Harboring a ‘terrorist’
How could a wanted fugitive sneak unnoticed into the U.S.?
'œHow embarrassing' for the U.S., said Pascual Serrano in Havana's Tribuna de la Habana. At the very moment that the Americans are self-righteously condemning Cuba for failing to uphold human rights, a 'œnotorious terrorist' suddenly turns up in Miami. Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban-born Venezuelan citizen, was convicted in Venezuela of blowing up a civilian Cuban plane in 1976, killing all 73 passengers. After he escaped from prison, Posada was caught in Panama in 2000 with 40 tons of explosives; he planned to detonate them at a summit there and kill Fidel Castro. The Panamanian president inexplicably pardoned Posada, and from August 2004, until last month, authorities didn't know where he was. Now it transpires that Posada, 77, has been in Florida for several weeks. This 'œmonster' has just applied for political asylum in the United States.
President Bush has a lot of explaining to do, said Havana's Granma in an editorial. As our leader Fidel asked this week, how could an internationally wanted fugitive sneak unnoticed into the U.S.? Hasn't the country spent 'œhundreds of billions of dollars on Homeland Security?' And if the intelligence agencies did know Posada had entered the U.S., why didn't Bush have him arrested? 'œAll indications' are that the U.S. government was trying to cover up Posada's presence so it could try to claim the moral high ground and bash Cuba at the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Well, the truth is out. Even The Miami Herald and The Washington Post have reported that Posada is in Florida. It's time for Bush to remember his admonition to the world in 2003: 'œIf someone protects a terrorist, if someone feeds a terrorist, that person is just as guilty as the terrorists.'
The U.S. didn't just help Posada, said Freddy Perez Cabrera in Santa Clara's Vanguardia. It created him. The CIA gave him his initial training as a terrorist and assassin in the 1960s, specifically intending him for missions against Cubans. That so-called escape from a Venezuelan prison 'œwas no escape'Americans bribed the prison guards to let Posada out, because they needed him in Lt. Col. Oliver North's covert mission to arm the Contras. The U.S. has always supported terrorists who want to kill its enemies. The first President Bush, for example, gave Posada's close cohort, convicted anti-Castro terrorist Orlando Bosch, 'œa full pardon.'