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Exile Says Group Funded Attacks to Oust Castro

<i> From Associated Press</i>

A Cuban exile admitted to a series of bombings and assassination attempts aimed at deposing President Fidel Castro and says his activities were financed by influential Cuban American leaders, a published report says today.

Luis Posada Carriles, in a series of interviews with the New York Times, said he organized a series of bombings in Cuba last year at hotels, discos and restaurants, killing an Italian tourist in September.

Posada, who was trained in demolition and guerrilla warfare by the CIA, said the bombings were supported by the anti-Castro Cuban American National Foundation in Miami.

Jorge Mas Canosa, the group’s founder and leader who died last year, had visited Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton at the White House and was a force in Florida and national elections.

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Foundation officials declined to be interviewed by the newspaper but released a brief statement denying any link to the bombings.

In a similar statement sent Saturday to Associated Press, the foundation called the allegations “malicious.”

“Any allegation, implication or suggestion that members of the Cuban American National Foundation have financed any alleged ‘acts of violence’ against the Castro regime are totally and patently false,” the statement said.

The foundation has said it wants to bring down Cuba’s communist government only through peaceful means. But Posada said foundation leaders financed his operations, with Mas Canosa supervising the money flow and sending him more than $200,000.

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