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CUBA: BASULTO-GATE? - Alarcon Press Conf Text 6/24

 [ Article crossposted from alt.activism,alt.conspiracy,soc.culture.caribbean,soc.rights.human,soc.culture.cuba,,alt.politics.radical-left,alt.journalism,alt.journalism.criticism,soc.culture.latin-america,alt.test ]
 [ Author was N.Y. Transfer ]
 [ Posted on 26 Jun 1996 06:07:30 -0400 ]
 Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit
 From: (Karen Wald)
 Date: Tue, 25 Jun 96 12:54:49 EDT
 by Karen Wald, Havana Cuba
 What follows is the complete text of the press conference held by 
 Ricardo Alarcon, President of Cuba's National Assembly (parliament) 
 concerning the premature announcement by the White House of the 
 investigative report and presumed decisions of the International 
 Civil Aviation Commission to be announced at a meeting to be held on 
 June 26.
 The basic points of Alarcon's charges are that the ICAO did NOT 
 carry out a fair and impartial investigation, that the report itself 
 is grossly deficient and biased, that it was written in 
 collaboration with US officials, behind closed doors, instead of by 
 an impartial investigating team. 
 The Cuban leader challenged the report's conclusion as to the 
 location of the blames based exclusively on third-hand reports of 
 statements allegedly made by passengers of a Norwegian cruise ship 
 whose exact position at the time of the events could not be 
 determined, and whose passengers and crew the investigators never 
 He further states that the US withheld, fabricated and altered 
 material, including erasing key radar reports and withholding 
 the tape recording -- whose transcript US authorities 
 presented to the ICAO investigators instead -- of alleged 
 conversations between Cuban pilots and their air base which 
 the Cubans say never took place. Alarcon challenges the US to 
 present this so-called tape. He also questions why the investigating 
 team did not use the same thorough investigative techniques in the 
 US as it did in Cuba, where not only was the committee given access 
 to all original documents, tapes, radar reports, radio 
 communications, etc but was also able to interview all personnel
 related to this incident, check voices against tapes and tape 
 machines to verify that the tapes given by Cuba were not altered, 
 interview the operators of the equipment, etc. In contrast, the 
 investigative committee reports interviewing only ONE person during 
 its investigation in the US -- Hermanos al Rescate leader and pilot 
 Jose Basulto. It gives no report of what was discussed during a 
 total of 15 days -- in Miami, DC and Montreal -- behind closed doors 
 with US officials. Alarcon charges the US was telling the ICAO team 
 how to write the report. 
 Given a choice between writing articles (which might have brought me 
 some income) and taking the time to prepare the following English 
 version of Alarcon's press conference from my notes, audio and video 
 tapes, I chose the latter in order to give you the fullest picture 
 of what is being said.
 If papers or magazines or other media are interested in a finished 
 article, you can contact me at If you choose to 
 use this material as is or re-write it, and normally pay for 
 articles, please contact me at the same email address to discuss 
 terms of payment and where to send it.  Thank you. 
 Everyone else is free to disseminate this information as you please.
                   --Karen Wald
 Alarcon Press Conf June 24, 1996  NOTES
 ICAC final meeting will take place in Montreal Weds. June 26 to