Cuba group takes out ad against Posada

Campaign News | Saturday, 19 November 2005

Cuba group takes out New York Times ad against Posada

The campaign against Cuban emigre terrorist Luis Posada Carriles reached a pinnacle on Friday when the New York Times published a full-page advertisement from a Cuba-based group urging the US government not to harbour him.

The expensive ad inside the A section, framed as an open letter to the families of the victims of 9/11, stresses that there should be no safe harbour for Posada.

"October 6, 1976, was our September 11," said the letter, referring to the bombing of a Cubana De Aviación jetliner that killed 73 people. "Help us keep a terrorist like Luis Posada Carriles, admitted murderer, from gaining protection and impunity in the country where so many people still cry for the victims of the terrorist act that brought down the twin towers on September 11."

Posada's case has put Washington in the uncomfortable position of being accused of harbouring a terrorist even as it wages a global war on terrorism.

The letter was attributed to the "Committee of Families of the Victims of the Cuban Airliner Bombing in Barbados." The website mentioned is based in Cuba.

But the plea may have come too late.

In September, a US immigration judge decided that Posada won't be deported to Venezuela or Cuba, where he is wanted for terrorist acts, because in the face of all the facts, the judge decided Posada was likely to be tortured there. United States policy forbids deporting people to a country where they would likely face torture.

One of Posada's lawyers, Matthew Archembeault, said the letter was "merely propaganda."

Archembeault said the US government is trying to find a third country to send Posada, but so far has come up empty. Posada and his lawyers want the government to free him.

Posada, who was detained in South Florida May 17, gained Venezuelan citizenship in the early 1970s when he was a top officer in the Venezuelan state police, DISIP. Venezuela is still asking that he be extradited for trial on charges of masterminding the airliner bombing, but that is unlikely to happen.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has threatened to "reconsider our diplomatic ties" with the United States if Washington doesn't extradite Posada.

Posada escaped from a Venezuelan prison while awaiting trial.

Still, the letter blames him.

"Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch Avila, two of the most dangerous terrorists of the western Hemisphere, are responsible for this monstrous act known as the Barbados crime, as well as other crimes," the letter said. "they have shamelessly acknowledged the crimes without remorse."

Posada admitted to the New York Times in 1997 to organizing the bomb attacks on hotels and restaurants in Cuba in 1997 that killed an Italian national.

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