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April Today in Terrorism

April 4, 1972: Explosion kills official at the Cuban trade offices in Montreal

On this day in 1972, a bomb exploded at the Cuban trade offices in Montreal killing the consular diplomat Sergio Pérez Castillo and wounding seven others.

MONTREAL, CANADA – Here in Canada we have been spared a war on our soil for the entirety of our 160 years of existence as a country. However, this doesn’t mean that international conflicts haven’t found their way to our shores!

Canada is a fairly young country having only celebrated its 150th birthday in 2017 – thankfully before the current pandemic made public gatherings taboo!

In all of its formal existence as a nation, there have been a grand total of, wait for it…, ZERO wars fought on Canadian soil. That’s right, ZERO. While we may be young yet, and we certainly have seen our fair share of conflict internationally, most Canadians hope that this trend continues.

With such a diverse population, however, wars and conflicts abroad do sometimes manifest here in the form of terrorist attacks; something I covered extensively in my new book The Peaceable Kingdom (available now!).

Wait, terrorism? Here?! Say it ain’t so! (Photo: Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting)

Since the toppling of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, there have been many terrorist attacks perpetrated across the globe against targets associated with the new Cuban government. Canada was not immune to this wave of terror, as seen in today’s featured attack.

On this day in 1972

A bomb exploded at the Cuban trade offices in Montreal killing the consular diplomat Sergio Pérez Castillo and wounding seven others. The bomb also caused substantial damage to the building which had been previously hit with another bomb attack in 1971.

This was part of a series of attacks in Canada against Cuban targets, including bazooka and bomb attacks at the Cuban Embassy in Ottawa in 1966 and 1974 and the bombing of the Cuba Pavilion in Montreal at Canada’s centenary celebration.

No perpetrators were ever charged in the aftermath of these attacks, which have more or less disappeared since the 1980s. Ultimately, the anti-Cuban conflict centered in Cuba itself but Canada and Canadians were not left unscathed. This was not the first conflict to spill over onto Canadian soil, and it most certainly won’t be the last.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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