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11 Bombings in Los Angeles During Fidel Castro Days
In the wake of the big Fidel Castro seemingly-non-news of him stepping down as president (meanwhile the US recently bombed Pakistan without notice or permission), it's interesting to look back at the impact of the man on Los Angeles. The divide between those who wanted to work with Castro's Cuban government and those who vehemently opposed it led to violence -- eleven such terrorism incidents occurred in the Los Angeles area alone according to Cuban Information Archives, a site dedicated to "source materials pertaining to Cuban Exile activities as they pertain to their struggle to wrestle Cuba from Fidel Castro."
As bombings hit New York City and Miami, the summer of 1968 saw three bombings in Los Angeles itself. An LA Times headline on July 20 of that year read "5 Bomb Blasts Set Off in L.A. by Terrorists: Police Weigh Link With Anti-Castroite Explosions in East." Another headline 11 days later read "Bomb Rips Corridor in Building Housing L.A. British Consulate :Furnishings of Envoy's Office on Wilshire Blvd. Damaged by Explosion; Police Seek Pair of Suspects in Red Auto CONSULATE BLAST"
The Cuban Information Files cite that the Los Angeles-based Cuban Action Commandos were "believed to have been responsible for numerous bombings of consulates of countries deemed friendly to Castro's Cuba. Active in the late 1960's, many of its members were imprisoned. Particularly active in 1975, this group also directs its attacks against left-wing bookstores." Below is a list of the 11 bombings in Los Angeles, including one in Santa Monica.
- July 19, 1968 : Los Angeles. An Air France ticket office is damaged by a bomb. A Mexican National Tourist Office is bombed. A Shell Oil building is bombed. A Japan Air Lines office is bombed.
- July 30, 1968 : Los Angeles. The British consulate is bombed.
- August 5, 1968 : Los Angeles. The British consulate is bombed for a second time
- February 6, 1975: Los Angeles. Unidos, a socialist bookstore run by the October League, is bombed
- February 26, 1975: Los Angeles. KCET, a radio station, is bombed. Cuban exile group suspected because the station had just announced the showing of a Cuban film, "Lucia."
- March 27, 1975: Los Angeles. Panama Government Tourist Bureau and Costa Rican Consulate are damaged slightly by separate bomb blast. Panama and Costa Rica had supported Cuba's readmission to the Organization of American States.
- April 3, 1975: Los Angeles. An attempted bombing of the Communist Party office misfires;
- April 13, 1975: Los Angeles. A bomb is dropped through the roof of the Unidos book store.
- May 2, 1975: Santa Monica. A Socialist Workers Party bookstore is bombed.
- May 7, 1975: Los Angeles. The leftist-oriented Midnight Special Bookstore is bombed.
- July 15, 1975: Los Angeles. The Mexican consulate is bombed; four people are injured; $35,000 damage is done; it is suspected that the bombing was a joint action of the Hungarian Peace and Freedom Fighters, the Cuban Action Commandos, and the Nazi Group.
Photo from Leffler/Library of Congress [VIA PINGNEWS]