Guerilla training camps are openly operating in Florida with the knowledge of the Federal government and in apparent violation of Federal law. While a little-known investigation by the Pacifica National News Service last year found no proof of active U.S. involvement in the camps, the Justice Department, by passive acceptance, condones their existence.
Terrorist training camps are not new to Florida. Anti-Castro Cubans have used the state as a base of operations since before the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion. What is new and not widely known is the scope of the program and the continuing failure of our government to enforce the law.
Camp Libertad, located only five miles outside Miami, is one of the camps where exiled Cubans and Nicaraguans prepare for attacks on their homelands. The 600 acre camp is surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by men armed with AR-15‘s, the basic combat weapon of the American Army. The camp’s paramilitary activities, once limited to small groups who trained in the Everglades, has expanded into a large, well-organized structure of camps. According to Congressman Michael Barnes, of Maryland, “on any given weekend there are 600 people that are training in military fashion to reinvade a number of countries in the Caribbean.” Americans, mostly ex-Green Berets, participate in the training.
Congressman Barnes, who sought a Justice Department investigation, believes the camps are a real threat to our relations with other countries and challenges the legal processes in the U.S. He said the activities appear to violate a number of Federal laws that prohibit any organized attempt by private citizens to overthrow or undermine another government. One of these laws, the U.S. Neutrality Act, states, in part, that it is unlawful to “provide or prepare a means for, or furnish the money for or take part in, any military or naval expedition or enterprise” against any Government with which the United States is at peace.
Despite the evidence available, the U.S. Justice Department says it finds no proof of such organized efforts in the Miami camps and states that since the camps are on private property there is nothing they can do.
The fact that the administration condones the training of international terrorists in the United States and the lack of press coverage given this story qualifies it for nomination as one of the “best censored” stories of 1981.
Pacifica National News Service, Los Angeles, CA, 9/9/81, The Miami Connection,,” by Ronnie Loveller.