Check this out. It's from the New York Times on Sunday, November 28, 1976, so almost exactly 39 years ago. The title pretty much gives the game away: "9 Cuban Refugees Go on Trial in Miami Tomorrow, Putting Focus on Terrorists' Activities in South Florida." The article is pretty stunning to look at now, in our current context, and it's important, so listen:
"Nine Cuban refugees are to go on trial here Monday in the murder of Luciano Nieves, an exile leader who had advocated a United States dialogue with Cuba. The case, in which four other suspects are still at large, will focus new attention on Miami's Cuban terrorists, who are a major force in the city's Latin-American community, according to the authorities." Yeah, see, the terrorists even belonged to a group with a name, the Pragmatistas, and they could hide in the Cuban community.
The Pragmatistas were "regarded as the most violent and dangerous of the exile groups," and they "financed themselves through 'acts of terrorism such as arson for hire and kidnapping,'" according to a Dade County grand jury that was investigating terrorism. These jerks extorted money from legitimate business people, with about 100 "hard-core terrorists" in the area and another 100 who participated in terrorist activities.
The article goes on, "Their political goal has been to prevent what they view as an impending rapprochement between the United States and Cuba...Despite their limited numbers, the terrorists have had a major impact on south Florida. In the last three years, more than 100 bombs have exploded in Miami. At the height of the campaign, there were 10 blasts in a 24-hour period, including one outside the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, one in Miami police headquarters, and a third in the office of the State Attorney." Several people died and others were badly hurt by the terrorist bombings committed by terrorists who came to this country as refugees.
Do you understand? We knew, for sure, that refugees from Cuba were committing acts of violence in the United States. They were bombing an American city with the goal of changing the foreign policy of a Republican administration (that of Gerald Ford). And this was after the fears in the 1960s that Soviet Communists would come in from Cuba and overthrow the U.S. government had mostly passed. Guess what we didn't do? We didn't stop taking in Cuban refugees.
The terrorism by Cuban refugees, who, it should be noted, were allowed into the country under a special law meant to automatically grant them asylum starting in November 1966, continued, even into the Mariel boatlift in 1980, where thousands of Cubans came to the shores of the United States, including, yes, we know, at least 2000 criminals that Fidel Castro sent over.
So when Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, both of partial Cuban descent, whose fathers fled the conflict in Cuba in the 1950s, want to halt Syrian refugees from coming to the United States because of completely unfounded fears of infiltration by terrorists, they are being beyond hypocritical.
Would they be willing to tell the Cuban population that they would have ended the refugee program in the 1970s because of real terrorists committing real crimes from Cuba? No, they're not that brave or stupid. But they should be asked, over and over, why we didn't punish the thousands upon thousands of innocent Cubans for the violent acts of a few.