From Socialist Voice, February 2011


US government protects its hired terrorists

On 10 January in El Paso, Texas, a US government farce began with the opening of the trial of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles in federal district court. Instead of facing charges of premeditated murder for the deaths of seventy-three people who died in a Cuban airliner on 6 October 1976 and for other crimes, Posada will be tried only for perjury and immigration fraud.
     The peace organisation ANSWER Coalition, along with the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five and other organisations, was there to demand justice for Posada’s victims. The organisations carried out several actions, which included a People’s Tribunal held on 9 January at the Unitarian Universalist Church and a protest rally on 10 January outside the federal courthouse.
     Luis Posada Carriles, a terrorist paid by the CIA, is responsible for the bombing of Cubana Airlines flight 455 in 1976, which killed seventy-three passengers and crew members. In 1997 Posada directed a series of bombings in Havana hotels by hiring Central American mercenaries to plant the bombs.
     The charges of perjury and immigration fraud are related to Posada’s secret and illegal entry into the United States in late March 2005, and false statements that he made to US immigration officials.
     In 2006 Posada was interviewed by US immigration officials. He was asked whether he had a role in procuring the help of mercenaries who planted bombs in Havana hotels in the summer of 1997. In one of those bombings an Italian tourist, Fabio di Celmo, was killed when shrapnel struck him in the lobby of the Copacabana Hotel in Havana on 4 September 1997.
     Interviewed by a New York Times journalist, Ann Louise Bardach, on 13 July 1998, Posada boasted of his directing role in those bombings. He also gave the names of his financiers in the Cuban-American National Foundation. He notoriously told Bardach about di Celmo’s murder: “I sleep like a baby. That Italian was sitting in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
     Despite Posada’s admission to Bardach over this murder, US prosecutors are using that evidence only to prove that he made false statements to them. Evidence presented to a twice-convened grand jury in Newark, New Jersey, of funds that were wired to Posada for the production of the hotel bombs will also be presented in El Paso, but again only for the perjury charge.
     By trying Posada for perjury and fraud, the US government is hoping that it will escape worldwide condemnation for its refusal to have Posada face real justice and a prosecution for his terrorist murders. The US government is fully aware of his crimes in various Latin American countries, because he carried them out on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency.
     The only reason Posada is even in court is the national and international outrage over the immunity and freedom he continues to enjoy in Miami, where he walks the streets a free man.

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