Archive for the ‘Nicaragua’ Category
Peter Kornbluh on Acquittal of Alleged Cubana Airline Bomber Luis Posada Carriles
From Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! interviews Peter Kornbluh, the director of the National Security Archive at the George Washington University and the Cuba Documentation Project, about the case of Luis Posada Carriles.
Catch him if you can
A Texas court acquits an alleged right-wing Cuban terrorist
The Economist, April 14, 2011
ONE of the Cuban government’s most legitimate criticisms of the United States involves its handling of Luis Posada Carriles. A Havana-born Venezuelan citizen, Mr Posada helped organise the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. He later worked for the CIA to undermine Fidel Castro and assist Nicaragua’s right-wing Contra guerrillas. In 1976 two of his employees blew up a Cuban aircraft, killing 73 people, including the country’s national fencing team. Over 20 years later he was implicated in bombings of Havana hotels.
Mr Posada has largely evaded punishment for these crimes. He escaped from a Venezuelan prison while awaiting a trial for the aircraft attack, was recaptured and held for eight years without being convicted, and then escaped again.
In 2000 Panama jailed him for plotting to kill Mr Castro during a summit. But Mireya Moscoso, Panama’s president, pardoned him shortly before leaving office in 2004.
A year later Mr Posada sneaked into the United States and asked for asylum. When Venezuela sought his extradition, he withdrew his asylum request and was arrested. However, a judge refused to deport him on the grounds that he might be tortured in Venezuela—a claim many Cubans might find ironic, given the presence of Guantánamo Bay on their island.
Since then, Mr Posada has been in legal limbo. He was transferred from jail to house arrest in 2007 and indicted only in 2009. However, rather than prosecuting him for the bombings, the government charged him with lying about his part in them and about how he entered the United States, and for obstructing its investigations. His trial began in January in Texas.
AP, April 5, 2011
Iran has expanded its ties in Latin American beyond its close relationship with Venezuela, a top U.S. commander said Tuesday as he described a troubling development that the United States is watching closely.
Gen. Douglas Fraser, the head of the U.S. Southern Command, said Iran has nearly doubled the number of embassies in the region, from six in 2005 to 10 in 2010 while also building cultural centers in 17 countries. Last year, Iran also has hosted heads of state from three countries — Bolivia, Guyana and Venezuela.
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D’Escoto: The United Nations Is a Deadly U.S. Weapon
Prensa Latina, March 31, 2011
Former Nicaraguan foreign minister Miguel D’Escoto, now appointed as the representative of Libya to the UN, said Thursday that the United Nations has become a “lethal weapon of the Empire (United States).”
“We have to get it back, because if it dies it will not be born again,” warned D’Escoto, who was president of the 63rd period of sessions of the UN General Assembly (2008-2009).
In an interview with Prensa Latina in New York, D’Escoto, a Catholic priest, said the UN is dysfunctional, unable to fulfill the goals for which it was created.
D’Escoto harshly criticized UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, accusing him of betraying the UN Charter. He did not rule out coordination between the UN secretary general and the host country (the United States) to prevent former Libyan Foreign Minister Ali Treki from the entering U.S. territory.
Treki, who chaired the UN General Assembly until last September, was appointed Libyan ambassador to the UN two weeks ago by President Muammar Gaddafi, but he did not receive a U.S. visa to travel to New York.
“I don’t know what kind of effort Ban Ki-moon made with respect to that visa, as part of his duty as UN leader,” said D’Escoto.
Now, the appointment of D’Escoto as Libya representative is in doubt, after the U.S. representative to the UN, Susan Rice, claimed the Nicaraguan does not have a diplomatic visa.
Former Nicaragua Sandinista Leader Named Libya’s UN Envoy
Bill Varner and Blake Schmidt, Bloomberg, March 30, 2011
Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, a former foreign minister of Nicaragua’s socialist Sandinista government and one-time president of the United Nations General Assembly, has been named by Muammar Qaddafi’s regime as Libya’s ambassador to the UN.
Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa informed Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon of the nomination in a letter dated March 29. The letter says D’Escoto Brockmann was named to the post because Ali Abdussalam Treki, also a former General Assembly president who was chosen to represent the Qaddafi government at the UN, couldn’t get a visa to enter the U.S.
D’Escoto Brockmann, a Catholic priest who was General Assembly president in 2008 and 2009, once said former U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were “possessed by the demons of manifest destiny.” D’Escoto was Nicaragua’s foreign minister for the Sandinista government as it fought U.S.-backed contra rebels during the nation’s 1980s civil war.
He called Reagan a “butcher of my people” for supporting a rebellion that caused Nicaraguans to suffer “something much bigger than the Twin Towers,” a reference to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
Nicaragua’s government said in a statement that D’Escoto Brockmann received instructions from Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to “accept this nomination and represent the people and government of Libya to re-establish peace and defend their legitimate right to resolve their national conflicts without foreign intervention.”…
…“This military deployment not only terrorizes the Libyan people but the entire region along the Mediterranean, as if the tragedy in Afghanistan and Iraq weren’t enough,” Ortega said in a March 19 speech. “The remedy is worse than the illness. You don’t put a fire out by throwing gas on it.”
Tripoli’s Envoy at U.N. Hits Snag
Joe Lauria, Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2011
The U.S. was locked in a new row with Libya on Thursday over Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s attempt to name a former Nicaraguan foreign minister as his ambassador to the United Nations.
Former Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, who has since defected, informed member nations but not the U.N. secretariat that Libya wants Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann to succeed Abdel Rahman Shalgam as its envoy, according to U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq…
…She said he would need to return to Nicaragua to apply for a U.S. diplomatic visa.
“He is not possessing the appropriate visa, which is necessary for him to be accredited as a permanent representative,” Ms. Rice said. “A tourist visa does not allow you to represent any country—Nicaragua, Libya, or any other at the United Nations.”…
…But it appeared likely that Mr. d’Escoto, like Mr. Treki, wouldn’t be granted a diplomatic visa, officials said.”
Envoy Decides to Represent Nicaragua, not Libya
Dan Bilefsky, The New York Times, April 1, 2011
“A former Nicaraguan foreign minister who had been appointed by Libya to be its envoy to the United Nations has changed his plans and will represent Nicaragua instead at the international body, diplomats said Friday.
Nicaragua’s mission to the United Nations submitted a letter saying that the diplomat, Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, 78, who is an outspoken critic of the United States and who once served in the leftist Sandinista government, has been appointed as Nicaragua’s deputy ambassador, United Nations officials and Nicaraguan diplomats said. Nicaragua had announced Wednesday that Mr. D’Escoto, who once called Ronald Reagan “the butcher of my people,” had been appointed to represent Libya after its delegate was denied a visa…
…A Nicaraguan diplomat, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said that the initiative to appoint Mr. D’Escoto as Libya’s envoy had come from Libya, and not Nicaragua. He declined to comment on the reasons underlying Mr. D’Escoto’s decision to represent Nicaragua instead, but he said that Mr. D’Escoto would use his new position to press for a cease fire in Libya.
“We do not support the invasion of Libya,” the diplomat said, referring to the Security Council resolution authorizing force to protect Libyan civilians. “But the request to make Mr. D’Escoto Libya’s envoy came from Libya and we were not trying to promote it.”
Mr. D’Escoto, who was ordained as a priest, was previously a foreign minister in the government of President Daniel Ortega, who has frequently been at odds with the United States. Mr. D’Escoto’s appointment as Libya’s envoy had been greeted with bemusement by diplomats at the United Nations, including the United States ambassador, Susan E. Rice, who warned Wednesday that he would not be able to act as the representative of a foreign government on a tourist visa. “