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Thursday, August 26, 2004


Looking for terrorists? Try Miami.

In April, Left I on the News wrote about "A Small Victory for Justice," when five Cuban exiles who had been accused of plotting to kill Fidel Castro were sentenced to seven to eight years in prison. Even at that it was just a small victory; the men weren't charged with attempted homicide because, although they were found with 20 pounds of C-4 explosive, no detonating fuse was found! Instead they were sentenced for "endangering public safety."

Well, today, that small victory became even smaller as four of the men were pardoned by the outgoing Panamanian President, and three of them immediately boarded a plane for Miami, terrorist central. The Washington Post sheds some light on the story:

"Bush administration officials denied any role yesterday in the politically fortuitous pardon of four Cuban exiles by the outgoing Panamanian government. Three of the exiles -- who were convicted in connection with a plot to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro at a summit of Latin American leaders in 2000 -- were immediately flown to Miami.

"In Panama, speculation was rampant that the Bush administration, indirectly or not, had pressured Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso to pardon the exiles in her waning days in office. Panama's next president, Martin Torrijos, a social democrat who will take office on Sept. 1, said he disagrees with the pardons. Cuba severed diplomatic relations with Panama in response."
And just who are these men who served a grand total of four months in prison for attempted murder, men whose actions were never condemned by that great opponent of terrorism, the United States? Just some of the biggest terrorists in the world, that's who [note the curious use of the word "activists" by the Post]:
"Venezuela had sought one of the activists -- Luis Posada Carriles -- because he had escaped from a Venezuelan jail where he had faced charges of planning the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner that killed 73 people. Posada, 74, is not a U.S. citizen, and it is not clear whether he left Panama. Posada has also claimed credit for having planned and directed six Havana hotel bombings in 1997 that killed an Italian tourist and injured 11 other people.

"The other three men -- Gaspar Jimenez, Pedro Remon and Guillermo Novo Sampol -- have U.S. passports and arrived in Miami yesterday.

"New Times, a Miami newspaper, said U.S. law enforcement records say that Jimenez, 69, helped kidnap Cuba's consul to Mexico in 1977 and killed a consular official, and that Remon, 60, was identified as the triggerman in the slaying of a pro-Castro activist and a Cuban diplomat. Novo, 65, was convicted in the United States in the late 1970s of taking part in the 1976 assassination of Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier. He was acquitted on appeal but served four years in prison for lying to a grand jury."

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