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WikiLeaks cables on Cuba show links to FARC, ETA and ELN

Cuba allows Colombian and Spanish groups branded as terrorists to rest and get treatment on the island, but the groups are unlikely to plan attacks while there, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks.

The cable also touches on corruption, Cuba's penetration of dissident groups, the Catholic church, the potential for street protests and Havana's strong intelligence capabilities.

The cable on the Colombian and Spanish groups, sent by the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana on Feb. 27 of last year, is notable because Cuba is on the U.S. list of ``state sponsors of terrorism,'' along with Iran, Sudan and Syria.

``We have reliable reporting indicating the presence of ELN, FARC and ETA members here in Havana. That said, they are unlikely to conduct terrorist operations in Cuba,'' noted the report, signed by mission chief Jonathan Farrar.

The ELN and FARC are leftist Colombian guerrilla groups, and ETA is a Basque separatist movement. The State Department and the European Union consider the three to be terrorist groups.

Cuba has long provided safe haven to some ``demobilized'' ETA members, with Spain's approval, and to ELN leaders who held peace talks in Havana with the Bogota government. But Colombian and Spanish news media this year reported allegations of operational contacts between the ETA and FARC in Cuba and Venezuela.

The cable noted that the specific activities in Cuba of the three groups ``are largely unknown but Post [the mission] was able to corroborate that ETA members assisting the FARC had spent time in Cuba.''

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