INTRODUCTION: Senor Antonio Cubillo, who leads the Canary Islands separatist movement from his exile in Algeria, said the terrorist war against.
INTRODUCTION: Senor Antonio Cubillo, who leads the Canary Islands separatist movement from his exile in Algeria, said the terrorist war against. Spain would continue until the Spanish government met their demands. Senor Cubillo's organisation laid the bomb which exploded at Las Palmas air terminal, diverting the two jumbo jets which later crashed at Tenerife, killing 577 people, in the world's worst air disaster.
SYNOPSIS: Speaking at a press conference in Algiers, on Wednesday (30 March) Senor Cubillo, said he regretted the crash and deaths it caused, but people would have to understand that in the islands a state of war existed and that accidents like it could happen at any time. We had planned more terrorist activities, he said, but after the crash we decided to suspend operations for a week, out of respect. Senor Cubillo said that unless the Spanish government recognised the island as being a separate entity, was prepared to negotiate with his organisation and set a date for independence, the separatists would continue their activities.
The clearing up operation at Tenerife will take weeks, with wreckage strewn over hundreds of yards (metres). An important fact over-shadowed by the horror and enormity of the plane crash, is that the bomb which exploded in Las Palmas, causing the ill-fated planes to be diverted, was the first to cause injuries in the blast at the crowded airport terminal. Previous bombs have exploded harmlessly outside shops and offices. Senor Cubillo ordered a campaign of "armed propaganda" last November. But by February the police had virtually dismantled Cubillo's terrorist network. Now that the crash has brought world attention to his organisation, Senor Cubillo has promised a "general battle" to give the islands independence. He has warned tourists to stay away, until as he says, the situation is normal.
Many of the crash survivors, Americans from the Pan Am plane, have been flown back to the United States. Only 15 of the passengers and crew on board the two planes escaped unhurt. Fifty-seven sere injured, 17 seriously. All 249 passengers and crew on the Dutch KLM jumbo died. Cause of the crash is yet to be established, but flight recorders from the two aircraft and tape recordings of control tower communications are being analyzed.
In the past there has been a tendency to dismiss the separatists as a joke. There aren't many people laughing now the full implications of this disaster are being realised.