A perfect illustration of the hypocrisy, deceit and lies that underlie US policy to Cuba... and many other issues:
This week our Justice Department placed a $1 million bounty on the head of Assata Shakur, formerly known as Joanne Chesimard, now officially labled a "domestic terrorist" though she hasn't set foot here since 1979. A former Black Panther activist, Assata was found guilty of a shooting where her brother and a policeman died in New Jersey. She later escaped from prison and made her way to Cuba, where she was granted political asylum in 1979.
This week, when asked about the most productive terrorist the Western hemisphere has probably seen in the late 20th Century, our State Department's Latin American chief Roger Noriega said it "may be a completely manufactured issue." He is talking about the notorious Cuban-American terrorist Luis Posada Cariles, a man who was imprisoned in Venezuela for a 1976 airplane bombing that killed 76, imprisoned in Panama for attempting to kill a President, who admitted bombing tourist hotels, who is wanted in connection with one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism ever - the car bomb murder of Chilean diplomat and American bystander in Washington in 1976. When asked what the US planned to do about the this terrorist having recently snuck in to the US from Mexico (his lawyer told the media such), after having escaped from prison in Venezuela and being mysterily pardoned in Panama last year, Noriega said "we don't even know he is in the United States."
Two "terrorists' escape from prison and our Government ignores one (at the time) and throws a hissy about the other... 32 years later). But this is a adminstration that sees terrorism as the defining issue. You either a fifty-something African-American woman living peacefully in Cuba getting $1 million dollar bounty on your head or a convicted terrorist sneakling in the country getting ignored.
Yet our liberal Washington Post, following the AP, reported the story like this: (read the facts and make up your own mind which version is more "fair and balanced," I dare you).
U.S. Denies Cuba's Accusation on Terrorist
WASHINGTON -- A top State Department official denied on Tuesday Cuban allegations that the United States is providing a haven for a man Cuba accuses of perpetrating a terrorist bombing against a Cuban airliner in 1976.
"I don't even know that he is in the United States," said Roger Noriega, the top State Department official for Western Hemisphere affairs.
At issue is the whereabouts of Luis Posada Carriles, who has spent much of his life trying to overthrow Castro. Posada's Miami lawyer, Eduardo Soto, says Posada sneaked into the United States in March via Mexico and plans to ask for asylum.
Noriega said Cuban claims about Posada "may be a completely manufactured issue."
The United States, he said, "has no interest in giving quarter to someone who has committed criminal acts."
"We are a country that respects the rule of law," Noriega said.
Cuba accuses of Posada of masterminding the bombing that killed 73 people who were aboard a Cuban passenger plane that was flying over Barbados 29 years ago.
Castro has launched a marathon of speeches on the case, demanding that the United States extradite Posada to Venezuela, where he holds citizenship and is wanted in the bombing.
Alternatively, Cuba would like to see him handed over to an international tribunal in a neutral country.
Posada has denied involvement in the airline explosion, and was acquitted in two trials in Venezuela.
But he escaped from prison in 1985 while awaiting a prosecutor's appeal. He once acknowledged _ and later denied _ overseeing the bombings of Cuban hotels in 1997.
Cuban officials say that consent by U.S. authorities is the only possible explanation for what it claims is the presence of a renowned terrorist on U.S. soil.
Castro has said that Posada is "the most famous and cruel terrorist of the Western Hemisphere.