Prensa Latina & Democracy Now – 2005-09-02 09:22:07
FBI Helped Terrorist through Honduras
TEGUCIGALPA (September 1, 2005) — FBI agents protected Cuban born terrorist Luis Posada Carriles on his secretive passage through Honduras after he left Panama in August 2004, Honduran attorney Juan Carlos Sanchez told the local media.
Sanchez, defense lawyer for Honduras´ former Migration Director Ramon Romero, stressed that Posada Carriles arrived in San Pedro Sula, after being pardoned in Panama of plotting to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro, escorted by US agents.
He had been arrested, tried and convicted of attempting against the life of the Cuban leader in November 2000 during 10th Iberian-American Summit together with another three Cuban-Americans from Miami, but after four years in jail the four were let free by ex president Mireya Moscoso right before she concluded her term in office.
After their release, the four terrorists travelled to Miami, but made a stopover in Honduras where Posada Carriles stayed, to later sneaked into the US illegally.
Besides attempting against Fidel Castro, Posada Carriles is the confessed mastermind of the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976 that killed 73 people off Barbados and the bombing of hotels and restaurants in Cuba in 1997 that killed one person, among other acts of terror.
He´s currently soliciting to stay in the United States after being detained in May for illegally entering in the US. Despite his violente and terrorit past, an immigration judge said Wednesday he would grant him some sort of protection.
Terrorist Cuban Exile Luis Posada Carriles Seeking Political Asylum in US
(May 9, 2005) — A chief terrorist with long ties to US intelligence agencies is seeking asylum in the United States. The FBI has evidence linking him to an airline bombing that killed 73 (seventy three people). We’re talking about the notorious militant Cuban exile: Luis Posada Carriles. Today we speak with one of the few reporters who has interviewed him and the president of the national assembly of Cuba.
Luis Posada Carriles is a 77-year-old former CIA operative who was trained by the US Army at Fort Benning in Georgia. He has been trying to violently overthrow Fidel Castro’s government for four decades. Three weeks ago he entered the United States after years of hiding in Central America and the Caribbean.
Posada has been connected to the 1976 downing of a civilian airliner that killed 73 passengers – the first act of airline terrorism in the Western hemisphere. He has also been linked to a series of 1997 bombings of hotels, restaurants, and discotheques in Havana that killed an Italian tourist; as well as a plot to assassinate Castro five years ago. He has been jailed in Venezuela and Panama. He was last seen in Honduras. Earlier this month he was said to have slipped into Miami. His newly-retained attorney has now requested asylum for him. In response, Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled that the government should seek his extradition from the United States to face terrorism charges.
If Posada is still in the United States, the Bush administration has three choices: granting him asylum; jailing him for illegal entry; or granting Venezuela’s extradition request.
State Department official Roger Noriega claimed the Bush administration didn’t know for sure if Posada was in the United States. He said Cuban claims about Posada “may be a completely manufactured issue.” At the same time Noriega said the U.S. is “not interested in granting him asylum.”
The brother of the Italian tourist killed by a bomb in a Havana hotel in 1997 told the Miami Herald: “It’s like a New York or New Jersey resident who lost a relative in the September 11 attacks, and the mastermind of this terrorist act is living in Canada. Wouldn’t they be upset at the Canadian government?”
Today we spend the hour on the case of Luis Posada Carriles. Later in the program we’ll speak with the President of the Cuban National Assembly Ricardo Alarcon, but we first turn to the reporter who interviewed Posada for the New York Times in 1998 – Ann Louise Bardach. At the time, she didn’t say where he was hiding out. It was Aruba. We reached her last night at her home in Santa Barbara where she is a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara. She is a columnist for online magazine Slate and the author of “Cuba Exile.” She talked about what Posada admitted to her and why he chose to speak out.
Ann Louise Bardach is a journalist and author. For a transcript of the broadcast interview, see: www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/05/09/148243