Posada Carriles cohort captured in Caracas, confesses to conspiracy

Francisco Chávez Abarca, a Salvadoran national wanted on terrorism charges in Cuba, was arrested by Venezuelan authorities July 1 when he landed at the Caracas airport under a false passport. Under interrogation, he confessed to having been contracted by Luis Posada Carriles to carry out destabilizing acts in Venezuela in the lead-up to the September national assembly elections. After questioning by the Venezuelan police, he was extradited to Cuba.

Footage broadcast by TeleSur shows Chávez Abarca’s interrogation by Venezuela’s Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN). When asked who was his superior, Chávez Abarca replied, “Luis Posda Carriles.” The interrogating officer then asked: “Where does he give orders from? Where is he?” Chávez Abarca: “I don’t know because I haven’t talked with him since ’97.” Interrogating officer: “How do you receive instructions?” Chávez Abarca: “Through Daniel.”

“Daniel” is identified as Daniel Barrundia, allegedly connected to the Miami-based “Counter-revolutionary Cuban-American Foundation” (possibly a reference to the Cuban-American National Foundation, or CANF).

After a stint in El Salvador’s prisons for heading an auto theft gang, Chávez Abarca apparently began freelancing for the Posada Carriles network in the ’90s. Under various aliases, he traveled to Cuba three times in 1997, evidently to carry out terror attacks. In April of that year, Cuban authorities say he twice planted bombs at Havana’s Melia Cohiba Hotel; one damaged the bathrooms of the hotel’s discotheque, while the other was discovered and deactivated before it went off. Cuban authorities say he was also responsible for the May 1997 bomb blast at the entrance of the Cubanacan tourism company offices in Mexico City. (VenezuelAnalysis, July 8; Radio Cadena Agromonte, Cuba, July 2)

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