Building a Campaign Against Anti-Cuban Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles
By Tamara Hansen
On May 14th Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) launched their petition campaign demanding: 'No Asylum for Anti-Cuban Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles in the United States! Extradite Posada to Venezuela!' This campaign began in the United States in May 2005 in response to Posada requesting asylum from his terrorist activities and crimes against the people of Cuba.
Posada, a former CIA agent, is a self-admitted terrorist with a long history of attacks on the people of Latin America, especially Cuba. His terrorist resumé includes: assassination attempts on Cuban president Fidel Castro, involvement in a string of bombings at tourist locations throughout Cuba in 1997, and the 1976 bombing of a Cubana airliner flight which killed 73 people.
Posada's request for asylum in the United States was immediately opposed by Venezuela and Cuba. Through protests and demonstrations in both countries as well as campaigns building up around the world against Posada pressure was mounted demanding the US government to take action against the self-admitted terrorist.
On May 17th Posada was arrested. The reason for his arrest? Having entered the US illegally. Since his arrest the US administration has attempted to completely ignore the fact that he is a known and proud terrorist with a history of working with the CIA. However with pressure from the international community: From Venezuela, to Cuba, to the Organization of American States, to the Canadian Labour Congress, to grassroots social justice and Cuba solidarity groups- the media and US administration haven't been able to sweep this case under the rug.
From May through the summer the case against Posada has been built up internationally. On both of Posada's court dates, June 13th and August 29th, international days of action were called. VCSC endorsed both of these calls and organized mobilizations in Vancouver.
On August 27th in building up for the second international day of action against Posada, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba sent over 1,000 signatures to George Bush demanding Posada's immediate extradition to Venezuela.
August 29th, the Second International Day of Action against Posada
On August 29th, with Cuban flags flying high at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Downtown Vancouver, chants of "Extradite Posada NOW!" rung out loud and clear, for the international day of action against Posada.
Vancouver's demonstration opened with Vancouver City Councilor Tim Louis, who was followed by Marysol Torres of Vancouver's Internationalist Bolivarian Circles. Laura Albert of the Capilano Students' Union Social Justice Committee then spoke. Noah Fine, an organizer with the Free the Cuban Five Committee - Vancouver, followed Laura, with a poem by Antonio Guerrero one of the five anti-terrorist Cubans currently being held in US jails. Noah was followed by Tamara Hansen, coordinator of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC), who recently arrived back from traveling in Cuba. She talked about the importance of the fight of the Cuban people for dignity and justice.
The climax of the demonstration came with messages from Gloria La Riva of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, and Rosa, a woman whose brother was killed in Posada's 1976 airliner bombing. Both women were in El Paso Texas for Posada's trial that morning, and brought two important messages of solidarity on this international day of action. "Thank-you," said Rosa, "it is very important to me to know that there are people around the world who are against Posada and are demanding justice for my brother and so many other families."
Since August 29th people around the world fighting in solidarity with Cuba have continued to education and organize around the case of Posada asking: How can the United States be leading a supposed "war AGAINST terrorism", while protecting a well-known terrorist from facing his crimes?
US double standard on 'Terrorism'
"We have a solemn obligation to stop terrorism at its early stages. We must do all we can to disrupt each stage of planning and support of terrorist acts."
- US President George Bush at the UN Security Council session, September 14th 2005
"Those who threaten the whole world in the name of a hypocritical campaign against terrorism, have been protecting convicted, confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles in their own territory for six months."
- Speech by President of the National Assembly of the People's Power of Cuba, Richardo Alarcon, delivered September 9th
2005, by Cuba's ambassador to the UN Orlando Requeijo
Cases that can be used to expose the United States' phony "War on Terror" are abundant, so abundant in fact that we could fill hundreds of pages with incidences and events outlining the violent and hypocritical policies of the US administration over many years. Do you remember the 'weapons of mass destruction' the US used in Vietnam? Or the atomic bombs they dropped on Japan? Or the torture they are using right now in Abu Gharib prison in Iraq or Guantanamo in Cuba? We must expose the United States support for terrorism - which is when terrorism is helping them win wars.
Luis Posada Carriles served in the US military, was a CIA operative, and helped anti-Cuba terrorist groups in the United States carry out terrorist attacks against Cuba. Posada and the United States are on the same side; they are both promoters and defenders of US imperialism. But right now Posada is being held in a US prison while they negotiate with him how to solve their problem.
What is their problem? Their problem is that the United States cannot afford to be seen publicly with such a well-known terrorist. They want to help Posada, because he helped them so many times, but they cannot afford to have Cuba, Venezuela and social justice organizers around the world breathing down their necks and using this case to further expose their false 'war against terrorism'.
We Must Continue the Campaign Against Posada!
On August 31st, Posada withdrew his request for asylum in the United States. Posada's lawyers claimed Posada dropped the request because he feared if he was asked certain questions on the stand during his trial he might expose some confidential US or CIA secrets. His lawyers also said that if Posada faced the order of extradition to Venezuela, they would fight to have the extradition deferred to another country. Posada will also be applying for citizenship in the United States and using his time in the US army as credentials to bolster his application.
Posada's next court date is on the 26th of September. Through buying time with different maneuvers the US government will most likely try to find a legal way to delay a potential extradition order for years to come. This, they hope, will effectively wipe the case of Posada out from the public's memory. In the mean time they will try both legal and illegal avenues to get Posada's citizenship papers processed with positive results. These possibilities might comfort Posada for now, but whatever they do it does not change the fact that even if Posada is successful at getting citizenship in the US, he is still an international terrorist and is subject to extradition to Venezuela. What is clear is that the US and Posada are trying to strike a deal that will work for both groups, and a deal that will not be a victory for Cuba or Venezuela. Until there are further developments, and whether he is granted citizenship in the United States or not, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba will continue its campaign against Posada with the demand, "Extradite Anti-Cuban Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela NOW!"
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