Miami seizes terrorist arsenal

Campaign News | Thursday, 24 November 2005

Posada's benefactor had log-range weapons

Havana, Nov 24 (Prensa Latina) The seizure of a stockpile of long-range weapons in the possession of Cuban-born counterrevolutionary Santiago Alvarez Magriña, detained since last Saturday in the United States, shows terrorist groups are still alive in Miami.

Federal US authorities have captured Alvarez, linked to terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, mastermind of the mid-air explosion of a Cuban commercial plane that killed 73 people off the coast of Barbados.

Addressing a special public meeting on Wednesday night, Cuban President Fidel Castro recalled how Alvarez organized and financed the sending of mercenaries to the island to detonate explosives at Havana Tropicana Cabaret.

Havana also accuses him of preparing an assassination against the Cuban president on the occasion of the 10th Ibero-American Summit in Panama in 2000.

US police confiscated from Alvarez Magriña several long-range weapons, grenades, thousands of rounds of ammunition and a false passport.

Cuban President Fidel Castro questioned for what the massive arsenal was going to be used, "Who were they going to attack, who were they going to kill, Cuban leaders, Venezuelans?"

The statesman has denounced several times that George W. Bush"s administration applies a double standard regarding terrorism, of which Cuba has been a victim for the past 46 years.

US arrests second accomplice of terrorist Posada Carriles

Miami, 21 Novemeber: The US government has arrested Cuban emigre Osvaldo Mitat, a second Miami ally of exile militant Luis Posada Carriles, his lawyer told the Miami Herald on Monday morning.

Mitat is a close friend of developer Santiago Alvarez, who was arrested at the weekend on federal weapons and passport charges. A source close to the investigation said a third Posada ally has also been detained, but that could not be confirmed immediately.

Mitat and Alvarez, along with three other men, were passengers on the fishing boat Santrina, which the Cuban government maintains was used to smuggle Posada into the U.S. in March. Alvarez and Mitat both told the Herald in interviews earlier this year that they did not bring Posada aboard the boat.

The third person arrested was also a Santrina passenger, the source said.

Mitat's lawyer, Dennis Kainen, said city of Miami police and federal agents arrested Mitat on Friday, just hours before Alvarez was arrested.

"I think they are firearms charges, but I can't tell you with any specificity," Kainen said.

Mitat will appear in federal court along with Alvarez today, Kainen said.

The sudden action against Posada's US allies has shocked some in the Cuban emigre community who feel that US authorities are targeting Posada's associates to appease Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who has stepped up his anti-Posada rhetoric recently.

The source said that FBI agents had interviewed the five passengers of the Santrina over the past several months, and asked them if they had brought Posada to the U.S.

US officials and Posada have maintained that he crossed the Mexican border in a vehicle with a smuggler, who then dropped him off in Houston, where he hopped a Greyhound Bus to Miami.

Washington, Nov 20 (Prensa Latina) US Federal agents have arrested Santiago Alvarez, possibly on charges of people smuggling, a day after Cuban President Fidel Castro decried the US had done nothing to determine how terrorist Posada Carriles entered its territory.

The arrest was made following issuance of a search warrant for Alvarez? Hialeah and Miami offices on Friday, the Nuevo Herald (the Spanish version of the Miami Herald) reported under the banner, "Posada Carriles Benefactor Arrested".

Although the Herald said information on charges were not released by the Southern Florida DAs office, it reported that the notorious terrorist entered the country on a boat belonging to Alvarez, which could mean a smuggling charge.

The arrest also follows this week?s full page ad in The New York Times, which made a plea for US authorities, specifically the White House, not to give refuge or protect Posada Carriles.

The ad was placed by a group of Cuban families and friends of the 73 victims of the bombing of a Cuban airline, which Posada Carriles has admitted masterminding.

The criminal was detained in Miami in May for having entered US territory illegally, and Venezuela has requested his extradition due to his escape from prison in that country while awaiting trial for the airline bombing.

He was taken to an immigration center in El Paso, Texas, where an immigration official ruled he would not be deported to Venezuela.

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