OUR people have learned with indignation that on the afternoon of May 8, Judge Kathleen Cardone ordered the definitive release of terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and dismissed all of the charges that the United States government had brought against him last January 11 for fraud and for lying in interviews with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities in order to obtain his naturalization in that country.
At this time, Cuba reaffirms, even more strongly, our people’s condemnation of this maneuver, which, as the April 19, 2007 statement by our revolutionary government said, “is an insult to the Cuban people and to the peoples that lost 73 of their sons and daughters when a Cubana de Aviación passenger plane was brought down off the coast of Barbados.”
In a statement issued on January 15, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it hoped that “these charges brought against terrorist Posada Carriles for minor immigration crimes would not become a smokescreen for granting impunity to him for the serious crime of terrorism, in a pretext to continue ignoring the application presented on June 15, 2005 by the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, for Posada Carriles’ extradition for his responsibility in the bombing of the Cubana de Aviación airliner, and to which no response has yet been made.”
The series of events from the moment Posada Carriles entered U.S. territory aboard the boat Santrina — as our President opportunely denounced — shows clearly that every action taken by the U.S. government from that moment responded to a plan approved by President Bush and designed to create, precisely, a “smokescreen” that would prevent the prosecution of Luis Posada Carriles for what he actually is: a terrorist.
It would have sufficed for the U.S. government to apply its own Patriot Act, and acknowledge that the release of the terrorist “threatens the national security of the United States or the security of the community or of any person” to prevent his release. It would have sufficed for its Immigration and Customs authorities to decree that the release of Posada Carriles would constitute a threat to the community and create the risk that he would flee, as was clearly stated by our revolutionary government this past April 19.
The U.S. government possesses all of the evidence deriving from its longstanding relationship with the terrorist, along with that provided by Cuba in 1998 and more recently.
The manipulation that has led to this outcome, the protection that the terrorist received as soon as he entered U.S. territory, the charges for minor crimes brought against him, the back-and-forth of the terrorist’s custody from one federal agency to another and from one court to another, and finally, the ruling by Judge Cardone on May 8, demonstrate that Washington’s plan was, precisely, to prevent him from speaking about the destructive actions he committed against the Cuban and Venezuelan people and against other nations of Our America, acting under the orders of the CIA and, particularly, of the father of the current president of the United States, who headed that U.S. government agency of espionage and subversion in 1975 and 1976, the period when terrorist actions against Cuba were at their most violent and ruthless, as well as when he was vice president of the United States in the 1980s, the period in which a dirty war was waged against the Nicaraguan people.
However, perhaps the fact that most illustrates how that plan was being implemented was the petition to the court by the U.S. government this past April 27 to disallow any evidence, testimony or other proof linking Posada Carriles to the Central Intelligence Agency, and the terrorist’s response, arguing that he had acted under CIA orders for more than 25 years, which is confirmed by the role he played as a CIA agent in U.S. government actions against Nicaragua during the 1980s.
With its decision to not classify Posada Carriles as a terrorist, the U.S. government has not only violated its own laws and its alleged commitment to its self-proclaimed “war on terrorism;” it has also violated its international obligations.
The U.S. government has maliciously violated not only Resolution No. 1373 (2001) of the United Nations Security Council, a resolution promoted by itself, but also treaties on terrorism to which it is a signatory, most especially the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, which became effective on May 23, 2001, and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, which went into effect on January 26, 1973.
In accordance with these instruments, the U.S. government should have tried Posada Carriles for terrorism, or agreed to the extradition application formulated with due correctness by the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and which, almost two years after being submitted, has yet to receive a response.
Independently of any value judgment that we might make regarding the ruling issued on May 8 by Judge Cardone, the same judge who, in her previous ruling on April 6 granted release on bond to the terrorist while at the same time acknowledging that he was accused of “having been involved in, or associated with some of the most infamous events of [the] twentieth century… Some of these events include the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Iran-Contra Affair, the 1976 bombing of Cubana Flight 455, the tourist bombings of 1997 in Havana, and even – according to some conspiracy theorists – the assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” total responsibility for the release of Posada Carriles and total responsibility for what could derive from it, fall on the United States government.
In fact, Judge Cardone, in her May 8 ruling, said that “the realm of this case is not, as some have suggested, terrorism. It is immigration fraud. Terrorism, and the determination of whether or not to classify an individual as a terrorist, lies within the sound discretion of the executive branch,” adding that she was not disposed to provide a solution for what she called a “hot potato” for the U.S. government.
Likewise, the same ruling by Judge Cardone, in another section, makes clear how absurd it was that, if he had been prosecuted for fraud and for lying in a naturalization process — charges for which he should have been tried on May 11 — the maximum sentence the terrorist would have received was from six to 12 months in prison, which he would not even have completed.
The conduct of the U.S. government and this outcome are part of the ongoing commitment of the current White House resident to the Cuban-American terrorist mafia of Miami, and it has a suspicious parallel with the release of the terrorist Orlando Bosch during the mandate of Bush Sr. as U.S. president.
This most recent shameful act is consistent with the actions of a government that, at a given moment, refused to deport Posada Carriles to Cuba or Venezuela because in our countries, according to them, he “would be tortured,” while at the same time, it maintains its prison on illegally-occupied Cuban territory in Guantánamo, and throughout the entire world, it maintains secret prisons where the most aberrant and inhuman actions are committed.
For the Cuban people, it is unacceptable that the most notorious and bloodthirsty terrorist to ever exist in this hemisphere is now free, while five Cuban men remain cruelly and unjustly imprisoned for the sole crime of fighting terrorism.
We cannot forget that, in reflections published on May 8, our President warned once again that impunity encourages terrorism, and said that “the unusual release of the notorious terrorist was enough for death to once again be visited upon our homes.”
Time is running out for President Bush. He lost his opportunity to show even an iota of dignity, sense of shame or ethics. The clamor of the peoples against this decision will be unstoppable. The secrets that Posada Carriles knows will come to light sooner or later, and the U.S. government will have to respond for its double standard and its lack of political will to seriously fight against terrorism.
It remains to be seen now what the White House will do; it still has the option, in compliance with its international obligations, to stop Luis Posada Carriles and extradite him to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to respond for his crimes.