The son of Captain Wilfredo Pérez Pérez, pilot of the ill-fated Cubana Airlines Flight 455, blown up off Barbados in a terrorist attack 35 years ago, says he is not looking for revenge but for justice to be served upon the perpetrators. Speaking in sombre tones at the T&T Guardian office on October 11, Dr Wilfredo Pérez Jr described it as the first terrorist act committed against a civilian airplane in the history of mankind which preceded 9/11. "We're still waiting on the extradition of the mastermind of the Cubana Airlines bombing attack over Barbados, Luis Posada Carriles," Pérez said.
"He's the most infamous terrorist in the Western hemisphere and he's walking free in the streets of Miami now." Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Nicolás Maduro, has referred to Carriles as the Bin Laden of the Americas. He said for the US there were good terrorists and bad terrorists and it seemed Posada was considered a good terrorist. On October 6 1976 Cubana de Aviación's Flight CU-455 took off from Barbados' Seawell Airport, now Grantley Adams International Airport. Eleven minutes after takeoff two bombs exploded on board, causing the plane to crash into the sea, killing all 78 people on board.
Plastic explosives (C-4 ) were packed into a camera and placed underneath a seat in the midsection of the passenger cabin, and in toothpaste placed in the aircraft's rear lavatory. All 73 passengers and five crew aboard the plane died. The passengers were comprised of 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese, and five North Koreans. Among the dead were all 24 members of the 1975 national Cuban fencing team that had just won all the gold medals in the Central American and Caribbean Championship.