Cuba: US releases “international terrorist”

From Cuba’s Prensa Latina, April 19:

International terrorist Luis Posada Carriles was released by US authorities on Thursday, despite evidence of his involvement in criminal acts.

According to one of the terrorist’s lawyers, Felipe Millan, Posada left the New Mexico jail where he had been held and headed for Miami after a 250,000-dollar bail was paid.

On Tuesday, the New Orleans Appelate Circuit Federal Court had ruled for the criminal to be paroled, as Washington refuses to try him for his bloody crimes against Cuba.

This court ruling overturned a request from the Department of Justice to maintain Posada behind bars, just under migratory charges and not for his terrorist activities against the Caribbean Island.

The possibility to prevent the release of the Bin Laden of the Americas, as he is also known, was in the hands of the US Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Posada Carriles was one of those responsible for the blowing up of a Cuban civil plane in 1976, killing all 73 people on board.

See our last post on the Posada Carriles case.

  1. Further details
    Reversing an earlier decision, on April 17 the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans cleared the way for the release on bail of Cuban-born longtime Central Intelligence Agent (CIA) “asset” Luis Posada Carriles. US district Judge Cardone had ruled on Apr. 6 that Posada should be released on $350,000 bail; the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals had temporarily blocked the release on April 12. Posada met the bond conditions and was released in El Paso, Texas on April 19; he then flew to Miami, where he said he was “happy and grateful,” according to the Miami Herald. (Washington Post, April 17 from AP; US Immigration and Customs Enforcement news release, April 19; La Jornada, Mexico, April 21 from correspondents)

    Posada is facing trial on May 11 in federal court in El Paso for immigration fraud. The US has failed to respond to a 2005 extradition request from Venezuela, which wants to try him for allegedly masterminding the 1976 midair bombing of a Cuban airliner; 73 people died in the explosion. Posada, a naturalized Venezuelan citizen, was living in Venezuela when the bombing was planned.

    Posada’s release “helps shatter the credibility of the government of [US president] George W. Bush in relation to the so-called ‘war on terror,'” said Peter Kornbluh, who heads the Cuba project at the Washington, DC-based research organization National Security Archive. Kornbluh called Posada the “perfect candidate” to be charged with terrorism under the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, which gives the government broad powers to detain terrorism suspects. In 2006 the US Department of Justice argued in court that Posada should be kept in detention because of his admissions to acts of terrorism, but it never brought terrorism charges against him.

    In an April 20 statement, the Cuban government accused the US of allowing Posada’s release in order “to buy the terrorist’s silence on his crimes in the service of the CIA.” Posada “keeps innumerable secrets,” according to the Cuban statement, because of his activities in attacks on Cuba, in Operation Condor (a collaboration between the military governments of South America in the 1970s and 1980s), and in the contra war against the leftist government of Nicaragua in the 1980s.

    Jose Pertierra, a Washington, DC attorney representing the Venezuelan government, told the Mexican daily La Jornada that Venezuela intends to petition the United Nations (UN) Security Council to determine whether the US had violated Security Council Resolution 1373, which calls on all UN member states to bring to justice “any person who participates in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of terrorist acts.” (LJ, April 21)

    From Weekly News Update on the Americas, April 22