The Cuban areas of downtown Miami, normally bustling with activity, were strangely quiet, Apr. 12, following rumours that many Cuban refugees had gone to New Orleans to train for an anti-Castro invasion.
CU Miami Avenue street sign.
2 scenes of empty streets.
MS Front of Baltar Building, New Orleans.
MS Sergio Aracha Smith.
Pan shot of small craft in Florida Keys.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Cuban areas of downtown Miami, normally bustling with activity, were strangely quiet, Apr. 12, following rumours that many Cuban refugees had gone to New Orleans to train for an anti-Castro invasion.
In an interview at the Baltar Building in New Orleans, Apr. 13, Senor Aracha Smith, former Cuban diplomatic representative in India, admitted that he recruits his fellow-countrymen for an invasion force. Aracha Smith, who heads an anti-Castro movement known as the Democratic Revolutionary Front, said the recruits were sent to another location for training. He insisted, however, that none of the training areas were in Louisiana.
Film shot in the Florida Keys, the same day, shows a fleet of small boats which the Cubans are believed to be using in their training activities.
Matters came to a head on Apr. 15, when Cuban Army Chief Raul Castro ordered all troops to report immediately to their bases, following a bomb attack by three unidentified aircraft on the airports of Havana and Santiago.
One of the planes was reported shot down in flames over Havana, where an ammunition dump was hit. Two American-built bombers with Cuban markings later landed in Florida.
A Visnews cameraman was arrested when trying to film bomb damage in Havana.
In New York, a spokesman of the Cuban Revolutionary Council said the bombing attack had been carried out by planes which had destroyed Castro's air force. At an emergency session of the UN Political Committee, Cuban Foreign Minister Raul Roa said the responsibility for the attacks "rests squarely on the United States". He said it was "an act of international piracy".