Posada Carriles pleads not-guilty

Campaign News | Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Faces charges of lying under oath

Anti-Castro terrorist Luis Posada Carriles pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he lied to federal investigators in a bid to become a U.S. citizen.

Posada Carriles, 78, an anti-Castro militant who is awaiting deportation, was indicted Jan. 11 on charges that he lied about paying a smuggler to sneak him into Texas by land from Mexico in March 2005. Federal investigators say Posada, a former CIA operative and U.S. Army soldier, really arrived in Florida from Mexico by boat. He was also accused of lying about several other facts in his immigration interview.

Last year, a federal immigration judge ruled that Posada must leave the United States but ordered that he could not be sent to Cuba, where he was born, or Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen. Several other countries, including Mexico, have refused to let him in.

Both the Cuban and Venezuelan governments want Posada returned to the South American country to face charges that he plotted the jetliner bombing.

Posada, a longtime opponent of Fidel Castro who trained for the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, is being held at a jail in New Mexico. He did not ask for bond.

The indictment alleges that although Posada said he paid an unidentified smuggler to sneak him into the U.S. from Mexico by land, he actually was brought into the country by boat by men including Santiago Alvarez, a key benefactor. The indictment also alleges that Posada lied when he denied using a fake Guatemalan passport.

Alvarez and Osvaldo Mitat, who works for Alvarez, also were in court Monday to answer charges that they refused to testify before the grand jury investigating Posada. Both men, who are serving prison sentences for unrelated weapons conspiracy charges in Miami, were granted postponements for their arraignments.


Posada Carriles transferred to New Mexico jail

Havana, Jan 18 (ACN) Luis Posada Carriles, the man responsible for the bombing of a Cuban airliner that left 73 persons dead in 1976, has been moved to a jail in New Mexico after spending a year and a half in a Texas immigration detention center.

"They took him, they moved him yesterday [Tuesday] to the Otero County, N.M., jail," northeast of El Paso, said attorney Felipe DJ Millan in El Paso.

The Otero prison has a capacity to hold 500 inmates. It houses prisoners under the custody of the US Marshals Service who are awaiting transfer to other installations or have pending deportation orders.

Posada appeared in federal court on Tuesday to hear charges that he lied to US immigration agents when he requested to become a naturalized US citizen.

Posada did not enter a plea and the judge ordered him to remain in jail without bond and set a new hearing for Friday in El Paso.

Since his arrest in Miami in May 2005, Posada has been held at an immigration detention center in El Paso. An immigration court refused to deport him to Venezuela, which requested his extradition to face trial for the plane sabotage. The US and Venezuela have a long standing extradition treaty but Washington has failed to honor it.

Posada was indicted on charges that he lied to federal immigration agents, but not for his terrorist acts.

The seven-count indictment came about three weeks before a February 1 deadline for the federal government to justify that Posada should remain in custody. The defendant's lawyers maintain he should be released but the federal prosecutor opposes freeing Posada pending his trial on the grounds that he could escape and is a threat to the community.


Posada Case: the moment of truth has arrived

Statement from the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The international media has reported that on January 11, 2007, the United States government, which for more than 18 months has been protecting international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, has been obliged to indict him on charges of fraud and lying when applying for U.S. citizenship.

The U.S. government has been forced to acknowledge that our Comandante en Jefe was right when he commented in April 2005 on the information published by the Mexican newspaper Por Esto, repeatedly charging that Posada Carriles had been in U.S. territory with total impunity for almost a month, having arrived aboard the Santrina boat from Islas Mujeres, where he had been picked up by Santiago Alvarez Fernández-Magriñá and other terrorists to be taken to the United States.

When the U.S. government was obliged to arrest him on May 17, 2005, after being in U.S. territory illegally for two months but left in peace, the terrorist wove a web of lies by saying he had entered U.S. territory via land, coming from the Mexican city of Matamoros; that he had not been in Cancún or on Islas Mujeres; and that during his transit through Mexico, he had never seen either the Santrina boat or the other terrorists, who - as our president exposed - accompanied him on his trip through Mexico to the United States.

In announcing the indictment on January 11, the U.S. government alleges that Posada engaged in fraudulent behavior and lied, because “in fact, he entered the United States by sea aboard the motor vessel “Santrina”; that he traveled to Cancún and Islas Mujeres; that he boarded the Santrina in Mexico “and traveled thereon to the United States”; and that Santiago Alvarez, Osvaldo Mitat, Rubén López Castro and José Pujol were with him aboard the Santrina during “his passage aboard that motor vessel from Mexico to the United States.”

The U.S. government often forgets that the truth has always been an essential weapon of the Cuban Revolution. Now, almost two years later, it has had no choice but to acknowledge it.

For its part and in response to Cuba’s request for an in-depth investigation of Posada Carriles’ movement through that country, the Vicente Fox government in Mexico officially informed our government on May 25, 2005 that its records did not show the terrorist’s entry into Mexican territory. It also said that the Santrina boat had arrived at Islas Mujeres on March 14, 2005 and affirmed that, after refueling, the boat had left that location with the same crew as when it arrived, without Luis Posada Carriles being among them.

In its January 11 indictment, the U.S. government makes no reference to terrorism. The U.S. government knows very well about and has all the evidence of the countless act of terrorism committed by Posada Carriles, including the mid-flight sabotage of a Cubana Aviation airliner in 1976 and the terrorist attacks on Cuban hotels in 1997, one of which killed Fabio Di Celmo, a young Italian tourist.

For the U.S. government, the only procedure in line with international treaties on terrorism to which it is party and what is established by its own legislation, would have been to describe Luis Posada Carriles from the start as a terrorist and to indict him on charges of terrorism, which would have avoided the long immigration process in El Paso, whose only objective was to protect him in order to prevent him from speaking publicly about the many secrets he knows regarding the empire’s covert and illegal actions and its links with the anti-Cuban mafia, particularly during the period in which the father of the current U.S. president was director of the CIA.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs trusts that this indictment of the terrorist Posada Carriles for minor immigration-related crimes does not become a smokescreen for giving him impunity for the serious crime of terrorism, or a pretext to continue ignoring the application for Posada Carriles’ extradition, presented on June 15, 2005 by the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for his responsibility in the destruction of a Cubana Aviation airliner, and which has yet to receive a response.

The next test for the government of President Bush will be on February 1. That day, it will have to respond to an order by Judge Philip Martínez to justify why Posada Carriles should remain in prison, in line with Section 412 of the U.S. Patriot Act, and to do so it will be obliged to admit that his release is a threat to U.S. security and to the security of the community and any other person.” The moment of truth has arrived. The victims’ families are demanding justice. The Cuban people accompany them in their pain and fully support them. We will now see what action will be taken by the president who named himself the “international leader of the war on terror.”


Havana, January 15, 2007

Translated by Granma International

Posada Carriles is charged

Could face 40 years in jail on immigration charges

A notorious Cuban exile and one-time CIA aoperative sought by Cuba and Venezuela on terrorism charges was indicted Thursday in Texas on seven charges of naturalization violations, the US Department of Justice said.

Luis Posada Carriles, 78, faces up to 40 years in US jail if found guilty on the charges, which include false statements on an application for becoming a naturalized citizen and false statements under oath during a 2006 interview with Department of Homeland Security officials.

A federal grand jury in western Texas indicted Carriles. When he first re-entered the US illegally in 2005, Carrilles requested political asylum.

Venezuela has formally requested the extradition of Posada Carriles so he can be tried for plotting the bombing attack against a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people in 1976. Venezuela alleges Posada Carriles planned the attack from Venezuela.

The indictment in Texas moved Posada Carriles' case into the criminal justice arena, and appeared to provide a way out for immigration officials who in early 2006 said the US intended to move him to a third country.

A US judge ruled in 2005 that he could not be extradited to Venezuela or Cuba because he could face torture there.

Posada Carriles has spent the past decade seeking refuge from a trail of charges across Latin America, stemming from his earliest involvment as an anti-Cuban CIA operative in the 1960s. He was last serving an eight-year sentence in Panama for plotting to kill Castro during an international summit in 2000. After his controversial pardon by the Panamanian government, he went into hiding.

The former CIA operative has confessed to carrying out attacks on tourist facilities in Cuba in 1997 that left at least one person dead. But he denies any involvement in the plane bombing.


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