Saturday, September 23, 2006

Anti-Cuban terrorism strikes in Italy - Car Bombing in Italy over Film on Cuba

Because some of the most prominent acts of anti-Cuban terrorism, like the bombing of Cubana Airlines Flight 455, happened a long time ago, some people may be lulled into thinking this is all about the past. It isn't. In the post below this one, I wrote about Livio Di Celmo, who I met yesterday, and whose brother Fabio was killed in a 1997 hotel bombing in Havana organized by Luis Posada Carriles. This morning, Granma reports on an act of terrorism that oocured in Italy last Saturday -- an Italian filmmaker who had just completed and released a film about anti-Cuban terrorism, and which featured the death of Fabio Di Celmo, had his car and his son's car destroyed with bombs outside their home. Fortunately no one was hurt.

Anti-Cuban terrorism is very much alive, in its deadly way.

Car Bombing in Italy over Film on Cuba

The car of an Italian director who recently released a movie criticizing US-based terrorism against Cuba has been firebombed. A message was left that read: "Go to Cuba."

Sept. 21, 2006
by Pedro de la Hoz
Reprinted from Daily Granma

Just before dawn last Saturday, Italian filmmaker Angelo Rizzo awoke to flames at the doorstep of his house. A few moments later he would see the remains of his and his son’s burnt cars. An intimidating message had been left in his garden: "Vattene a Cuba" (Go to Cuba).

Angelo Rizzo at a Press Conference in Havana
This was clearly not the result of weekend gang action. The attack that disturbed the quiet early morning of the Cormano Villa, near Milan, leads directly to the Miami-based anti-Cuban mafia and its accomplices.

Rizzo has just finished a film on the terrorist acts committed against tourist centers in Havana in September of 1997, organized by Luis Posada Carriles and the armed branch of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF). In one of the attempts, a young Italian man, Fabio Di Celmo, lost his life. The US authorities were aware of the plans and did nothing to try to stop them.

"When Truth Awakens," was shot in Havana and in the Havana port of Mariel. The script focuses on Fabio’s relationship with the island, and his dreams and aspirations, cut short by a criminal conspiracy that was fully acknowledged by its intellectual and material authors.

With utter cynicism and a total lack of principles, during a long interview on July 12 and 13, 1998 in the New York Times , Luis Posada Carriles said: "It is sad when somebody dies, but we cannot stop […] that Italian was in the wrong place at the wrong time." In the same article, Posada Carriles claims responsibility for the attacks in Havana and acknowledges that CANF had supplied them with large sums of money to finance the sinister plans. The article also displays Posada Carriles total lack of remorse: "I sleep like a baby."

Remains of Rizzo’s car, in front of his house in Cormano Village
Rizzo’s film, starring Italian actor Michel Altieri, US actor Michael Wong, and Cuban actors Enrique Molina, Carlos Padron, Enrique Almirante and Rogelio Blain, premieres on October 13 at the Rome Film Festival, although not in competition because it is already officially registered for the 2007 Berlinale (Berlin Film Festival), according to the film’s producer, Jose Luis Lobato.

While making the movie in Cuba —the second film Rizzo has shot on the island after " Un loco Sonador " (2004), a baseball movie featuring Mexican actor Pablo Montero—, Rizzo said that at the core of his film was "a criticism of terrorism and its terrible effects on innocent people."

In reporting on the vandalism of Rizzo’s property, the conservative newspaper Corriere della Sera ran this headline: "Attack on Anti-American Filmmaker, Car Burnt and Threats: Go Back to Cuba."

The qualifier "anti-American," is not only inaccurate, but also meant as provocation. After reproducing Posada Carrile’s criminal record and describing him as the "Bin Laden of the Caribbean, the Italian newspaper quotes Rizzo as saying:" I am not interested in politics, I am telling a story. I have chosen this one because it is related to the current issue of terrorism; [the film] argues that there is no such thing as good or bad terrorism. It’s the victims who speak, and in this case, an innocent man who has paid with his life. This goes far beyond the confrontation between the right and left."

Rizzo said, "[I’m certain] the car burnings are related to my film; it’s awful." An in-depth investigation into the intimidation attack on Rizzo should take into consideration the long relationship between the anti-Cuban mafia with its headquarters in southern Florida, the US government and the involvement of Italian terrorists.

Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, masterminds of the midair bombing of a Cuban airliner some 30 years ago that killed all 73 aboard, where also the main leaders behind Operation Condor, the notorious wave of repression and terrorist activities that swept Chile in the 1970s after the coup against constitutional president Salvador Allende.

It was during this time that these two men became acquainted with Stefano delle Chiaie, from the Italian neo-fascist faction "Vanguardia Nacionale." Delle Chiaie had been recruited into the Gladio Operation, a secret initiative of the CIA and secret service with the mandate to attack Western European leftists during the Cold War.

After a failed rightwing coup against the Italian Republic in 1970 —masterminded by Prince Junio Valerio Borghese in cooperation with the Vanguardia Nacionale—, Delle Chiae took refuge in Franco’s Spain. He then headed to Chile where, along with Posada Carriles’ associate Virgilio Paz Romero and CIA agent Michael Townley, he planned the dynamite attack against Chilean Christian Democratic politician Bernardo Leghton that took place on October 5, 1975 in Rome and left Leghton paralyzed.

Proof of this criminal association was revealed in declassified CIA documents.

It should come as no surprise that the Italian-Cuban-American link has been revived in 2006 to intimidate an honest filmmaker. The attempt however has backfired; the following day, in a gesture of solidarity, Angelo Rizzo put up a Cuban flag at the entrance to his home.