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Thursday, August 14, 2008


Terrorist to be tried...for immigration fraud

Coincidences never cease.

In August, 2004, Luis Posada Carriles and his associates were actually convicted and sentenced to jail in Panama for possessing many pounds (20 or 30, reports vary) of C-4 plastic explosive, planning to blow up a university auditorium containing Fidel Castro and several hundred Panamanian students. Just four months later, outgoing Panamanian President Mireya Miscoso pardoned the terrorists and released them from jail. Three of them immediately flew to Miami to a hero's welcome. Luis Posada Carriles disappeared, but less than a year later, he entered the U.S. illegally. The U.S. government tried to ignore him, but eventually they had to arrest him. Rather than extradite him to Venezuela, where he is wanted on 73 counts of first-degree murder for the mid-air bombing of Cubana flight 455 on October 6, 1976, the U.S. government decided to prosecute him for immigration fraud. As an excuse to avoid extradition, they allowed Posada's former partner Joaquin Chaffardet to testify, without proof or rebuttal, that Posada would be tortured if sent to Venezuela. After the U.S. government intentionally bungled even the immigration case, a Federal judge dismissed the case and allowed the terrorist Posada, the "Osama bin Laden of the Western Hemisphere," to walk free in Miami.

Ah, but then came July of this year, when a Panamanian court ruled that the pardons of Posada and associates for their attempted murder of Castro in Panama had been illegal, and called for the return of Posada to Panama to serve out his sentence there. And lo and behold, will coincidences never cease...today, on the very day that Panama's Vice-President restated their intention to demand the extradition of Posada, a Federal Appeals Court reinstated the absurd "immigration fraud" case against Posada. Prosecuted for "lying to immigration officials" (of course if he were an illegal Mexican immigrant he wouldn't have had a chance to lie, they would have just driven him to the border and thrown him across). Which will make a convenient excuse not to extradite him to Panama, on top of the already convenient excuse not to extradite him to Venezuela.

One footnote: one of the previous attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro occurred during a summit of Latin American leaders on Margarita Island off the coast of Venezuela, in 1998. The rifles on board the ship which was seized on its way to Margarita Island to carry out its missions were registered to Francisco Hernandez, the current President of the Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF) to whom Barack Obama spoke in May. The association of the U.S. government with anti-Cuban terrorists is, unsurprisingly, a thoroughly bipartisan affair. Another case in point, support for a pardon for convicted terrorist Eduardo Arocena by Joe Lieberman, a politician as "bipartisan" as they come!

Extradite Posada, Free the Cuban Five! And stop pretending the United States government is fighting a "war on terror"!

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