Frometal Jacket

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After he almost died during a 124-day hunger strike in 1991, the Cuban government deported Frometa to Miami, where exile leaders welcomed him as a hero. Three years later he was arrested for the attempted Stinger-missile purchase.

In order to better adhere to the U.S. Neutrality Act, which, among other things, prohibits the transport of weapons from the United States to Cuba without a license, F-4 policy has changed since his 1994 bust. "At that time I did plan to go blow the head off Fidel Castro," Frometa admits. Now armed operations are planned and executed by cells on the island. "This work has to be done by the F-4 national directorate inside Cuba without physical contact with me. They plan everything they are going to do and after they do it -- they don't even explain to me how they're going to plan it -- they give the report so that I can make it known to the press. Nowadays I function as the spokesman of F-4 in the United States. So the leader who gives overall orders is in Cuba."

The Castro regime has denied the F-4 hit took place on December 16 or any other day. But Cuban officials believe that "B" and "D" (wrong and illegal) are the correct answers. On January 16 the president of Cuba's National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcón, called a press conference to lambaste the FBI for not acting on "abundant and detailed information" about activities terrorists in Miami were planning against Cuba. He noted that two FBI agents received the documents during a visit to Havana in June 1998. Two months later the information was provided to the New York Times, which Alarcón criticized for never publishing any of it. The following month, adding insult to injury, FBI agents arrested fifteen Cuban agents that Havana maintains were in Miami precisely to monitor anti-Castro terrorists.

"The FBI is committing a crime by not detaining terrorists, not investigating terrorists, and not putting an end to terrorism," Alarcón fumed. A day after the press conference the Cuban government delivered a diplomatic note to the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. The note was prompted by Frometa's announcement of the alleged Roque hit, Alarcón advisor Miguel Alvarez told New Times. It was filed to protest the "impunity that these Miami-based terrorists enjoy," he added.

A spokeswoman at the FBI's Miami-Dade field office said the agency could not comment on Frometa's claim. Nor would she comment on whether it was the kind of thing the FBI would investigate.

Pop morality quiz question 2: An anti-exile group assassinates a Cuban-American CIA agent in Miami, or tries to do so. The head of the anti-exile group's Havana branch breaks the news but insists he had no prior knowledge and no role in the attack. Cuban government authorities remain silent. Such an attack would be A) right, B) wrong, C) legal, D) illegal, E) something that U.S. and Cuban law enforcement officials should be investigating.

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Kirk Nielsen
Contact: Kirk Nielsen

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