor it; he who doesn’t have it, let him conquer it.”
The $20 bond bears the face of Juan Felipe de la Cruz, who died in Paris last August when a bomb he was making exploded. He was 28, and on Accion Cubana’s first mission.
Accion’s most recent successful mission, Bosch said, was the mailing of a “Care” package to the Cuban Embassy in Lima, Peru, Feb. 4. It blew up in the hands of attaché Pilar Ramirez Vega. She lost an arm.
“She’s a Communist, a member of Havana’s Committee of Defense of the Revolution (which spies on Cuban citizens)… and we are at war,” said Bosch, puffing on a cigar.
The 47-year-old Bosch a medical school graduate of the University of Havana, and the father of five children, treated children at the Asociacion Benefica Mar fan, a private Cuban outpatient clinic in Miami, before he went into hiding April 12.
He describes himself as “a humanist,” a man born to save lives rather than take them, a man who hates violence – as long as some other method works.
“I am an enemy of terrorism,” said Bosch, who also used to head the Revolutionary Recovery Insurrectional Movement (MIRR).
“But this (violence) is something we’ve been forced to do. We’re alone in the struggle to free Cuba. We no longer have allies. All wars are some form of terrorism. Cubans have been left no other avenues.”
The MIRR claimed credit for 11 aerial bombing attacks on Cuban territory from a Miami-area base in the 1960s. Bosch was charged by U.S. authorities in connection with them, but was not convicted.
He was paroled from a federal prison in December, 1972, after serving nearly half of a 10-year sentence in connection with the shelling of the Polish vessel Polinica. The ship suffered a large hole in the hull, and the incident drew U.S. apologies to the Polish government.
“Being in jail is a maturing experience,” said Bosch. “You think and meditate a lot, and you have time to see your mistakes clearly and to learn from them. There’s also a lot of time for reading, studying and planning for the future.”
Bosch took up poetry and painting while in prison, between protest hunger strikes. He recently sold one of his paintings for $500.
Bosch said he has hidden from the FBI because a local TV station showed that he had traveled to New Jersey at the time of Torriente’s murder. The travel was a violation of his federal parole and he faces possible return to prison, if found.
He denied any role in the slaying of Torriente. But he did not lament Torriente’s death.
“I wouldn’t be honest if I did,” Bosch said. “He (Torriente) played with the hopes, the aspirations, the cravings and the finances of a people. Maybe I would have ordered his death once we got back to Cuba, but not here.”
Bosch contended that Torriente’s murder benefited the Cuban exile community. “Nobody will dare raise a false flag here anymore, for fear for his own life. The instinct of self-preservation is a man’s strongest. His slaying was a good lesson to the exile community, so no one else will now come forth with phony theories to fool and rob the people.”
Bosch said the Torriente slaying forced him underground prematurely. At the time, he said, Accion Cubana was holding meetings regarding a possible merger with FLNC, another anti-Castro terrorist group based in Miami. Bosch’s Accion is made up of men mostly in their 30s or older, he said. The FLNC, two of whose men were seriously wounded when a homemade bomb exploded in a Miami garage recently, has mostly younger membership.