Justice against Terrorism!
Justice against Terrorism!
Justice against Terrorism!
The New York Times
April 21, 2007
By BERNARDO ÁLVAREZ HERRERA
AFTER the attacks of Sept. 11, President Bush forcefully argued that it was every country's duty to fight international terrorism. He made the case that sponsoring terrorism or simply looking the other way when it happened were equivalent acts, and the United States would stand for neither. But holes have started appearing in that principle, courtesy of a single Venezuelan terrorist, released this week from a New Mexico prison on bail.
In early 2005, Luis Posada Carriles, a Venezuelan with a long history of violent attacks in Latin America, sneaked into the United States and was soon arrested. Mr. Posada had escaped from a Venezuelan prison while awaiting trial in the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976 that killed 73 people, including all 24 members of Cuba's youth fencing team and several Guyanese medical students. This was the deadliest attack on a civilian airliner in the Western Hemisphere in history — until 9/11.
Upon Mr. Posada's capture, the government of President Hugo Chávez demanded his extradition. But the Bush administration has refused to extradite Mr. Posada to Venezuela or Cuba, claiming that it fears he will be tortured in those countries. In fact, Washington's reluctance is more likely linked to Mr. Posada's history as a Central Intelligence Agency operative and a darling of extremist sectors of the powerful Cuban-American community in Florida (he tried to assassinate Fidel Castro with C-4 explosives placed in an auditorium packed with students in Panama in 2000). Twenty-two months have passed since Venezuela formally asked for his extradition, offering 2,000 pages of documentary evidence to substantiate its claim, yet the State Department has not even acknowledged receiving the request.
Nor has Mr. Posada been charged with the 1976 attack, even though declassified Central Intelligence Agency documents indicate that his role has long been accepted as fact. Instead, he faces charges of immigration fraud, a travesty that could be equaled only by charging Osama bin Laden with entering and leaving Pakistan without a visa. Finally, Mr. Posada was released on bail on Thursday, even though he is an obvious flight risk and a violent terrorist.
Of course, Mr. Posada's case isn't the first instance related to Venezuela in which the Bush administration has set aside its principles for political expediency. Five years ago last week, the Bush administration gleefully welcomed a coup that overthrew President Chávez, replacing him with a junta that suspended the Constitution, dismissed the National Assembly and dissolved the Supreme Court. Thankfully, the Venezuelan people ensured that their democratically elected president was returned to power two days later.
Just as the Bush administration's support for the Venezuelan junta undermined its pledge to uphold and promote democracy around the world, allowing Mr. Posada to avoid prosecution for a vicious attack he can credibly be accused of masterminding throws into doubt the sincerity of President Bush's war on terrorism. Mr. Posada is a terrorist, regardless of the cause he fought for or the allies he might have. The Bush administration's foot-dragging on his extradition and its failure to even classify him as a terrorist is unconscionable.
Last week, Venezuelans celebrated the return of democracy after the coup against President Chávez. But they continue to mourn the 73 people killed aboard that civilian airliner. If President Bush is serious about the principles he set out after 9/11, he need only look to Venezuela and correct the mistakes he can. The coup has passed, but the chance to extradite or prosecute Mr. Posada hasn't.
Bernardo Álvarez Herrera is Venezuela's ambassador to the United States.
Declaration by the Committee of Relatives of the Victims of the Cubana Airliner Sabotage in Barbados.
Apr. 21, 2007
Reprinted from: http://www.invasor.cu
At a time when we share the profound pain of relatives and the American people, because of the massacre of young students at Virginia Tech, we are faced with the horrendous and outrageous decision of the United States government to release on bail the notorious international assassin and terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.
We are filled with indignation that this assassin, protected by the American authorities, is able to return safe and sound to Miami, the lair of terrorists who for more than 40 years have committed numerous crimes against our people.
Once again, the senselessness and impunity overtakes reason, truth and justice.
The news communicated yesterday by the world press has plunged us again into mourning and it reminds us of those terrible bitter moments we lived through in October 1976, while we were children we suddenly lost relatives as the result of the abominable crime committed by Posada and Bosch against innocent civilians when they exploded a bomb on board the Cubana airliner in mid-flight off the coast of Barbados.
Today we would like to alert the world to the danger posed by the liberation of the worst assassin in the western hemisphere.
This repugnant henchman was recruited and trained by the CIA to carry out horrible terrorist acts against Cuba, together with the other terrorist Orlando Bosch who is freely strolling through the Miami streets, protected by the amnesty granted him by Bush Sr. when he was president of the United States.
Luis Posada Carriles participated in the Bay of Pigs Invasion, in Operation Condor and was the organizer and intellectual author of the sabotage and explosion on board of the Cuban Airlines plane in mid flight, taking the toll of 73 lives on October 6, 1976. Assisted by the CIA, he escaped from a Venezuelan prison in 1985, and immediately got involved in the dirty war against Nicaragua.
A well-known drug dealer, he was responsible for sending drugs to the United States. He gave invaluable service to the Cuban-American Foundation with a series of terrorist acts committed against tourist facilities in Havana during the 90’s. He was actively involved in plans to assassinate our Commander in Chief.
The decision to allow Posada Carriles to go free in Miami is the clearest demonstration of the double moral standards of the American government: they free a terrorist while they keep five anti-terrorist heros cruelly and unjustly incarcerated.
We, the relatives of the victims of terrorism are totally astounded by so much cynicism. The government of the United States has mocked our agreements and treaties that oblige them to judge Posada Carriles as a terrorist. On May 11, Posada appeared in court accused only of lying; what infamy, what mockery of international public opinion, of the American people and of the relatives of the victims of the crimes committed by this assassin who ought to be immediately sent back to prison, that is our demand.
We can never forget his defiant words, saying that he regretted nothing and that if he were to be born again he would do exactly the same. When he was interviewed about the bomb that he ordered to be blown up in the Copacabana Hotel, which ended the life of Fabio Di Celmo, he spoke with complete disdain for life: the young Italian “was in the wrong place at the wrong time”.
Those words uttered by this infamous assassin were inconceivably repeated by President Bush, when he referred to the young students massacred at Virginia Tech as having been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This vigil which we begin today is to alert the world about the responsibility of the Bush administration in the liberation and harbouring of the terrorist Posada Carriles, to demand that the assassin be returned to prison, that he be judged for what he is: a notorious terrorist or that he be extradited to Venezuela; there is no other alternative, the people are anxious that justice be done.
At this moment of indignation we remember the poem “I Ask for Punishment” by the unforgettable poet Pablo Neruda.
FOR THOSE WHO SPILLED BLOOD IN OUR COUNTRY, I ASK FOR PUNISHMENT
FOR THE EXECUTIONER WHO SENT US MURDER, I ASK FOR PUNISHMENT
FOR THOSE WHO PROSPERED FROM OUR SLAUGHTER, I ASK FOR PUNISHMENT
FOR HE WHO GAVE THE ORDER THAT CAUSED OUR AGONY, I ASK FOR PUNISHMENT
FOR THOSE THAT DEFENDED THIS CRIME, I ASK FOR PUNISHMENT.
COMMITTEE OF THE RELATIVES OF THE VICTIMS OF THE CUBANA AIRLINER SABOTAGE IN BARBADOS.
FIGHT FOR JUSTICE... CAMPAIGN
LUIS POSADA CARRILES MUST BE TRIED FOR HIS CRIMES
While in the name of the fight against terrorism, hundreds of thousands of people have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and others - arbitrarily detained - are tortured in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the United States government protects the most notorious terrorist in this hemisphere, attempting to deceive public opinion through interminable pseudolegal manuevers and refusing to try him for his real crimes.
Luis Posada Carriles was accused and brought to trial in Venezuela for the 1976 attack against a commercial aircraft in which 73 persons died. After escaping from Venezuelan prisons in 1982 - leaving his trial unconcluded - he served the CIA as part of what was known as the "Irancontras" operation and also in the implementation of the genocidal Plan Cóndor. In 1997 he prepared a series of terrorist acts against hotels in Havana - in one of which the young Italian tourist, Fabio Di Celmo, lost his life -, and in the year 2000, the projected attempt against President Fidel Castro´s life at the University of Panama.
In March, 2005, Posada Carriles entered the United States illegally. Only after reiterated public denunciations that revealed the presence of this criminal in U.S. terriitory, the goverment of George W. Bush proceeded to detain and charge him for immigration crimes and false witness, without the slightest reference to terrorism.
Through their handling of Posada Carriles, the U.S. authorities, pressured by groups of Cuban extremists in South Florida, have made evident the double morality of their war against terrorism in the name of which they torture, kidnap and bomb. At the same time, as has been denounced by numerous international forums and United Nations´agencies, five Cuban antiterrorist activists remain unjustly imprisoned in the United States, subjected together with their families to cruel and discriminatory treatment.
All honest people of the world who raise their voices against war and terrorism, have before them irrefutable proof of the lack of ethics upon which the current administration in Washington bases its actions. We, the undersigned, demand that the government of the United States, in compliance with international obligations, charge Luis Posada Carriles for all of his crimes or attend the request for his extradition to Venezuela, which until now has received absolutely no response.
To sign the campaign:
- "Misión contra el terror", acerca de los Cinco héroes cubanos prisioneros en cárceles del imperio:
- Videos de Ivette e Irmita, hijas de René González y Olga Salanueva:
- "El infierno de Guantánamo, territorio usurpado":
- "La guerra contra Cuba":
- "Sistema migratorio, Ricardo Alarcón":
- "CIA, la invasión silenciosa":
- "Bacardí, el secreto del murciélago":
- "Sobre el terrorista Luis Posada Carriles":
posted by F Espinoza