October 6, Day of the Victims of State Terrorism

On October 6, 1976, a Cubana de Aviación aircraft was blown up in mid-flight, whose passengers were young Cuban athletes and other people of various nationalities.

This terrorist act shocked an entire nation and also mourned the people of Las Tunas with the loss of two of their best sons, fencers Leonardo McKenzie Grant and Carlos Leyva González. On that occasion, Fidel Castro Ruz said: "The pain is not shared, the pain is multiplied."

Since 2010, Cuba established October 6 as the Day of the Victims of State Terrorism to recall more than 3,478 Cubans who have lost their lives in this kind of crime.

The Government of the United States, which today stands as a paradigm in the war against international terrorism, has been the promoter of terrorism against Cuba.

The territory of Las Tunas has suffered multiple actions of this type since the revolutionary triumph. In 1960, an aircraft from the North American country bombarded areas of the then Chaparra, Delicias, and Manatí sugar mills with live phosphorous.

Eight bands of rebels devastated the rural areas of Las Tunas, six peasants and militiamen were killed; they carried out multiple sabotages to the sugar industry, rural schools, stores, buses, and warehouses.

In the early 1990s, an AN-2 light aircraft was hijacked and diverted to the illegal Guantánamo Naval Base. In 1993, the Mykonos ship, with a Maltese flag and Cuban crew, loaded with oil for Carúpano port, was machine-gunned by a pirate boat from the US.

On March 20, 1995, two citizens from Puerto Padre, who had been recruited, trained, and financed by the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), were arrested. Shortly before, they had landed clandestinely in the coastal town of El Socucho and buried in the vicinity of the lighthouse a tank with 51 pounds of C-4 explosive, detonating fuses, clockwork mechanisms, cables, batteries, firearms, and other suitable means to manufacture explosives artifacts.

They then placed a detonating charge in a hotel in Varadero that was deactivated. Their mentors were Guillermo Novo Sampol and Arnaldo León Plasencia, close associates of Luis Posada Carriles, the intellectual author of the Barbados Crime.

The attack is another variant of terrorism. Three attempts were forged in Las Tunas. The most significant was to take place in July 1960, to be held in Las Mercedes, Sierra Maestra, during the act of July 26, to overthrow the revolutionary government and organize an uprising with the support of the Escambray bandits, who would provide weapons.

The former captain of the Rebel Army, Gregorio Ortiz Parra, known as Chichi participated in that conspiracy; during the operation in San Antonio de Jobabo, where he lived, a San Cristóbal machine gun was seized. The plotters were placed at the disposal of the revolutionary court of Santiago de Cuba, in Case 225/60.

In 1981, at the July 26 rally, Fidel Castro denounced the infiltration of a commando from the counterrevolutionary organization based in the United States, Alpha 66, whose objective was to attempt against his life during that celebration in Las Tunas, which was frustrated with the capture of the terrorists in Risco Alto, Matanzas.

Bacteriological warfare, another variant of terrorism applied against our nation, was also denounced by the Commander in Chief. That same year, the entire country was facing a terrible hemorrhagic dengue epidemic; in previous years, other epidemics against agriculture had been faced, such as cane rust and swine fever.

In 2019, during the commemoration of one of the most monstrous terrorist acts against Cuba, President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez wrote on Twitter: "In the sabotage of the steamship La Coubre, on March 4, 1960, more than a hundred Cubans lost their lives. Fidel said: 'Now, freedom means something else: freedom means Homeland. And our dilemma would be Homeland or death.' That is how our conviction was born."