Archive for the ‘Panama’ 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.