|U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen|
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Turn on any cable news channel today and you'll see story after story about the mounting opposition in the U.S. to relocating Syrian refugees in this country.
News item: More than half the nation's governors say Syrian refugees not welcome.
News item: More Governors Seek to Ban Syrian Refugees After Paris Massacre.
News item: Christie on refugees: Not even 5-year-old orphans.
One of those contributing to the growing chorus of opposition is South Florida's very own Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
This morning the South Florida congresswoman went on MSNBC to proclaim that the United States shouldn't allow refugees "unless they are thoroughly vetted."
Ros Lehtinen, who came to the United States from Cuba at the age of 8, told MSNBC's Jose Diaz Balart:
"And I know we are a nation of refugees and we've welcomed so may people...the United States welcomed my family...but we didn't come to the United States, or our background was to destroy this country so all it takes is one terrorist to really destroy this great program."
What Ros-Lehtinen fails to mention is that after the United States accepted hundreds of thousands of Cuban refugees, many of those same refugees repaid U.S. hospitality by unleashing a decades-long reign of terror in South Florida.
But that's one subject Ros-Lehtinen will never bring up, much less discuss.
In an article posted last December on Foreign Policy magazine's website, journalist Tristram Korten writes:
For decades, Miami has been a city with its own foreign policy. Local politicians could not get elected unless they towed the anti-Castro line, and their complicity enabled a violent history. Since the 1970s, there have been more than 30 bombings in and around Miami, against individuals and press outlets that dared to broach the subject of rapprochement, not to mention death threats and physical assaults. Too often, it seemed, those pushing for freedom in Cuba were willing to suspend them here. As a result, civic life, the free exchange of ideas, art, all suffered.
|Miami News, Oct. 19, 1960.|
|Miami News, Nov. 20, 1962.|
|Miami News, June 11, 1965.|
|Miami News, April 2, 1966.|
|Miami News, Sept. 16, 1968.|
|Miami News, Sept. 19, 1968.|
|Miami News, May 29, 1974.|
|Miami News, Oct. 20, 1975.|
|Miami News, Oct. 31, 1975.|
|Miami News, Dec. 4, 1975.|
|Miami News, May 1, 1976.|
|Miami News, Sept. 19, 1977.|
|Miami News, Feb. 24, 1978.|
|Miami News, Jan. 14, 1980.|
|Miami News, Jan. 5, 1981.|
|Miami News, Jan. 5, 1981.|
|Miami News, Sept.12, 1981.|
|Miami News, Feb. 22, 1982.|
|Miami News, May 28, 1983.|
|Miami News, Feb. 21, 1984.|
One of those Cuban terrorists was Orlando Bosch, who in 1968 shelled a Polish freighter docked at the Port of Miami.
When Bosch died in 2011, the Associated Press reported:
Federal attorneys told a judge in 1990 that they had tried to deport Bosch to 31 countries, but all had refused to admit him. Cuba wanted him returned there to stand trial, but Washington refused that request.
Eventually in 1990, Bosch was released, thanks in part to a very public campaign on his behalf by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican member of Congress for Miami. "He was a freedom fighter for Cuba and passed away without seeing his beloved homeland free of the Castro dictatorship," she said.
Others cast him in a different light. "Orlando Bosch lived a life of unrepentant terrorist violence," said Peter Kornbluh, head of the independent National Security Archives' Cuba project. "The verdict of history, rendered by formerly secret CIA and FBI intelligence reports, and court records, is that he was a mass murderer masquerading as a freedom fighter."
Kornbluh noted that his organisation declassified CIA and FBI intelligence documents that link Bosch to the 1976 bombing.