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Issue 56- May 2011


Cuba Facts is an ongoing series of succinct fact sheets on various topics, including, but not limited to, political structure, health, economy, education, nutrition, labor, business, foreign investment, and demographics, published and updated on a regular basis by the Cuba Transition Project staff.

Anti-Israeli Policies of the Castro Government


  • Cuba welcomed and supported the founding of the PLO.
  • The Tricontinental Conference was held in Havana in January 1966 to adopt a common political strategy against colonialism, neocolonialism, and imperialism. Cuba provided the organizational structure to support terrorist, anti-American groups in the Middle East and Latin America. The Organization for the Solidarity with the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAL) was created.
  • Fidel Castro created The National Liberation Directorate (DLN) in Cuba to support revolutionary groups throughout the world. DLN was responsible for planning and coordinating Cuba’s terrorist training camps in the island, covert movement of personnel and military supplies from Cuba and a propaganda apparatus.
  • Cuba and Syria developed a close alliance and supported FATAH and the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF).


  • Cuban military, political and intelligence support was provided to Palestinian organizations.
  • Castro sent military instructors and advisors into Palestinian bases in Jordan to train Palestinian Fedayeen (1968); first high-level delegation from FATAH-PLO visited Cuba (1970).
  • Several missions sent to Southern Yemen to support NLF/FATAH Ismail both politically and militarily.
  • Cuba broke relations with Israel and supported a UN sponsored Resolution on Zionism “as a form of racial discrimination.”
  • In 1974 Cuba's National Liberation Directorate (DLN) was reorganized into the America Department (DA) under the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee. The DA centralized control over Cuban activities for supporting national liberation movements. The DA was responsible for planning and coordinating Cuba’s secret guerrilla and terrorist training camps, networks for the covert movement of personnel and material from Cuba, and a propaganda apparatus. DA agents operated in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and other regions. Trusted Castro ally, Manuel Piñeiro, “Barbaroja” was placed in charge.
  • Cuba provided Syria with military support and troops against Israel during the Yom Kippur War (1973-1975).


  • Cuba supported the so-called "Steadfastness Front" against the U.S. backed Camp David accord.
  • Abu Iyad, a close aid to Yasser Arafat, stated in 1978 that hundreds of Palestinian had been sent to Cuban terrorist camps. The CIA estimated that there were 300 Palestinians training in Cuba.
  • Arafat visited Cuba and signed an agreement for military cooperation and arms supply.
  • Despite its close links with Baghdad, Cuba recognized and praised the Iranian Revolution. Once Iraq attacked Iran, Cuba withdrew its military advisers from Baghdad and adopted a position of official impartiality, though more sympathetic to Baghdad due to its past relations.
  • Cuba cooperated with Libya in the political founding of the World MATHABA in Tripoli, coordinating revolutionary violence throughout the world.


  • After the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority, Cuban-Palestinian military cooperation increased.
  • During the Palestinian “Intifada,” Cuba increased its military support for Arafat and the PLO.
  • PLO leaders continued close relations with the Cuban leadership, having access to specialized military and intelligence training in Cuba and by the sharing of intelligence.


2001 to date

  • In January 2004, a senior U.S. Department of Defense official stated that “the communist government of Cuba shared intelligence on the United States with Saddam Hussein’s regime” in exchange for clandestine Iraqi oil shipments to Cuba.
  • Iranian-Cuban relations increased with Iran providing Cuba with over a billion dollars in aid and credits.
  • Cuban state-run Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering established a joint venture bio-technology plant near Tehran at a cost of $60 million (paid by Iran).
  • Cuba has been spearheading a campaign to legitimize Iran’s nuclear program as an “unalienable right” of all developing nations.
  • Cuba advocated and demanded strong international action “to put an end to the Israeli genocide currently committed…against the Arab-Palestinian population of the occupied territories…It is high time that Israel ceased its heinous occupation of the Arab territories and its unpunished encroachment on the most basic rights of the Palestinian people, starting with the right to life.”
  • Cuba claimed that “the images of Palestinian civilians, including children, assassinated by Israel, who were supported by the United States, unleashes criminal aggression against a small state are unforgettable."
  • “Faced with the barbarity carried out by the military hordes of the Israeli government, against the Palestinian and Lebanese people, the People’s Power of the Republic of Cuba, together with numerous organizations and personalities from all over the world, express their most energetic condemnation and urge the immediate ceasing of such a horrendous and shameless action, a genocide, which challenges universal public opinion, laughs at the United Nations and threatens to invade other countries, reminiscent of the era of Nazism.”
  • Cuba continues to support anti-Israeli resolutions at the United Nations.
  • The Castro brothers continue to provide aid and intelligence to the PLO, Hamas, and Hezbollah.
  • The Castro brothers and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez are Iran’s closest allies in Latin America.


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