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Exiles Accused of Trying To Attack Cuba From Bahamas

October 29, 1992

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) _ Three Cuban exiles from Miami who were arrested on a Bahamian island with a cache of weapons and explosives will be charged with conspiring to attack Cuba, a magistrate said Wednesday.

Bahamian police arrested Ivan Rojas, 39; Jesus Morales, 39; and Ruben Lopez Castro, 54, on Anguilla Cay last Thursday.

Authorities found handmade bombs, tear-gas cartridges, hand grenades, blasting caps, fuses, detonators, a machine gun and ammunition buried in the sand, said Bernard K. Bonaby, the nation’s police commissioner.

Magistrate Hartman Longley delayed formally charging the men Wednesday because they said they didn’t understand English and an interpreter wasn’t immediately available.

The three naturalized U.S. citizens would be charged Thursday with facilitating an invasion of a foreign state, as well as possessing unlicensed firearms and ammuntion, Longley said.

Bonaby said the three left Miami on a yacht with three other men on Oct. 16 and ran aground on Anguilla Cay last Thursday.

The other three, identified as Gustavo Tora, Eduardo Gonzalez and Miguel Alfonso, went for help in a 14-foot outboard raft. Meanwhile, a U.S. Coast Guard crew arrived, and seeing ″suspicious activity″ on the beach, told Bahamian authorities, said Coast Guard spokesman Roger Wetherell.

The Coast Guard searched for the others until Monday but couldn’t find them, Wetherell said.

Along with a list of the weapons and explosives, Bonaby handed out copies of a story from The Miami Herald. It described Cuba’s attempts to aid the U.S. government’s investigation of a Miami-based paramilitary group that has claimed responsibility for an Oct. 7 attack on a Cuban beachfront hotel.

That group, Commandos L, has said it can’t be prosecuted for violating U.S. neutrality laws because the attack was launched from outside the United States. It hasn’t said where the attack was launched from.

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