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Thread: The Osama Bin Laden of Latin America

  1. #1

    The Osama Bin Laden of Latin America

    [B]Profile: Cuban 'plane bomber'[/B]

    Anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles has posed a double headache for the US: his alleged crimes relate to Cuba and its ally Venezuela, and he is a former CIA employee.

    The 79-year-old is wanted by both Latin American states for masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner, in which 73 died.

    He is also being investigated for the 1997 bombing on a hotel in the Cuban capital, Havana, which killed an Italian tourist.

    Jailed in Venezuela in 1976 after being found guilty of bombing the Cuban plane, in 1985 Posada escaped.

    Charges dropped

    Twenty years later, in May 2005, he was detained by US immigration officials after allegedly entering the country illegally, via Mexico.

    In 2007, a US judge's decision to dismiss charges of immigration fraud against him have angered Cuba and Venezuela who are both continuing to push for his extradition.

    The authorities in Havana describe Posada as "the Bin Laden of the Hemisphere".

    They have accused the US of double standards in its war on terror and of protecting the Cuban suspect due to his status - and the secrets he may know - as a former CIA employee.

    Some Cuban exiles hostile to the communist government in Havana regard Posada as a hero, said Pepe Hernandez, president of the Cuban American National Foundation.

    "He's been fighting one of the worst tyrannies this continent has experienced," Mr Hernandez told AP news agency.

    Assassination plot

    Before his detention in Miami, Posada, who was born in Cuba but has Venezuelan citizenship, insisted his "only objective" was to fight for Cuba's "freedom".

    Reports suggest he was involved in operations against leftists across Latin America over the decades, from Guatemala to El Salvador.

    According to declassified US government documents, he once worked for the CIA. The papers also reveal that an FBI informer "all but admitted" that Posada was one of those behind the plane bombing.

    In an interview for the Miami Herald newspaper, Posada denied any involvement in the plane attack but declined to confirm or deny involvement in other violence.

    In August 2004, Panama granted him a pardon over a plot to assassinate President Castro during a visit by the Cuban leader to Panama in 2000.

    The US authorities have refused requests for Posada's extradition, saying he might be tortured, and failed to find takers when they suggested sending him to a country other than Cuba or Venezuela.

    [URL=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4558777.stm]link[/URL]

  2. #2
    [B]Delahunt Hammers Gonzales on Posada[/B]

    In one of the better uses of non-US Attorney purge questioning, Congressman Delahunt confronted Alberto Gonzales on his inconsistent treatment of Luis Posada Carriles.

    Posada is, by any standard, a terrorist. He has been tied to a bombing of a Cuban airplane that killed 73 people. But of course, the US is not going to label him a terrorist, because he's our terrorist, an anti-Castro anti-Chavez terrorist.

    As Delahunt pointed out to Gonzales, under the PATRIOT Act the Attorney General retains sole discretion for naming someone a terrorist. Gonzales has sole discretion whether we start treating Posada with the same seriousness with which we treat young men from New Jersey caught training with paint ball guns to attack Fort Dix. Delahunt went further, too, reading the disgust voiced by the judge who dismissed the charges:

    In addition to engaging in fraud, deceit and trickery, this Court finds the Government's tactics in this case are so grossly shocking and so outrageous as to violate the universal sense of justice. As a result, this Court is left with no choice but to dismiss the indictment

    While he didn't say it specifically, Delahunt seemed to suggest deliberate negligence on the part of the government in drawing its case against Posada.

    Delahunt used the oversight hearing as an opportunity to confront Gonzales about why he hadn't considered naming Posada a terrorist. Presumably, Gonzales will be forced to provide an answer to Delahunt in writing. But at least in that hearing, Gonzales made his typical evasions, refusing to commit because of factors that he wouldn't really describe.

    I look foward to reading whatever response Gonzales gives to Delahunt.

    Update: I wanted to pull out some excerpts from the LAT article linked above because it's rare that such a comprehensive view of Posada makes the big papers. The article starts by listing some of Posada's terrorist acts:

    Three months before the 1976 midair explosion of a Cuban plane off the coast of Barbados, CIA covert operative Luis Posada Carriles cabled his U.S. minders from Venezuela to report that the plot was in motion and asked for Washington's "assistance."

    Recently declassified CIA communications confirm that a U.S. agent got back to Posada within a few days. Other internal communications obtained by the National Security Archive research project put Posada in regular contact with Washington handlers from the time of his arrival here just before the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion through the late 1990s, when he allegedly masterminded a series of Havana hotel bombings in an effort to crush Cuba's budding tourism business.

    The 79-year-old anticommunist, who turned up two years ago in Miami, has never been charged by U.S. justice officials with participating in a violent act, not even the hotel bombings purportedly financed by fellow Cuban exiles in New Jersey and about which Posada has boasted.

    It includes quotes from an extensive interview with Delahunt, as well as more details of US complicity with Posada's actions (no mention of the Bush family, though). It ends with a review of Posada's involvement in Iran-Contra. And throughout, there are a number of clear arguments that our inability to prosecute Posada gives lie to our claim to be fighting the war on terror:

    "After learning that Mr. Luis Posada Carriles, a known terrorist, was released from U.S. custody and allowed to reside in the U.S. as a free man, I have become very concerned about our ability to protect our nation," U.S. Rep. Jose E. Serrano (D-N.Y.) wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday.

    [snip]

    Calls to the Cuban Interests Section and the Venezuela Information Office in Washington were not returned, but Cuban and Venezuelan media have denounced the freeing of Posada as evidence that Washington condones terrorism against innocent citizens of states it considers hostile.

    I'm guessing part of the reason such a strong article made a big paper is bc of the Latino community in LA. I wonder if the non-Cuban Latino community in this country can convince AGAG to prosecute a conservative Cuban terrorist

    [URL=http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2007/05/delahunt_hammer.html]link[/URL]

  3. #3
    [B]DELAHUNT CALLS ON BUSH TO ACT AGAINST POSADA

    President's Credibility in Fighting Terrorism In On Line[/B]

    WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bill Delahunt today called on President George W. Bush to act quickly to ensure that alleged Cuban exile terrorist Luis Posada Carriles is certified as a terrorist under the Patriot Act and detained. The Congressman’s demand came one day after a federal judge dismissed immigration charges against Posada, effectively freeing him and giving one of the Western Hemisphere’s most notorious killers sanctuary in the U.S.

    “The world will conclude that this Administration has a double standard when it comes to fighting terrorism unless President Bush takes swift action to detain Posada,” Delahunt asserted today.

    Posada, a CIA-trained Cuban exile, has had a long and dramatic career of violence. The most infamous charge against him stems from his alleged masterminding of the 1976 mid-air bombing of a Cuban civilian airliner, which killed 73 people. Posada was arrested and charged in Venezuela for the crime, but escaped from prison before he was convicted. After years of hiding, Posada reappeared in Miami in 2005, and was detained on charges of illegally entering the U.S. An immigration judge ruled that Posada could not be extradited to Venezuela or Cuba to stand trial, due to the risk that he might be tortured by either of those governments.

    “Detaining him will prevent him from fleeing the country while the Administration determines how and where he can stand trial for his crimes“ said Congressman Delahunt, who just last week wrote to U.S Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez urging that Posada be certified a terrorist. “Yet the Administration managed to bungle an immigration case against him instead.”

    “If the Administration does not avail itself of all legal avenues to detain this terrorist and bring him to justice,” said Delahunt, “it will send a message to the world that President Bush believes in the old adage that ‘one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter’. The consequences for our efforts to rally other nations to fight al Qaeda – especially in the Muslim world where some view Osama bin Laden as a similar hero – could be catastrophic.”

    [URL=http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ma10_delahunt/posada.html]link[/URL]

  4. #4
    By the way, I think this is a non-partisan issue. Successive governments of Democrats and Republicans have ignored this terrorist and his crimes - I have just heard Delahunt interviewed on Australian radio, and he said he has discussed this issue with numerous Republican senators, all of whom are outraged about this case, and the apparent harbouring of this terrorist by the CIA.

  5. #5
    Jets Insider VIP
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    the title of the thread is as idiotic as the content....since when do we have extradition agreements with Cuba???

    could be worse....they could give terrorists a Presidential pardon...but that would never happen now would it... :rolleyes:
    Last edited by Come Back to NY; 06-27-2007 at 07:50 AM.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]the title of the thread is as idiotic as the content....since when do we have extradition agreements with Cuba???

    could be worse....they could give terrorists a Presidential pardon...but that would never happen now would it... :rolleyes:[/QUOTE]

    What about Venezuella?

    This guy Posada is called the Osama Bin Laden of Latin America [I]in[/I] Latin America. I guess the Latin Americans should really be the judge of that.

    As I said, this is a non-partisan issue; this killer has been given the A OK from successive Democrat and Republican governments. He really should be behind bars at the very least. He is responsible for one of the largest acts of terrorism in the Americas in history, and that isn't his only act of terrorism in the area.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=Black Death]What about Venezuella?

    This guy Posada is called the Osama Bin Laden of Latin America [I]in[/I] Latin America. I guess the Latin Americans should really be the judge of that.

    As I said, this is a non-partisan issue; this killer has been given the A OK from successive Democrat and Republican governments. He really should be behind bars at the very least. He is responsible for one of the largest acts of terrorism in the Americas in history, and that isn't his only act of terrorism in the area.[/QUOTE]


    according to your article it's the Cubans who refer to him as that...which just adds to the idiocy of it all....

    it's non-partisan???

    [QUOTE]"After learning that Mr. Luis Posada Carriles, a known terrorist, was released from U.S. custody and allowed to reside in the U.S. as a free man, I have become very concerned about our ability to protect our nation," U.S. Rep. Jose E. Serrano (D-N.Y.) wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday[/QUOTE]

    that's fuqin hysterical.....

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]according to your article it's the Cubans who refer to him as that...which just adds to the idiocy of it all....

    it's non-partisan???



    that's fuqin hysterical.....[/QUOTE]

    I just saw a program on this Posada gentleman; they interviewed the son of one of the victims who was from Venezuela: he made a direct reference to this guy being the Osama Bin Laden of Latin America.

    It's non-partisan in that there are Republican Senators who are disgusted with the way this fellow has been allowed seeming sanctuary in the US; Delahunt (Dem) said as much in an interview late yesterday.

    I agree the second quote is, while not being farkin hysterical, is over the top. It doesn't disguise the fact that this terrorist bombed a civilian plane and killed civilians; he is by any measure a terrorist, no matter whether Cuban civilians, Venezuelan civilians, American citizens or civilians from a tribe in the Upper Volta were killed in the incident.

    It isn't his only terrorist act either. The guy should be behind bars at the very least.

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