Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Miami News, May 7, 1976, "De la Cova: Two Political Faces... A Fixation on Communism" by Hilda Inclan.

Antonio Raphael de la Cova, whom police arrested early yesterday as he was allegedly about to plant a bomb in an adult bookstore in Little Havana, is a man with two faces, politically and intellectually.

At Florida Atlantic University, where he received his bachelor's degree in history, he was known as a leader among pro-Castro intellectuals, police said.

It's likely he adopted a pro-Castro position at the university in order to infiltrate pro-Castro factions.

In Dade county, where de la Cova taught American history at a private high school, he was widely known as a vehement opponent of Castro.

His alleged attacks on Areito magazine, a national publication which advocated peaceful coexistence with Castro, mesh more with the Dade County version of his political leanings.

De la Cova's grades at FAU were good, and he has been seeking admission to the University of Miami's graduate school.

He was dismissed from his job as an eighth-grade history teacher at the Inter-American Military School at NW 7th Street and 36th Avenue in January because he could not maintain discipline in class.

"But he was a fine teacher," said school principal Pedro Roig.

"His fixation was Communism. He would always be very quiet until somebody brought up the subject of Cuba or Communism. Then, he wouldn't stop talking."

De la Cova, one of four children, had moved in the past year to an apartment at 960 Le Jeune Rd. It was from there that police had watched his every move for seven weeks.

Nancy de la Cova, his mother, said, "What can I tell you about him? I am his mother. If it is true that he was involved, then I can't condone it. I can't justify it. I must condemn this type of activity."

Mrs. de la Cova, who teaches Spanish in a private school during the day in Fort Lauderdale and in an adult education program at night, said, "If he had been stupid, I could understand that he would get involved in something like this. But he was very intelligent."

Rene de la Cova, Antonio father, is a lab technician at the North Broward General Hospital at Pompano.

His family has lived in Fort Lauderdale since July 1966. The family arrived from Cuba in 1961, and moved to Louisville and St. Louis before moving to South Florida.

De la Cova wrote sporadically for the weekly Spanish tabloid Libertad, which was directed by the late Rolando Masferrer, who was victim of a bomb blast last Oct. 31.

Masferrer's politics were mixed and he had many enemies on the right and left.

"This (de la Cova's arrest) has taken everybody by surprise," said Lucilla Masferrer, Masferrer's widow.

"He (de la Cova) was the type of person you would never suspect of terroristic activities. He looked rather harmless, kind of intellectual, a studious type of person."

Copyright (c) 1976 The Miami News