Friday, April 20, 2007

LA Times: A Terrorist Walks - And Cuba Fumes

No additional comment needed. The Times editorial stepped up on this one. I don't see too many other major US newspapers paying attention though. Most of the AP and Rueters stories insist on calling him an "Anti-Cuba Militant."

A Terrorist WalksLuis Posada Carriles has boasted of bombing Havana hotels, yet American justice lets him go free.

April 20, 2007
WITH A MISGUIDED decision upholding bail for Cuban-born terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has done more than free a frail old man facing unremarkable immigration charges. It has exposed Washington to legitimate charges of hypocrisy in the war on terror.

By allowing Posada to go free before his May 11 trial, the court has released a known flight risk who previously escaped from a Venezuelan prison, a man who has boasted of helping set off deadly bombs in Havana hotels 10 years ago and the alleged mastermind of a 1976 bombing of a Cuban airplane that killed 73 people. Posada's employees confessed to the attack, and declassified FBI and CIA documents have shown that he attended planning sessions.

In other words, Posada is the Zacarias Moussaoui of Havana and Caracas. Moussaoui is serving a life sentence without parole in a federal prison in Colorado for conspiracy in the 9/11 attacks; Posada is free to live in Miami.

Posada, a 79-year-old Bay of Pigs veteran who served time in Panama for plotting to kill Fidel Castro, has never been charged with crimes of terrorism in U.S. courts. Instead, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement nabbed him for lying to immigration authorities after he sneaked in the country in March 2005 and held a news conference announcing his triumphant return. Both Customs and the Justice Department lobbied to keep Posada behind bars, but U.S. law enforcement has never shown a strong interest in trying him for more serious crimes. In turn, Posada's lawyer has preemptively warned that if charged, his client would likely reveal extensive collaboration with the CIA.

The United States keeps 385 suspected terrorists imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, many in isolation and all without U.S. norms of due process. Yet Posada, a confessed terrorist, is sent home with an ankle bracelet.

The United States has not been able to persuade any of seven allied nations to accept Posada. A federal judge has ruled that he can't be extradited to Cuba or Venezuela because he might be tortured. The best solution would have been for the court to refuse bail until trial while the State Department keeps searching for a third-party country that would agree to try him on terrorism charges.

Instead, Castro receives a propaganda victory gift, the White House has its moral authority undermined and the victims of Carriles' alleged crimes see justice delayed once more.

The U.S. government has done many odd things in 46 years of a largely failed Cuba policy, but letting a notorious terrorist walk stands among the most perverse yet.

Meanwhile the reaction in Cuba is as one would expect if Bin Laden were to be let out of a prison somewhere on a technicality.

Students yell slogans during a protest against anti-Castro Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles' release from jail, in Havana April 19, 2007.



Blogger jsb said...

Cuba has harbored over 90 fugitives from the U.S. including cop killers and terrorists.

By the way, looks like these tourists saw a different Cuba than you did:

4:20 AM  
Blogger jsb said...

From Reuters:

HAVANA (Reuters) - A Cuban dissident who wrote "Down with Fidel Castro" and other opposition slogans on walls of public buildings was sentenced to 12 years in jail, a human rights group said on Monday.

1:22 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

As you should know by now JSB (you've brought up the "90 fugitives" once or twice already), Cuba has no means to extradite these folks because there is no extradition treaty between the 2 countries. That is why criminals sometimes go to Cuba. Cuba has many times offered to negotiate such a treaty, implying that it would be willing to hand these folks over, but the US refuses to engage.

I tried replying to the travellers opinions on Cuba. It appears to me, these opinions were formed more by ideology than anything they actually saw... because half was untrue, but we'll see if they allow my post.

As for the arrest of Rolando Jimenez Pozada, the details include a charge of divulging State security secrets. I do not know the details, but to claim he is being imprisoned for 12 years for grafitti is more than a bit irresponsible. I will withold judgement until I get more facts.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Alex & Ombi said...

Yes, I replied Asddi. As I mentioned, UNLIKE Fidel, I DO allow freedom of speech! Let the jury decide!

By the way, what ideology do you speak of? We spent 3 and a half weeks there. When was the last time you went to Cuba and spoke to the Cubans in Spanish? Please do not tell me that your words have come out of a book or they are idiology! Now, let´s see if you publish MY comments!



3:43 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

JSB, hope you catch this:

(CBS4) MIAMI A convicted criminal who fled to Cuba in the mid 60's to avoid prison for crimes in Florida was returned to Miami Wednesday, after he was kicked out of the country by Castro's government, an almost unprecedented action by a country that has been a haven for fugitives from US justice.

70-year-old Joseph Adjmi arrived late Wednesday morning on a routine commercial charter flight from Havana to Miami International Airport, and was immediately taken into custody by agents of the US Diplomatic Security Service. He was put aboard by officials in Havana shortly after he was released from a Cuban prison, where he had been serving time for crimes committed there

12:40 PM  
Blogger Alex & Ombi said...

Hi Addi

I am really glad that you wrote back to me. I actually think that we have a very similar philosophy. Take a look at our other blogs on el Salvador and Nicaragua. I also consider myself left wing, although nor extreme, as I worry about extremist or fanatical ANYTHING!!! Honestly, we conversed with so many people in Cuba....honestly they do not and cannot own their houses in Cuba!! Alex and I also were in ALL of Central America and the Dominican Republic on this trip, but I can assure you that there was NO comparison to Cuba! What theye arn and what they are given is not enough for them to live off? How do they live......from money sent from overseas! I stayed with my best friend´s family for a week...and I saw how they lived. Very simple, honest people, who ¨prioritised¨the money tat was sent to them by relatives. I agve away my hairdryer,a s my friend´s was falling apart as it has been purchased in 1978!

Now, I am not into name brands and all that stuff, and I am a marketer´s nightmare!!! I have been often told that I am in that 10 % that cannot be sold to!

Honestly Addi, Fidel stays in power by repressing his people! I have countless of first hand stories. One such one is a couple who I met, who were staying with friends in Havana. As they stood at th edoor of their friend´s apartment and chatted......the Cuban friend was approached and given a fine!

Regarding internet, of course workers who work for the state can have it, but what pages and how they enter is very restricted. Again, I know this first hand, as we chatted to state workers.

My husband is Ecuadorian, and we both know how crazy and unjust life in 3rd world countries can be. But, repressing pople is not the solution. I strongly urge you to go. I will give you contacts of places we stayed. More to the point, you need to do it for yourself!

My nickname used to be Mother Teresa,a s Iw anted to save the world...and I still wish I could! In utopia, I do beleive that socialism can work, but before this happens, I beleive that there has to be a spiritual maturing of the human race.

Please keep reading our blogs. Two more Cuba ones to come.



8:44 PM  

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