Cuba condemns Posada possible release

Campaign News | Friday, 13 April 2007

Main topic of conversation in the island

Havana, Apr 15 (Prensa Latina) Cubans' condemnation of Luis Posada Carriles's release and President Fidel Castro's denunciations of the US government support for the terrorist were the main topics of conversation in the Caribbean Island this week.

Posada Carriles's possible release on bail in Texas was condemned by millions of Cubans, who demand that the terrorist be tried in the United States or extradited to Venezuela.

The confess planner of the blowing-up of a Cuban airliner in midflight in 1976, killing all 73 people on board, had been release on bail from a Texas jail, where he was confined for violating migratory procedures.

Cuban and major social sectors in Latin America demand that Posada Carriles be tried for the crimes he has committed and not for migration violations.

Due to condemnation in Cuba and the region, including the United States, US immigration authorities decided to keep Posada Carriles in prison until May 11, when he must testify in court for lying to enter the country.

Cuban President Fidel Castro said in an article entitled The Brutal Answer" that the decision to release the notorious terrorist had already been made, although the world knew about his participation in sabotages like that on the Cuban plane over Barbados.

This week, Vice President Carlos Lage highlighted Fidel Castro's mobilizing capacity in his recent articles and called to keep on struggling so that Posada Carriles cannot be released and can be tried as a terrorist.

It is incredible that someone who has committed so many crimes will be tried for lying, said Lage, who has said that he could have been killed in the sabotage of the Cuban plane over Barbados, because he was supposed to take that flight.

Lage pointed out that the efforts to protect the terrorist show the criminal nature of the George W. Bush administration, and recalled that Bush Sr. was also committed to Posada Carriles when he was the CIA chief and the president of the United States.

Fidel statement says US plans to free 'monster'

From the International Herald Tribune newspaper

HAVANA: A letter bearing ailing leader Fidel Castro's signature accused the American government of planning to free a 'monster' as communist Cuba readied for the likelihood that its longtime nemesis Luis Posada Carriles would be released on bond from a U.S. jail.

Castro has long considered the Cuban-born Posada a terrorist, accusing him of violent acts including a 1976 airliner bombing that killed 73 people - a charge Posada denies. And Castro has repeatedly accused the U.S. government of protecting his old anti-communist foe.

"The answer is brutal," Castro wrote, referring to U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone's initial ruling Friday in El Paso, Texas, that Posada should be freed pending his scheduled May trial on charges he lied to immigration authorities in a bid to become a naturalized citizen. Cardone on Tuesday refused to reverse her decision to grant Posada bond.

"The government of the United States and its most representative institutions have decided the liberation of the monster beforehand," read the communique distributed by Foreign Ministry officials late Tuesday.

Entitled "Reflections of the Commander in Chief," the communique was the third in recent days signed by Castro, who has not been seen in public in more than eight months after undergoing intestinal surgery.

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"He was protected by being charged with a simple violation of migratory filings," wrote Castro.

The statement also drew a connection between "the criminal and terrorist character of the accused" and the current U.S. government.

"The most genuine representative of the system of terror that has been imposed upon the world by the technological, economic and political superiority of the most potent power in the world is, without question, George W. Bush," it added.

In a related development, the government scheduled a Wednesday morning news conference in Havana with relatives of the airliner bombing victims.

Cardone earlier Tuesday denied motions by U.S. prosecutors to either reverse her decision or hold a hearing about the origin of property Posada could use to post his US$250,000 (€186,205) bond.

Posada, currently held at the Otero County jail in New Mexico, cannot be released until the terms of his bond have been executed. If freed, he would be held under house arrest in Miami with family members acting as custodians pending his immigration trial.

The 80-year-old Castro announced July 31 he had undergone emergency intestinal surgery and temporarily ceded his presidential functions to his 75-year-old brother Raul, the defense minister.

Castro's medical condition and actual ailment remain a state secret, but he is widely believed to suffer from diverticular disease, a common affliction among the elderly that causes inflammation and bleeding in the colon.

There has been a growing expectation on the island that Castro will soon make a public appearance, but in recent weeks he has appeared only as the author of what are now three written articles.

The first two, on March 29 and April 4, were published on the front page of the Communist Party daily Granma criticizing a biofuel proposal by the United States and Brazil, saying the use of food crops to produce ethanol for automobiles could cause poor people to go hungry.

In previous months, Castro was also shown in official photographs and videotapes - first looking thin and wan, but later appearing much stronger.

Posada is a longtime foe of Castro, who publicly accused him at a presidential summit in Panama in 2000 of plotting to assassinate him. Posada was soon afterward arrested in Panama and convicted on lesser charges before walking fee in 2004 after being pardoned by then Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso.

Cuba accuses Posada of being the mastermind of the 1976 Cubana airliner bombing off the coast of Barbados. Among those killed were the young members of a Cuban fencing team returning home after a regional competition.

Venezuelan authorities want to extradite Posada for trial in that South American country, where he is a naturalized citizen. Posada was arrested in Venezuela a few days after the bombing and escaped from prison there in 1985 before a civilian trial in the case was completed.

Posada also acknowledged, and then denied, a role in Havana hotel bombings in 1997 that killed a tourist.

Posada was detained in Florida in May 2005 for entering the United States illegally. A U.S. immigration judge has ruled that he cannot be sent to Cuba or Venezuela, citing fears that he would be tortured.

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