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US government moves to gag terrorist on CIA ties
By Bill Van Auken
Global Research, May 6, 2007
WSWS.org - 2007-05-03
With his trial on immigration charges set for May 11, the US government has
filed a motion in federal court seeking to bar the international terrorist Luis
Posada Carriles from testifying on his role as an agent of the Central
Venezuela has demanded that Posada Carriles be extradited to face charges there
related to his masterminding of a 1976 bombing of a Cuban civilian passenger jet
that killed 73 people. He evaded punishment for the crime‹at the time the worst
single act of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere‹by escaping a Venezuelan
prison in 1985.
Violating international and bilateral treaties, Washington has rebuffed
Venezuela¹s request, charging Posada Carriles instead with minor violations of
US immigration law for entering the US without a visa and lying to immigration
officials. Last month, the terrorist, who had been in federal custody since May
2005, was set free on bail and returned to Miami.
The release has provoked international protests and exposed the hypocrisy of the
so-called ³global war on terrorism² proclaimed by a government that has
sponsored and continues to harbor and protect a wanted terrorist.
The nine-page motion submitted to the federal court in El Paso, Texas, argues
that the relationship between Posada Carriles and the CIA ended 30 years ago and
therefore is irrelevant.
Declassified documents have established that Carriles was recruited as an agent
of the CIA in 1961, was sent into the US Army for a year of training in
demolition and terrorist tactics and remained directly on the CIA payroll at
least until 1967. From 1969 to 1974, he served as a senior officer in the
Venezuelan secret police, DISIP, charged with capturing, torturing and killing
left-wing opponents of the government. During that period he remained an
informant and ³asset² of the CIA in Latin America.
In 1976, he planned the airline bombing, leaving its execution to two employees
of his private detective agency that he set up in Caracas after a change of
government forced him out of the secret police. Just two weeks before the
October 1976 airline bombing, he was involved in another terrorist attack, this
one in the center of Washington. A car bomb killed the exiled former foreign
minister of Chile, Orlando Letelier, and an American aide, Ronni Moffitt.
After his escape from prison in Venezuela, Posada Carriles made his way to El
Salvador, where he became a key operative in the illegal terror war against
Nicaragua financed by the CIA and directed by the network established by the
Reagan administration under the direction of Lt. Col. Oliver North of the
National Security Council. He went on to Guatemala, becoming a government
intelligence officer during a brutal counterinsurgency campaign that claimed
hundreds of thousands of lives.
In the 1990s, by his own admission, Posada Carriles directed a series of
terrorist bombings against hotels and tourist spots in Cuba, killing an Italian
And, in November 2000, he was involved in an aborted attempt to blow up a
conference hall in Panama, where Cuban President Fidel Castro was scheduled to
speak to hundreds of people. He was arrested and jailed for the plot, but then
pardoned by outgoing Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso in 2004, reportedly as
the result of either US pressure or bribes from anti-Castro Cuban exile groups.
In response to the government attempt to quash any public testimony about Posada
Carriles¹s ties to the CIA, the terrorist¹s defense lawyers filed a
countermotion this week, insisting that it was impossible to discuss the
³context² of the case without dealing with their client¹s relation with the
agency. Moreover, the document claimed, this relationship ³lasted for 25 years.²
³The government¹s statement that his service to the United States ended in 1976
is incorrect,² the document said.
The implications of the motion are clear. Posada Carriles was working for the
CIA when he planned and executed the terrorist bombing that murdered 73 people
aboard the Cuban plane as well as the car-bomb assassination in Washington.
Moreover, he remained an agent or ³asset² of the US intelligence agency while
continuing to carry out acts of terrorist and repressive violence in Cuba,
Central America and elsewhere for at least another decade. Both of the 1976
terrorist acts took place when George H.W. Bush, the current US president¹s
father, was director of the CIA.
Declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB153/index.htm in 2005 establish that
the CIA had advance intelligence on the planned airline bombing and that the
FBI¹s attaché in Caracas had repeated contacts with one of the operatives who
placed the bomb on the plane and, just days before the bombing, obtained a visa
for him to travel to the US.
The US government¹s attempt to gag Posada Carriles about his CIA ties and the
countermotion alleging that these connections spanned at least 25 years expose
the real reason that the Bush administration refuses to abide by international
law and extradite him to Venezuela to face trial.
While the administration has offered the incredible justification that Posada
Carriles could face torture in Venezuela‹this from a government that has not
only tortured its own detainees at Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, but
also deliberately sent them to other countries to be tortured‹the real reason is
that such a prosecution would expose Washington¹s role in decades of terrorism
and repression in Latin America.
On April 25, Venezuela¹s ambassador to the Organization of American States,
Nelson Pineda, charged the US with harboring a ³convicted and confessed
terrorist² and demanded that Washington comply with its bilateral extradition
treaty with Venezuela. Pineda read out a statement from the Venezuelan Foreign
Ministry that stated:
³The freeing of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles is the final result of the
maneuver that the government of George W. Bush put in motion to protect him and
with this act it promotes impunity and disgracefully mocks the memory of the
victims of the bombing of the Cubana de Aviación plane that took place in 1976.
³This act of complicity, committed by the sinister American president, seeks to
buy the silence of Posada Carriles, who has for many years been an agent of the
CIA and a pawn of the Bush clan, as the declassified documents of the US
demonstrate and therefore has valuable information about the criminal activities
carried out against the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.²
Responding to these charges, the US alternate representative to the OAS,
Margarita Riva-Geoghegan, ignored Venezuela¹s extradition request, baldly
stating, ³The United States is not harboring Luis Posada Carriles.² She
continued, ³The United States is proceeding with its own national prosecution in
an area where Mr. Posada Carriles has broken US law.²
Such claims are absurd on their face. The charges of murder and terrorism,
substantiated by Washington¹s own declassified documents, clearly take
precedence over the minor immigration infractions that are being used as a
pretense for ignoring the demand for extradition and providing a cover for what
is in reality the harboring and protection of Posada Carriles.
In Cuba, meanwhile, the annual May Day demonstration in Havana was dominated by
signs and slogans demanding the extradition of Posada Carriles as well as the
freeing of the ³Cuban Five,² five Cuban nationals who have been jailed in the US
since 1998. Framed up on conspiracy and espionage-related charges for monitoring
anti-Castro terrorist exile groups based in Miami, the five were convicted in
2001 and sentenced to jail terms ranging from 15 years to life.
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© Copyright Bill Van Auken, WSWS.org, 2007
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