Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Further on U.S. `Attack' on Cargo Ship
Havana Radio Rebelde Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000002200
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL0102175190
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-023          Report Date:    02 Feb 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     10
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       11
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       01 Feb 90
Report Volume:       Friday Vol VI No 023


City/Source of Document:   Havana Radio Rebelde Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Further on U.S. `Attack' on Cargo Ship

Subheadline:   Crewmen To Arrive 1 Feb

Author(s):   Jorge Ibarra during the ``Haciendo Radio'' program--live]

Source Line:   FL0102175190 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 1130 GMT 1
Feb 90

Subslug:   [Interview with Lazaro Matias, secretary of the Cuban Embassy in
Mexico City, by Jorge Ibarra during the ``Haciendo Radio''

1.  [Interview with Lazaro Matias, secretary of the Cuban Embassy in Mexico
City, by Jorge Ibarra during the ``Haciendo Radio'' program--live]

2.  [Text] [Ibarra] We would like some additional information about the health
of our comrades from the cargo ship.

3.  [Matias] Well, the 11 comrades who make up the crew of the ``Hermann''
cargo ship, which was vilely attacked early yesterday morning, are all in
perfect health and are maintaining a high combative spirit. These are sailors
who are in perfect condition and who have asked us to inform the Cuban people
that they are prepared to undertake any other mission that is assigned to them
in their area of work.

4.  [Ibarra] Lazaro, where are these comrades staying now?

5.  [Matias] Our 11 comrades are on board the ship, which is already docked at
the port of Tampico.

6.  [Ibarra] Based on the information supplied to us by our comrades here, they
will be departing today for Havana and will arrive here this afternoon. Could
you confirm their schedule?

7.  [Matias] A plane is scheduled to arrive here tomorrow at 1015 Cuban time to
pick up the entire crew. It is scheduled to leave Tampico at 1400 Cuban time,
and to arrive in Havana at 1615.

8.  [Ibarra] That is going to happen today, right?

9.  [Matias] Today.

10.  [Ibarra] Have you had any contact with our comrade crew members?

11.  [Matias] Yes, of course. I went to meet the ship with the comrade
ambassador and the consul in Veracruz. We were there when the ship docked in
port. We visited the ship. Everyone is well. The ship looked like it had more
than 150 bullet holes, many of them caused by high-caliber weapons, that is
50-mm caliber weapons.

12.  [Ibarra] Could you tell us some of the things experienced by the crew

13.  [Matias] Well, the crew members said that beginning early yesterday
morning--at 0800--the Coast Guard vessel mentioned earlier began to follow
them. Despite being followed, the Cuban crew continued to perform their duties.
Later, the U.S. vessel moved closer and began to harass them with water
hoses--a method they usually use to repress students. Then, they began to shout
through loudspeakers, ordering the Cuban crew to stop so they could board. Our
crew responded firmly, stating that they would not submit to the demand, that
theirs was a regular merchant ship heading for the port of Tampico, and that
they would not change their course.  Our comrades stated that they would not
stop their ship for boarding [words indistinct] to submit to another
country--the United States--that the action constituted an act of aggression
against a legal ship, and that there was no reason to perpetrate the incident.
And so they went on, and the U.S. ship even attempted to lean on the Cuban
ship, but the Cuban captain outmaneuvered them and then entered Mexican waters.
There, the Cuban ship was fired upon continuously with high-caliber cannon fire
for more than a few hours.

14.  [Ibarra] How did the Mexican officials react?

15.  [Matias] When the Cuban ship entered Mexican waters, the Mexican officials
responded very well and very politely, giving all the facilities [words
indistinct] because we were willing to have the Mexican authorities to check,
to verify, and to announce that the ship was on a normal trip and that it was
carrying merchandise in its hold, as was confirmed later.

16.  [Ibarra] Cuba gave its authorization for the inspection, right?

17.  [Matias] I cannot hear you.

18.  [Ibarra] Cuba gave its authorization for this, right?

19.  [Matias] Yes. Cuba authorized the Mexican authorities to inspect the ship
and to announce their findings, as was widely reported by the national radio

20.  [Ibarra] What can you tell us about what the Mexican press is saying today
about all this?

21.  [Matias] Well, it is still a little early here. We have not yet seen the
papers. What we can tell you is that all television and radio networks have
covered the case and have lauded the attitude of the Cuban crew members, who
were able to defend their sovereignty.