Fidel Castro passed away last November and we have the 50th anniversary of Che Guevara’s death coming up on the 9th of October. However a very significant anniversary has gone unheralded. The 6th of October 2016 was the 40th anniversary of the downing of Cubana Flight 455 in the Caribbean. The flight was on its way from Barbados to Jamaica. 73 persons lost their lives when two bombs exploded on board. 57 Cubans were on board. Among the dead were all 24 members of the 1975 national Cuban fencing team that had just won all the gold medals in the Central American and Caribbean championships; many were teenagers.
The tragedy is on a list of 37 terrorist attacks on planes on Wikipedia. It may well now be one of many but it is not forgotten in Cuba. School children re-enact the crash for foreign visitors and once you see that re-enactment you understand why it is seared into the national consciousness. Cuba is convinced that the explosions were CIA sponsored.
The Wikipedia entry on the incident makes interesting reading. CIA operatives are clearly implicated in the article. From the Bay of Pigs to the many attempts on Fidel Castro’s life, Cubans are familiar with the ways of the CIA. It’s hard to believe that a country that has been under such consistent attack from the CIA will now change its ways and fall into step with the capitalist world. Why would it? As Fidel said: They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?