INTRODUCTION: Cuba has hit back at Colombia for severing diplomatic relations with Havana.
SV & CU Newspaper headlines of diplomatic break (2 shots)
CU PULL BACK TO CV EXTERIOR Cuban Embassy, Bogota, with Cuban flag flying
CU Cuban Embassy nameplate
SCU PULL BACK TO GV Embassy staff through gates into car
CU PULL BACK TO GV Diplomatic car plates and staff outside gates
SCU PULL BACK TO GV Cuban crest on Embassy
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: M-19 guerrillas took over the Dominican Embassy in Bogota last year. It was reported that the guerrilla who negotiated the end of that embassy siege, Senor Carmona Cardena Lodono, was among the dead guerrillas.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Cuba has hit back at Colombia for severing diplomatic relations with Havana. The Cuban Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday (25 March) that the move coincided suspiciously with what it called the imperialist campaign against Cuba. Two days earlier, the Colombian President, Cesar Turbay Ayala, said relations with Havana were being suspended because Cuba was training and arming guerrillas opposed to the Colombian government.
SYNOPSIS: Newspapers in the capital, Bogota, led with stories of the diplomatic rupture. President Ayala said Colombia had recalled its diplomats from Havana, and had ordered Cuban diplomats to leave Colombia. He accused Cuba of providing arms for, and training a group of guerrillas from the leftist M-19 group, which entered Colombia secretly around March the 9th.
The Cuban Foreign Ministry denied arming the guerrillas or organising a landing of M-19 members on Colombia's Pacific coast near its southern border with Ecuador. One of the captured guerrillas was televised on an army base after he had been interrogated. He said that more than 100 of his colleagues had been taken to Cuba and trained there before being sent back to launch a seaborne invasion.
A few days before (16 March) diplomatic relations were cut off, the Colombian army reported it had captured two leading members of M-19 and had killed at least 16 guerrillas in battles in southeastern Colombia.