Luis Posada Carriles: The need for trial

Campaign News | Wednesday, 27 July 2005

It is morally, legally and politically wrong for the United States and United Kingdom to tread lightly with a terrorist of Posada's credentials and yet continue to fight the war on terror

28th July, 2007

By Dr Kevin Alcena

From the Bahama Journal newspaper

Global and national sense of security has recently been threatened on a scale unprecedented in modern history as nations upon nations continue to fall prey to the sophistication at which terrorists have evolved seemingly beating most nations' security with ease: from the Middle East to Africa to North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. At present, there is no sanctuary around the world where a reasonable sense of security can be assumed, notwithstanding the huge level of funding nations, such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Russia, etc. is placing at the disposal of agencies charged with combating terrorism.

This is evident in the London bombing of July 7th, 2005 and a subsequent one to two weeks later at its underground transportation system. Terrorism had existed centuries ago, reaching a new dimension during the early 1980s led mainly by group supporting Palestinian fight against the Israelis alleged occupation of their homeland. However, terrorism of the 21st century took a new scale with the ability to inflict mass destruction to both lives and property, backed by persons of substantial means.

This was the case in October 6th, 1976, when a Cubana airliner vanished from the skyline after a mid air explosion with 73 people on board within Barbados airspace, instantly killing all passengers. A CIA sponsored terrorist of Cuban nationality, Luis Posada Carriles, was identified as the mastermind. Unfortunately, since the incident, Mr. Luis Posada Carriles has yet to face justice, and has been living in the United States until recently when he was arrested. Sadly his arrest is not in connection with the terrorist bombing of the airliner but for violating the US immigration laws. What a parody, which the US has used as the basis for his detention thus effectively preventing his trial for mass murders of innocent citizens of different nationalities.

The war on terrorism demands swift and prompt justice for all persons involved or suspected of assisting terrorists carry out their vicious acts, yet nothing is being done by the various world leaders, including President George Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the United Nations Secretary General Koffi Annan. This is appalling, considering the level of international cooperation and fight against terrorism lead by President George Bush and Prime Minster Tony Blair.

It is most sad and certainly very sadistic that none of the Caribbean leaders have voiced concern regarding the non-trial or repatriation of Luis Posada Carriles to either Cuba, Venezuela, or Barbados to face trial for the crime he committed against the people of Cuba and the rest of country whose citizens were in the ill-fated flight that took off from Barbados to Cuba.

What kind of discriminatory practices are the world and Caribbean leaders condoning if we consider the aggressive approach adopted by the United States of America and the United Nations when Libya’s citizens bombed an American airliner, Pan Am, over Scotland Lockerbie during the early 1980s. How could the world stand united with the United States in pursing the perpetrators of the Lockerbie bombing for almost three decades, but went to sleep when it was time to pursue the suspected terrorists that bombed Cuba airliners. This is appalling and discriminatory that calls to question the worthiness of the lives of Cubans and other Caribbean citizens that died in that plane bombing.

The world, including all Caribbean countries, has been supportive of the US' fight against terrorism, yet these Caribbean leaders have failed to support the Cuban’s efforts at bringing to justice the terrorists within our midst. Is this because the nation of Cuba is the primary victim? Does it mean the lives of Cubans and Caribbean countries' citizens are secondary to that of the United States and the United Kingdom? This does not demonstrate global justice and fair play.

The trial of Luis Posada Carriles demands immediate action, which the world and particularly the Caribbean countries much support to bring to reality for Luis Posada Carriles to get the justice and punishment he deserves. Sleeping further on this will only weaken the global fight on terrorism and further threaten global peace and security. Terrorism should be prosecuted no matter which country is attacked because the lives of people are sacred and it does not matter which country the person comes from.

If the consequences of terrorism in Caribbean countries, like the one Luis Posada Carriles carried out in Cuba, are allowed without appropriate punishment, it certainly indicates that terrorism is condoned in the region. This is definitely the case since no Caribbean leaders have so far voiced concern and alarm at this episode for the past two decades. We must realise that tourism, as the cornerstone of the Caribbean economy, will be in danger if the act of terrorism is treated like an act of child’s play.

It is morally, legally and politically wrong for the United States and United Kingdom to tread lightly with a terrorist of Posada's credentials and yet continue to fight the war on terror. The world expects the United States and United Kingdom to conduct a proper judicial trial of Luis Posada Carriles to the maximum extent of the law for killing 73 people: any trial short of that will be tantamount to mockery of world standard. The world is watching and the terrorists are watching too.

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