Cuban Government Condemns Release of Posada

April 22, 2007

On April 19, the U.S. government released, on bail, Luis Posada Carriles. Even the U.S. government admits that Posada, a former CIA agent, is implicated in a series of major international terrorist activities, including the 1976 bombing of Cubana Airlines Flight 455 which killed 73 people, a wave of hotel bombings in Panama in 1997, illegally arming the Nicaraguan "contra" terrorists as part of the infamous "Iran-Contra" operations, the "Bay of Pigs" invasion of Cuba in 1961, etc.

In response to Posada's release, the government of Cuba issued the following statement on April 19.

Cuba condemns the shameful decision to release terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and points to the United States government as the only one responsible for this cruel and despicable action, which seeks to buy the terrorist's silence regarding his crimes in the service of the CIA, particularly during the time when Bush Sr. was that agency's general director.

With this decision, the U.S. government has ignored the clamor that has arisen throughout the world, including in the United States, against the impunity and political manipulation involved in this action.

This decision is an insult to the people of Cuba and other nations who lost 73 of their sons and daughters in the abominable 1976 attack that brought down a Cubana de Aviaci¢n civilian airliner off the coast of Barbados.

This decision is an insult to the people of the United States themselves, and a categorical refutation of the so-called "war on terrorism" declared by the government of President George W. Bush.

The U.S. government had only to certify Luis Posada Carriles as a terrorist to prevent his release and, in line with Section 412 of the U.S. Patriot Act, to acknowledge that his release would "threaten the national security of the United States or the safety of the community or any person."

The U.S. government could also have implemented the regulations enabling Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain a foreigner who is not admissible to U.S. territory and subject to deportation.

For that, it would have sufficed for U.S. authorities to have determined that Posada Carriles is a threat to the community, or that releasing him would involve a flight risk on his part.

Why did the U.S. government allow the terrorist to enter U.S. territory with impunity, despite the warnings sounded by President Fidel Castro?

Why did the U.S. government protect him during the months he remained illegally in its territory?

Why, having all the elements to do otherwise, did it limit itself this past January 11 to charging him with lesser crimes, essentially immigration-related, and not with what he actually is: a murderer?

Why is he being released, when Judge Kathleen Cardone herself, in her April 6 ruling ordering the release of the terrorist, admitted that he was accused of "...having been involved in, or associated with, some of the most infamous events" of the 20th century? Some of the 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."

Why is the U.S. Homeland Security Department's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency not using the mechanisms it has at its disposal for maintaining the terrorist in prison, with the irrefutable argument, already used by the U.S. Attorney General's office on a date as recent as this past March 19, that if he were released, there is a risk that he could flee?

Why has the U.S. government ignored the extradition application submitted, in line with all relevant requirements, by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela?

How is it possible that today, the most notorious terrorist who has ever existed in this hemisphere is being released while five Cuban men remain in cruel imprisonment for the sole crime of fighting terrorism?

For Cuba, the answer is clear. The terrorist's release has been organized by the White House as compensation so that Posada Carriles will not divulge what he knows, so that he won't talk about the countless secrets he holds in relation to his long career as an agent of the U.S. special services, in which he acted as part of Operation Condor, and in the dirty war against Cuba, Nicaragua and other nations in the world.

The full responsibility for the terrorist's release and the consequences deriving from it, fall directly on the United States government, and most particularly on the president of that country.

Even now, after his release, the U.S. government has all the information and legal mechanisms to re-arrest him. All that is lacking is the political will to seriously combat terrorism, and to recall that, according to President Bush, "if you harbor a terrorist, if you support a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, you will be as guilty as the terrorists."