Although some of the initial revelations about the Iran-Contra scandal came from the Lebanese magazine, the Nicaraguan Contra aspect of the criminal conspiracy was exposed when a CIA contractor aircraft was shot down over Nicaragua during an air drop mission in support of the rebels. On October 5, 1986, after Abrams's solicitation of $10 million from the Sultan of Brunei but before the "Ash Shiraa" revelations, a C-123 operated by Corporate Air Services, a subsidiary of Southern Air Transport, was shot down by a Nicaraguan soldier using a Strela-2 shoulder-launched missile.
Corporate Air Services and Southern Air Transport, the latter based in Miami, were both CIA proprietaries. They and other front airlines operated throughout Florida and the southeastern United States. Although the C-123's pilot and co-pilot, both Cuban-Americans, as well as the Contra radio operator, were killed, there was one survivor. The cargo bay "box kicker," Eugene Hasenfus, was, like the leader of the American team arrested in Haiti, a former Marine. Two of those arrested in Haiti were former US Navy SEAL officers. Prime Minister Ce'ant called the group "mercenaries."
Hasenfus, survived due to his wearing a parachute. He was quickly put on trial by Nicaragua and sentenced to 30 years in prison on terrorism and other charges. In December 1986, Hasenfus was pardoned by President Ortega and he returned to the United States. However, the revelation that he was flying covert missions for the CIA out of an air base in El Salvador helped unravel the criminal conspiracy being committed by Abrams, North, Poindexter, Casey, and all their associated cronies.
The seizure of the Boeing 767 and its weapons cargo in Venezuela and the arrest of the well-armed Americans and their colleagues in Haiti may be the initial events, like the revelations of 1986, in exposing another incompetent CIA venture directed by a corrupt White House, one that involves, ironically, the bungling Elliott Abrams, who also failed miserably at overthrowing President Chavez in 2002 while working within the George W. Bush National Security Council.