Havana bombings:10 years on
Campaign News | Thursday, 5 April 2007
Posada is still not charged with terrorism
BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD - Special for Granma International-
TEN years ago, on April 12, 1997, the first bomb exploded in the campaign of terror unleashed in Havana by Luis Posada Carriles. One decade later, this string of crimes remains unpunished, although the central mastermind is imprisoned in the United States, involved in legal proceedings aimed at preventing him from being charged with terrorism.
That April 12, a device exploded in a bathroom in the Aché discothèque of the Hotel Melia Cohiba in the Cuban capital, causing significant material damage. The man behind it was later identified as Francisco Chávez Abarca, a Salvadoran whom Posada personally recruited in his native country for that task.
For months, the international media distorted the events, along with the media in Miami, Florida.
On August 11, 1997, in a paid announcement in the Miami media titled: To the public opinion: as message from the executive board of the Cuban-American National Foundation, it was asserted that “the incidents of internal rebellion that have been happening across the island in recent weeks... point to highly organized elements within the country, perhaps within the armed forces themselves.”
On September 4, the tragic explosion that caused the death of young Italian-Canadian Fabio di Celmo and injured seven other people occurred in the Hotel Copacabana.
After being arrested, the perpetrator of the attack, Salvadoran Raúl Ernesto Cruz León, immediately confessed his links with Luis Posada Carriles.
THE CANF AND THE FBI, ACCOMPLICES TO TERROR
On July 12, 1998, The New York Times published an article containing a statement by Cuban-American Antonio Jorge Alvarez to the effect that the FBI had ignored his accusations regarding Luis Posada Carriles. Alvarez affirmed that he had witnessed in his factory in Guatemala how Posada Carriles and a group of his mercenaries were preparing the bomb attacks in Havana. “I have risked my business and my life, and they didn’t do anything,” he said at the time.
On July 12 and 13, 1998, in an interview with The New York Times, Posada admitted to being behind the string of attacks, and explicitly revealed that the leaders of the Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF) had directed and financed his operations.
Finally, in September 1999, Enrique Bernales Ballesteros, the UN Human Rights Commission Special Rapporteur, a figure above all suspicion, officially confirmed in a report after visiting Havana that the terrorist campaign carried in Cuba in 1997 was devised, prepared and financed under CANF orders in U.S. territory.
Ten years later, with Posada in U.S. government custody, investigations into these criminal attacks are confined to the modest efforts of a grand jury that is supposedly meeting in Newark, New Jersey.
Not only is it true that the FBI never had the elemental decency to interrogate Posada, detained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; in addition, that supposedly incorruptible police agency never took the initiative of approaching those whom Posada himself designated as the godfathers of his murderous campaign.
Even worse, as was recently revealed by U.S. journalist Ann Louise Bardach in The Washington Post, Posada’s file, kept in the evidence rooms of the Miami FBI, disappeared - via special agent Ed Pesquera, son of the former chief of the regional section of the federal police, Héctor Pesquera.
Limiting its search for Posada’s accomplices to a number of suspects in New Jersey, the grand jury has incomprehensibly left to one side members of the CANF paramilitary group whose support was decisive in implementing his actions.
The grand jury has particularly studied the participation of two local former leaders of the CANF: Abel Hernández, a resident of Cliffside Park, and Oscar Rojas, who was an accountant for 20 years for Arnaldo Monzón Plasencia, a now-deceased business owner and terrorist from Fort Lee, also a ringleader in that organization.
Two more of Posada’s accomplices, likewise associated with the CANF, were likewise identified in the media as being related to this investigation: Angel Alfonso Alemán, a former employee of Monzón, implicated in 1997 in an assassination attempt on Cuban President Fidel Castro that was thwarted with the unexpected capture of the yacht La Esperanza; and José Alemán, his son.
Incredibly, Angel Alfonso Alemán is now working as a collaborator of Cuban-American Congressman Albio Sires, the former mafioso mayor of West New York, a city in New Jersey, elected to the House of Representatives in November.
However, this paramilitary committee within the CANF and under the directions of its chiefs, which in 1997 took charge of supporting the terrorist campaign carried out by Posada via Central American mercenaries, includes many other criminal elements that nobody is bothered about.
According to the Miami media and several experts on the issue, this group designed to organize terrorist actions includes as members - in addition to the now-deceased former chairman, Jorge Mas Canosa - several very-well known individuals, all of them accomplice to Posada’s crimes, and most of them based a few kilometers from the FBI offices in Miami.
They include, among others, Roberto Martín Pérez, the group’s coordinator, a henchman and son of a henchman under the Batista dictatorship, a proven terrorist, and husband to announcer Ninoska Pérez Castellón; José Antonio Llama, former director of the CANF, who, in June 2006, admitted in The Miami Herald the existence in 1997 of the Foundation’s terrorist wing; Angel Moisés Hernández Rojo, a former CIA agent in the counterinsurgency in Bolivia; Juan Bautista Marquez, a former CIA ship’s captain, now in prison for drug trafficking; and Luis Zúñiga Rey, a personal friend of George W. Bush, who has received him several times at the White House.
Others belonging to this group include Gaspar “Gasparito” Jiménez, Pedro Remón and Guillermo Novo Sampoll, all walking free in Miami after they were shamefully released from prison in Panama; Félix Ismael “El Gato” Rodríguez Mendigutía, who murdered Che Guevara on orders of the CIA; the doctor Alberto Hernández and José Francisco `Pepe' Hernández; Feliciano Foyo, now a CLC capo; his associate Horacio García? and quite a few more.
When Posada, alias “Solo,” was asking for money via faxes from Central America and while he was recruiting hit men, the above individuals were the ones who, from New Jersey and Florida, provided him with the resources and encouraged him to carry out his criminal activities.
Despite the fact that the U.S. legal apparatus knows that Posada Carriles is the self-confessed mastermind behind dozens of terrorist conspiracies and bloody attacks, it has not formally charged him; it prefers to dedicate itself to a burlesque legal show in the courtrooms of Texas, by discussing issues that are nothing but anecdotes in the bloody criminal history of this agent of imperialism.