…although it does not rhyme, it is time the 5 ‘Ws’ of this were known….
By Irene Halford
It is now 40 years since the first terrorist attack on a civilian plane took place, yet another year goes by and no one seems to know about it or little less remember the 73 people who died on the Cubana flight from Barbados to Jamaica. In a world where information may be disseminated at the touch of a button, the dearth of coverage of Flight 455 raises some interesting and disturbing questions. In 1976 the comparatively limited reports in the Western media may well have been due to the victims on this flight (Cubans, Gayanians and North Koreans) being perceived as ‘the other’, and therefore, dehumanised individuals not worth of our sympathy or news space. Furthermore, as with all vilified enemies, it would follow that there is no limit to what ‘they’ should endure and so anything done to them is, therefore, justifiable and, in the long term, normalised.
Forty years later we have supposedly progressed from such viewpoints yet ironically the ownership of a victimhood narrative would seem to sit exclusively with the very same state that assisted the template for this modus operandi as a war tactic.
As Orlando Bosch infamously articulated when justifying blowing up the victims in mid-air on the afternoon of the 6th of October 1976: “All of Castro’s planes are war planes”.
A similar type of quote horrifies today’s world when pronounced by men such as the late Osama Bin Laden or by groups such as ISIL but we are kept in the dark about the pioneers of such line of though. It is a common response that when mentioning names such as Gaddafi or Arafat, people associate them with air carnage while by contrast, should you say the name of Bosch the only thing that might spring to mind is most properly a variety of white goods appliances…
It is a paradox that on the 40th Anniversary of this tragic event, the family members of the better known 9/11 attacks are considering legal proceedings against the Saudi state using the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).
The relatives of the forgotten victims of the Cubana Flight 455 terrorist atrocity must be asking themselves if they may also follow suit against the government of US and Venezuela. This is due to not only direct involvement of their CIA and Disip (General Sectoral Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services, Venezuela) members in the event but due to the release of internal memos showing previous knowledge of the event itself by both states – at the highest levels.
Although delivering justice to the victims’ families is beyond us, we can express our condemnation of the killing of innocent people whilst trying to shed light on that obscure and distant event that took place 40 years ago and which was to set a violent and bloody precedent to many events today.