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Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Luis Posada Carriles: An update

There are two related developments today on the saga of terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. First, he is in a courtroom in El Paso, TX today, applying for U.S. citizenship. Headlines on the story all refer to him as a "Cuban militant" or an "anti-Castro militant" or an "accused bomber." The latter refers to the murder of 73 people during the blowing up of a Cubana airliner, a crime for which Posada has yet to be convicted. However, it's hardly necessary to go back to 1976 to establish the nature of Posada's character. In April, 2004, just two years ago, he was convicted in a Panamanian court of "endangering public safety" after being caught with 20 pounds of C-4 explosive while on his way to kill Fidel Castro (and probably several hundred Panamanian university students at the same time). In an absolutely preposterous (in some hypothetical, just world) development, he and his associates weren't charged with attempted murder or terrorism because no detonators were found; there is no doubt this was under the pressure of the U.S. government, and that the subsequent pardoning of the convicted men came as a result of pressure from the same source. This man, possibly the worst terrorist in the Western hemisphere, is being given serious consideration in his application for U.S. citizenship today. Members of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five and others are in El Paso today, protesting this potential outrage.

The second development relates to that application. Posada Carriles entered the U.S. illegally (strangely enough, I've never seen him referred to as an "illegal alien") in March, 2005. I first wrote about it shortly thereafter, when it was widely known (e.g., reported in the Cuban and Miami press) that he was in Miami, but at which time the U.S. was taking no action against him (he was finally arrested in May after flaunting his presence with a public interview). And now it turns out that, at a time when he was claiming through his lawyer that he had snuck into the country illegally through Texas, and that the U.S. government was pretending it didn't know he was here, that an FBI informant had already told the government, from the moment he entered the country, that he had actually entered the country through Miami on a ship with two of his associates (neither of whom has been charged with assisting his entry).

The hypocrisy, duplicity, and responsibility of the U.S. government in this case is truly remarkable. There have been two very good summaries recently of the entire history of this case -- one published today on Consortium News by Robert Parry, and the other recently on CounterPunch by Venezuelan lawyer Jose Pertierra.

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