The Case Against Luis Posada Carriles:
Demand Posada’s Extradition to Venezuela NOW!
By Tamara Hansen
POSADA’S HISTORY IN LATIN AMERICA
A very little known name in North America, Luis Posada Carriles, is well known to the people of Latin America. Trained by the United States’ CIA in explosives in the early 1960’s, he was a participant in the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba along with many other US-backed right-wing groups of former Cubans in 1962. This invasion was a complete and utter failure for these right-wing groups who were harbouring themselves in the US, as well as for the US government itself which had hoped to rid themselves of Fidel Castro and the sweeping changes being made by the Cuban revolution. Posada soon moved on, working for the Venezuelan secret police in the 1970’s.
His list of terrorism-related crimes in Latin America is long. Even Reuters, a news agency that is generally quite critical of Cuban leader Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution, had to admit the charges of terrorism hanging against this man.
In an article on April 10th 2007, Reuters recognized, “[Posada Carriles] is wanted in Venezuela on charges he planned the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. He was detained in Caracas in 1976, but fled prison in 1985 disguised as a priest. Posada Carriles is also accused of tourist bombings in Havana in 1997. He was jailed in Panama for a plot to assassinate Castro during an Ibero-American summit in 2000, but was pardoned by outgoing President Mireya Moscoso.”
RESURFACING IN THE U.S.
In March 2005, Posada resurfaced requesting political asylum in the United States. For two months Posada walked freely on the streets on Miami. However, someone in the US government must have informed him that as leaders of the “war on terror” it would be impossible for the US government to publicly support him without getting themselves into a whirlwind of trouble. On May 17th 2005, Posada skipped out on an immigration hearing and instead held a press conference publicly announcing that he would be leaving the US shortly.
But with all of this hullabaloo and pressure growing from Cuba, Venezuela, and social justice groups around the world, the US government was forced to act. On the same day as his press conference Posada Carriles was taken into US custody, but not for his terrorist crimes. No, instead he was charged for entering the US illegally. Posada has now been in a US prison in El Paso, Texas since May 2005, while the US government looks for the best option to protect its “image” as a leader in the global “war on terror” and at the same time help out one of their former agents.
THE CASE FOR EXTRADITION
“Venezuela accuses Mr Posada Carriles of planning the bombing of the Cubana Airlines plane on a flight from Caracas to Havana in 1976, an attack which left 73 people dead… He escaped from a Venezuelan prison in 1985 while awaiting a trial on appeal.” – BBC, September 1st 2005
“A federal immigration judge ruled in 2005 that Posada must be deported, but said he could not be sent to Cuba, where he was born, or Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen, because of fears that he could be tortured.” – Associated Press, April 12th 2007
“We've sent a message that is understood throughout the world: if you harbour a terrorist, if you support a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorists.” – George W. Bush, President of the United States, August 26th 2003
Then Bush and the US government is itself a terrorist. The only way for justice to prevail is if Posada is charged with his true crimes against humanity, not for breaking immigrations laws or entering the US illegally. Legally the United States has an extradition treaty with Venezuela so they must send Posada there to be charged. However, the US is using lame-duck excuses such as Venezuela not having enough evidence against Posada or that Posada may be tortured as reasons to harbour this terrorist within their own borders. After witnessing the United States’ war in Iraq, their occupation of Afghanistan, their recent bombing campaign against Somalia and conditions their prisoners face in their Guantanamo Bay detention camp, we don’t really need more evidence that they indeed support terrorism whenever it is in their favour. Despite this, the case of Luis Posada Carriles stands as strong proof that that US is not concerned about terrorism, and that they are willing to harbour terrorists, especially if they are ex-agents of the US government.
HOW THE U.S. IS PROTECTING POSADA
Now Posada has been fighting for access to bail and being released before his trial on immigration fraud charges coming up on May 11th 2007. The US government’s attorneys have been petitioning to keep him in prison until the trial, but on April 17th 2007 it was ruled that the former CIA operative will be released on a quarter of a million dollar bond.
The US government’s own attorneys released a long document as a motion for an emergency stay after the District Court ordered Posada’s pretrial release. The attorneys stated a long list of reasons why Posada should not be released: his previous escape from Venezuelan prison in the 1980’s; his press conference in 2005, when he was “too ill” to attend his immigration hearing, and his use of many fake IDs and passports in the past, all as evidence that Posada poses a slight risk.
But is the US government really against releasing Posada? Obviously the decision of the judge to release this terrorist, especially after the evidence presented proved the risk involved, had to come from somewhere. While their attorneys make it seem as if the US government is fighting the good fight, it is certain that the White House pressured the courts to release Posada before his trial.
First, the White House has been trying to find a country to take Posada off of their hands since his arrival in the US, but nowhere “suitable” has been willing to take such a high profile criminal. Secondly, if the White House does not aid Posada how are they going to convince any of their current CIA agents that they will be protected in the future from the crimes they have committed in the CIA’s name? Thirdly, the White House has stayed away from accusing or charging Posada with ANY of his terrorist crimes and will only charge him with immigration issues - a decision obviously meant to protect Posada.
“JAIL POSADA! FREE THE CUBAN 5!”
The US government’s hypocrisy is not only seen in their treatment of Posada. They are not only protecting this terrorist. They have also jailed 5 Cubans who came into the United States to investigate the crimes of the anti-Cuban terrorist organizations that Posada works with in Miami.
Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González and René González were falsely accused by the US government of “conspiracy to commit espionage”, “conspiracy to commit murder” and other bogus charges. These men did not come to spy on the US government, but to collect evidence about the acts of terrorism planned by the right-wing anti-Cuba groups in Miami. The five Cubans never harmed anyone, which even the US government knows, and that is why they could only be charged with “conspiracy to commit” these crimes and not even that they “attempted to commit” these crimes. Despite the lack of evidence against them, these five heroes, who were defending the people of Cuba against terrorists (like Luis Posada Carriles), are serving four life sentences and 75 years collectively, after being unjustly imprisoned by the US government.
But Cuba, Venezuela and people around the world who are concerned about social justice are exposing the United States’ blatant hypocrisy and have been speaking out, demanding justice in both the case of the anti-Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and in the case of these five anti-terrorist Cuban heroes. These people have been uniting and appealing to others to join them in the demands:
“Jail Posada! Free the Five!”
“Free the Cuban 5 NOW!”
“Extradite Posada to Venezuela NOW!”
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