Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Continued Defamation of the Bolivarian Youth (Part 2)

What was Ivan Taylor trying to say?

But, to go further, is Ivan Taylor from Telemundo51 saying that the Bolivarian Youth provoked the attack on January 19th? Clearly, from his story it seems that way. If you compare Taylor's story with others who are saying that the Bolivarian Youth are agitators, they are very similar.

The Babalu Blog yesterday presented a link to the Nuevo Accion (New Action[?]) website, where they repeat that the Bolivarian Youth are "professional agitators." This refers to an "exclusive" by Nuevo Accion by their "investigation department" presenting photos of the Bolivarian Youth with "pruebas graficas" (picture/photo evidence) of their PROFESSIONAL practice "para agitar y sembrar la subversión y el odio"(to agitate and sow subversion and hate). Notice that all of this is based on photos.

What is odd is that the photos by Nuevo Accion are not hard to come by, and no one needs an "investigation department" to find them. The Bolivarian Youth presents plenty of photos of themselves (even the SAME ONES found by Nuevo Accion's "investigation department") on their official website. And the pictures are better quality too! Furthermore, Nuevo Accion calls this "exclusive" as the "desenmascaramiento"(unmasking) of the Bolivarian Youth. Everything that follows the pictures is pure libel and defamation by Nuevo Accion, calling members of the Bolivarian Youth paid agents of other nations, and calling their attorney, Jack Lieberman, a "terrorista verbal"(verbal terrorist). So much for freedom of expression.

All these allegations are based on pictures that are already public, and which show peaceful protests.

Nevertheless, Nuevo Accion today presents Part Two of their "exclusive" on the "professional agitators", and makes calls to report these "subversions" to the federal authorities. (I guess you're supposed to make printouts of these photos and show them to the FBI because they don't have computers.)

Anyway, Ivan Taylor's story for Telemundo51 is not too far from this absurdity. He includes video ("picture evidence") of members of the Bolivarian Youth demonstrating, and engaging with opposing demonstrators at the Orange Bowl , which has NOTHING to do with the attack from Vigilia Mambisa on January 19th on Calle Ocho. Then, Ivan Taylor shows Michael Martinez, member of the Bolivarian Youth, shouting in support of Hugo Chavez, which also has NOTHING to do with the attack on the 19th, but only serves Vigilia Mambisa, Nuevo Accion, and others to defame and discriminate members of the Bolivarian Youth for their politics.

I think Ivan Taylor and Telemundo51 engaged in discrimination. Deliberate or not, its a cause for concern and such reporting should be unacceptable.

[Part 1]

The Continued Defamation of the Bolivarian Youth (part 1)

Ever since the video from January 19th, where members of the Bolivarian Youth are seen being attacked by members of Vigilia Mambisa, many have come out to defend the violent actions of Vigilia Mambisa and its president Miguel Saavedra.

The defamation and slander of the Bolivarian Youth is a typical strategy of discrimination and desperation, but what is fascinating is how even the local media, instead of regular hard-liners, engage in such behavior with little problem.

When Ivan Taylor from Telemundo51, local Spanish-language news, reported on the Bolivarian Youth formally pressing charges at the City of Miami police department (Jan. 23), not only did he present irrelevant issues that would not hinder the investigation of the charges, but sought to stereotype one of the members of the Bolivarian Youth. Ivan Taylor's story ends with video footage of Michael Martinez, from the Bolivarian Youth, at another counter-demonstration where opposing protesters are both engaged in shouting insults and almost physical violence. This took place last year at the Orange Bowl, during elections for the Venezuelan presidency. The video ends with Martinez yelling into the camera: "Viva [Hugo] Chavez!"

I can't say that Ivan Taylor was deliberately trying to defame Martinez, but without question Taylor sought to provide a false image of Martinez. Why didn't Ivan Taylor interview Martinez himself, like the Miami Herald's Casey Woods did? Or attempt to follow up? Why give an impression of an individual from ONE video of a protest that got ugly? I'm sure there's plenty of video of the Bolivarian Youth peacefully protesting at other places because they are very active. And, does it matter that Martinez supports Hugo Chavez?

[Part 2]

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Two Faces of Carlos Alberto Montaner (Part 3)

At the 2003 National Summit on Cuba, William Ratliff said: "Some embargo supporters say lifting the embargo now would reward Castro for his stubbornness, even for his recent repression. No. A bad policy is a bad policy and should be changed." The fact that the embargo is near the half-century mark is a good indicator of its failure, even so at fifteen years since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Also in 2003, a senior fellow from the Hoover Institution, Larry Diamond, commented on the US embargo towards Cuba and said that "[w]e have tried this strategy for 40 years in Cuba, and all it has done is impoverish the people and entrench their repressive rulers. Precisely in order to generate the social and economic changes that will finally undermine communist rule in Cuba, we should lift the embargo and promote as much exchange and interaction with that country as possible."

This is the basic position of the MAJORITY of libertarians.

So, why does Montaner differ with them, and Milton Friedman (the "true revolutionary"), when it comes to US policy towards Cuba when, according to the most basic principles of free markets, the government should not force itself upon free trade. Even in Montaner's own words, "the freest way to vote may be precisely with money." Then why doesn't he let American's vote with their wallets when it comes to Cuba?

Is Carlos Alberto Montaner really a friend of freedom?

Maybe not.

[Part 1]

The Two Faces of Carlos Alberto Montaner (Part 2)

First, it should be made clear that the MAJORITY of libertarians, of which Friedman was a champion, DISAGREE with the US embargo towards Cuba. You can go to any website of the major libertarian organizations and do a search on "cuba embargo," and find an article that condemns the almost-half-century policy.

Milton Friedman, according to his biography, "was a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006"(until he died). The Hoover Institution is vehemently against the US embargo towards Cuba. They have written several reports about the long-standing US policy. Do a "cuba embargo" search on their website and see for yourself.

Even outside of the Hoover Institution, Milton Friedman was a member of the advisory council for the group "Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba," which opposed and continues to oppose many other restrictions that US policy places on Americans concerning links to Cuba.

Montaner, on the other hand, is totally supportive of the US embargo. In 2003, Montaner wrote a piece titled "Keep U.S. embargo on Cuba" (October 2). Just like his Friedman piece, this article is also reactionary. Montaner writes as a rebuttal to the 2003 National Summit on Cuba, which took place in Miami that year. Montaner writes that the Summit included "strategists certain that fluid relations between Washington and Havana will accelerate the end of communism." It just so happens that some of these "strategists" were libertarians. One was even from Friedman's own Hoover Institution, William Ratliff, a research fellow for the Latin region. In his article, Montaner clarifies his support for the embargo with the argument that "every time Castro strengthens his power, he invests those resources to retract the few morsels of economic freedom granted to the people during the periods of deep crisis". But he gives no examples in his article.

[Part 3]

The Two Faces of Carlos Alberto Montaner (Part 1)

Last November, the Miami Herald printed an op-ed by Carlos Alberto Montaner. The piece was about the recent passing of the famous economist Milton Friedman. Montaner called Friedman "the true revolutionary," an obvious reactionary statement to those who Montaner believes are "[t]he enemies of freedom... The social engineers. The collectivists who are lovers of humanity but adversaries of individuality... Those arrogant clods who are full of certitude" and tell you how you should live your life.

Without question, Montaner had a group in mind when writing that part. But, who really is the enemy of freedom? Or, rather, who is really a defender of it?

I was surprised by Montaner's piece because, unlike Montaner, Milton Friedman, the exalted libertarian, had a very different approach to Cuba, a nation that Montaner highlights often.
(Notice that Montaner began his Friedman eulogy with an example from Cuba.)

Let's make it clear. Milton Friedman, the "true revolutionary," did not share Montaner's views on Cuba, specifically the US embargo towards Cuba (approaching the fifty year mark). No doubt, these two would agree that socialism has brought despair and destruction to the Caribbean island, but they did not agree on how "freedom" would/should come to Cuba.

So, if Milton was the "true revolutionary," then why would Montaner disagree with him on this issue?

Let's review their positions.

[Part 2]

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Into the Fires of Mambi

Will Miguel Saavedra become a sacrificial lamb to save the image of hard-line exiles?

This morning, on her Radio Mambi show, Lourdes D'Kendall (real last name is Bertot) made some interesting comments about what happened between the Bolivarian Youth and Vigilia Mambisa. The issue came up when a caller tried to justify the attack on the Bolivarian Youth, but D'Kendall made it clear that while she feels the Bolivarian Youth was guilty of provocation, she still insisted that all citizens are protected by the US Constitution to protest publicly. Furthermore, D'Kendall became more outraged as the topic got rolling and described those who attacked the Bolivarian Youth as "chusma" (riff-raff).

D'Kendall made it clear that she was opposed to the actions of that day, but also said that she didn't know the details of the whole story, such as if Saavedra was provoked or not. I find her ignorance on the story suspicious because other programs on Radio Mambi, such as the one right before hers, have commented about it and the station has received many calls about it too. Also, for her to be uninformed is strange because her show is all about local happenings.

But, its possible. She may be deliberately dismissing the whole story, and waiting for the heat to settle. But, today she not only called those who attacked the Bolivarian Youth as "chusma" but also was upset at how the Cuban-American community "se deja dominar por esa chusma" (allows itself to be dominated by that riff-raff). And, just when I thought she was through, she states that riff-raff like that "se han infiltrado aqui" (have been infiltrated here). Wow. Yet, she doesn't know the details.

I'm thinking that Lourdes D'Kendall is preparing her listeners (and some in the Cuban-American community) for an eventual abandonment of members of Vigila Mambisa. The tragedy here is that Vigilia Mambisa has been a huge supporter of D'Kendall's public campaigns, such as supporting the book ban on "Vamos a Cuba" and a recall of Rudy Crew, superintendent of the Miami-Dade school board. Yet, given D'Kendall's arrogance and bigotry, she may not care at all about Saavedra and making him a convenient scapegoat.

I find it tragic though. Saavedra and Vigilia Mambisa worked so hard for the book ban and other causes at the school board, which Lourdes D'Kendall favors wholeheartedly, to be dumped by so-called friends. Its unlikely that D'Kendall is totally ignorant of what happened at the Jan. 19th demonstration, when in fact Saavedra and his group are very involved in local politics and have called D'Kendall's show before.

One time, I actually called during D'Kendall's show to comment. This was on the day after the school board voted to ban "Vamos a Cuba". Other callers were rejoicing at the decision because D'Kendall had dedicated plenty of time in support of the ban. I called in and, when I finally got picked, mentioned that WSVN7 local news had an online poll last night where 60% voted in disapproval for the ban.

D'Kendall went defensive and said that those who voted online were "misinformed". I asked "what do you mean misinformed?" She ignored the question and said that the real vote shall come in future elections for the school board members.

Lourdes D'Kendall, if you listen to her many commentaries, has little respect for the public. She supports elections, but if you vote wrong, then you are "misinformed". In her world there are many dumb people.

Her bigotry may be the hand that pushes Saavedra into the volcano.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bolivarian Youth Press Charges

If someone got in your face and said "maricón" and then hit you, would you press charges?

Radio Mambi, in the afternoon, reported that the Bolivarian Youth was holding a protest at the City of Miami Police Department. This was not the case. They, and many other supporters, marched to the police department to file formal charges against members of Vigilia Mambisa. [Video available here, courtesy of CBS4 News.]

This evening, both Telemundo51 and Noticias23 (Univision) report that members of the Bolivarian Youth formally pressed charges for being attacked on Jan. 19th, at a pro-Luis Posada Carriles demonstration.

Miguel Saavedra, of Vigilia Mambisa, insists that he and his members were provoked by the Bolivarian Youth, and laments about what happened. Saavedra also insists that the Bolivarian Youth did not have a permit for public demonstration.

Mike Martinez, of the Bolivarian Youth, says that these points are irrelevant to the charges, and that their right to publicly protest were violated. The Bolivarian Youth filed charges with their attorney by their side, Jack Lieberman of the Peace and Justice Network.

The City of Miami police department will now conduct investigations and decide if criminal charges will be placed on Vigilia Mambisa members.

It doesn't look good for Saavedra, and others. There is plenty of evidence against them.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]

Monday, January 22, 2007

Bias at 11

Bias - "to influence in a particular, typically unfair direction"

Analysis of three television news reports on January 19, 2006, at 11pm. The story covered was the January 19 demonstration at the Bay of Pigs memorial calling for the release of Luis Posada Carriles, which was planned from noon to 6pm.

None of the reporters stated that the members of the Bolivarian Youth (counter-demonstrators) were attacked, even after the video clearly shows that they were. Instead, the reporters used words like "feet start flying" and "the screaming and hitting... became the main story" to imply that BOTH sides engaged in violence. This is inaccurate. None of the reporters make efforts to identify those that initiated the attack.


That evening, I noticed only three local stations had produced a story for the 11pm news concerning the demonstration: Noticias23(Univision), CBS4 News, and Telemundo51. It looks like NBC6, WSVN7(FOX), and Local10(ABC) news did not cover the story, it does not appear on their respective websites. I did not check to see if MegaTV or America Teve covered the demonstration that evening, but their websites do not show the story.

NOTICIAS 23 (Univision)

Gloria Ordaz reports with a basic description of a peaceful protest which is then disrupted by violence. Ordaz includes the video of the attack (same video from CBS4) but doesn't identify who attacked, and does not include narration during the video. Ordaz interviews Miguel Saavedra, leader of Vigilia Mambisa, for his side of the story. Saavedra says: "they [counter-demonstrators] offended us... they provoked us." Ordaz also interviews local activist Ramon Saul Sanchez, member of the Movimiento Democracia, who appropriately describes the attack: "This is what occurs in Cuba."


Claudinne Caro spends more time on the "peaceful" demonstration and Carriles, and briefly mentions the attack. She also does not identify the attackers, but even more, she does not include the video of the attack as part of her story. Instead, like Ordaz, Caro gets a description of events from Miguel Saavedra. Saavedra says that a fight did take place, but doesn't say who started. Interestingly, Saavedra's recollections are suspicious. He says that the counter-demonstrators held up a sign that said "abajo terrorismo, abajo Posada Carriles, terrorista" (down with terrorism, down with Posada Carriles, terrorist). The sign actually said: "Terroristas a la Carcel" (Terrorists go to jail). I suspect Saavedra was too angry to care what the sign really meant, or was trying to justify his own violent actions.


Evan Bacon also begins with a standard description of a peaceful demonstration interrupted by violence. Bacon includes the video of the attack, in which Bacon provides narration and identifies Saavedra as part of the violence, but never identifies who started the fight. Oddly, Bacon DOES use the word "attack"(twice!), BUT for his online story, not for broadcast. Online, Bacon reports: "the Posada supporters... started attacking" and "the Posada demonstrators... began attacking." The 11pm story and the online story are of very different tones.

None of the three 11pm stories use the word "attack", or identify who initiated the fight, despite the fact that there is video evidence showing who did. Two reports use Miguel Saavedra's description of events, and make no effort to get an opposing viewpoint from several eyewitnesses. All stories inaccurately describe the violence with ambiguity, suggesting equal violence from both sides. Yet another lesson of local media bias concerning the issue of Cuba.

The issue of Cuba is perhaps the most influential and controversial in South Florida. The local media should be reporting, to their best efforts, any story that may have a large impact on the community. The case of Luis Posada Carriles should be covered intensely for reasons that he may be released some day, in spite of international condemnation of his history. The social consequences could be grave, locally, nationally and internationally.

Concerning Carriles, the local media, to my recollection, have not interviewed any serious source that clearly labels Luis Posada Carriles as a terrorist. Local reporters only skim the evidence, and prefer interviews with Carriles supporters.

Concerning the Bolivarian Youth, yesterday on MY33 news and today in the Miami Herald, they finally are being identified as the victims of the attack. Why weren't they identified as victims on the 19th, at 11pm after the video had already circulated?

Why did Ordaz and Caro settle on ONE side of the story? Isn't this a break with basic journalist principles?

Why were reporters, at 11pm, describing the fight with ambiguity? Why did Evan Bacon use the word "attack" online instead?

For those familiar with the political environment here in South Florida, the answer to these questions may be obvious.

Local reporters need to be more courageous.

Eyes Now on Vigilia Mambisa

Aldo Nahed, for the Miami Herald, is reporting that the Bolivarian Youth is planning to file charges on Miguel Saavedra, leader of Vigilia Mambisa, and others involved on the attack this past Friday (January 19th, 2006).

Now we wait to see if any of the Cuban-American leadership condemns the actions of Saavedra and Vigilia Mambisa.

A member of the Bolivarian Youth, Micheal Martinez, has also posted his side of what happened. He says "As we rode away, we realized how much our freedoms were kicked, punched, shoved and spat upon by this unruly mob of fascists. "

Also, check the Miami Herald link, which has two additional links: one to the unedited video of the attack and a Sunday story by MY33, courtesy of CBS4 News. Kudos to CBS4 and the Miami Herald for following up the story.

Finally, for those who are interested in who the Bolivarian Youth are, you can check their website or read a November 2006 article from FIU's student paper, the Beacon.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Only in Miami

In Miami, the case of Luis Posada Carriles is controversial. Let me try to explain why.

Yesterday, the infamous Orlando Bosch, co-conspirator with Luis Posada Carriles, wrote an op-ed piece for El Nuevo Herald. He wrote an entire piece on how Luis Posada Carriles is being held in federal prison for no other reason than US fear of the backlash from Cuba and Venezuela. This argument seems to be the most popular at the moment for pro-Carriles advocates, but it is a false argument. Check an earlier post for the reason why.

Anyway, Bosch highlighted an interesting parallel about his case and Carriles'. Bosch mentioned that he himself was held in federal detention after he arrived into the US in 1988, for reasons of national security (it was known then that Bosch was suspected of terrorism). Yet, unlike Luis Posada Carriles, Orlando Bosch was set free on July of 1990, after 29 months in prison. There's an important point of distinction here.

Those who have done their homework know the players that pulled the political strings to release Bosch. In 1990, with suspicious coincidence, the Cuban-American political leadership had strong ties to the administration, this time with Papa Bush. And, Jeb Bush was the key link in the eventual release. A 2001 government list titled "Examples of Controversial Pardons by Previous Presidents" written by the Committee on Government Reform for the U.S. House of Representatives, stated that:

"In 1990, the Bush Justice Department granted a parole to Orlando Bosch after being lobbied by Jeb Bush, the son of the President."

So why can't the same strings be pulled for Carriles?


If not for Baby Bush's so-called "War on Terror", Luis Posada Carriles would most likely be a free man.

As I stated before, the hesitancy of the US administration to free Carriles originates largely from the 2005 Ibero-American Summit in Salamanca, where the 19 nations of the Latin region stood together, calling for the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela. The hypocrisy of the US "War on Terror" was showing. Following this event, the US cannot release Carriles into the streets without significant backlash from a region which is already a concern. That's the reality.

So, now the US indicts Carriles for some petty crime of fraud (I agree with Carriles' lawyer, Eduardo Soto, on this point) and buy themselves some time. Hopefully, it is only until more serious evidence is uncovered in the investigations in New Jersey for money transfers to Carriles in 1997, used for the hotel bombings of that year.

Yet here in Miami, the Cuban-American political leadership is still quite adamant for Carriles' release, as it was for Bosch's release. The general population in Miami-Dade county also shares a sympathetic bond on the issue of Cuba, where Cuban-Americans make up about 50% of Hispanics, and have a firm grip on local politics. This powerful position in the community influences the local media, and allows them to paint Carriles with broad brush strokes, where all criminal evidence towards Carriles is ignored or diluted to the point of irrelevance and annoyance. Thus, Carriles is a patriot, and Armando Perez-Roura can praise his past activities as righteous and noble on his radio station, which is one of the most powerful AM stations, transmitting at 50,000 watts everyday, and one of the most listened to.

And, that's why on July 31, 2006, George W. Bush, while visiting Miami, only gave TWO broadcast interviews on his trip: one for FoxNews (surprise) and one for Radio Mambi.

Luis Posada Carriles came THIS close to being a free man.

That's Miami for you.

The Attack on the Bolivarian Youth

Yesterday, several anti-Castro groups planned a demonstration at the Bay of Pigs memorial on Calle Ocho, from noon to six. They specifically gathered to protest the recent indictments of Luis Posada Carriles, and to call for his immediate release. The day for the demonstration was repeatedly publicized on Radio Mambi by its regular callers (of which they have many). Oddly enough, the date and time for the protest was also publicized in the Miami Herald, the day before in a related article [not online].

As the demonstration began, a group of counter-demonstrators also showed up. Now, its important to state that there was only ONE video of the events that happened: that of WFOR CBS4 news, who also provide an unedited version online. After having seen the video and read several news reports of the incident, there were three anti-Posada protesters who were attacked by about another three to four pro-Posada protesters. The only provocation here was supposed chanting and holding up a large sign, that was later ripped up by the pro-Posada crowd. The anti-Posada group was attacked and chased away and have so far not filed any complaints to the police.

From the pictures and videos, the group that was attacked were members of the Bolivarian Youth and the attackers were members of Vigilia Mambisa, headed by Miguel Saavedra. The Miami New Times had a pretty good summary of Vigilia Mambisa in 2000 where they wrote that "[s]ome disapprove of Mambisa's street-theater tactics, labeling them emotional rather than practical... Other critics allege he and his band are paid provocateurs."

I have seen the Bolivarian Youth before when they had another counter-demonstration at the Orange Bowl for the Venezuelan Presidential election. There was video for that demonstration too, which also came close to becoming violent. They are a very politically active group who support many national and international causes.

I don't think anyone would want to characterize these two groups as violent, rather it seems that their deep differences on many issues requires a much more tolerant attitude.

Yet, only in Miami, where there is virtually little tolerance on the issue of Cuba, can such events occur. I place a lot of blame on the local media for their blind obedience and intimidation to the powerful Cuban-American political leadership, which continues to defend Luis Posada Carriles. The reports (so far) have not even made any attempt to contact the Bolivarian Youth, who were chased away before they could say anything to the media, and the incident is described as a "scuffle" or "clash", when in reality it was an attack.

Now, here's a way to make a judgment about some of the sentiments of the those who say that anti-Castro groups are generally peaceful and saintly. The video clearly shows the head of Vigilia Mambisa, Miguel Saavedra, chasing and hitting (at one point with his megaphone) a retreating member of the Bolivarian Youth.

Will Saavedra, or Vigilia Mambisa, be publicly condemned for their actions? Will anyone from the Cuban-American leadership (who know Saaverdra well) come out publicly to condemn his attack on the Bolivarian Youth?

Time will tell. Yet, I think some of us know what is likely to happen.

The Radio Mambi Spin

That day (Jan. 19, 2007) Radio Mambi had a reporter scheduled to make a live report from the demonstration at the Bay of Pigs memorial on Calle Ocho. Their afternoon news program called "El Grande del Mediodia" went live on the scene just as the attack had ended. Its a good lesson to see how they reported the situation.

They had many sound bites of pro-Posada people saying that the counter-demonstrators didn't deserve to be there and that they were shouting pro-Bin Laden chants. Most likely (but not reported anywhere) the Bolivarian Youth were shouting "Bin Laden" in reference to descriptions made by the Venezuelan government calling Luis Posada Carriles "the Osama bin Laden of Latin America."

By 5pm, when Radio Mambi does another news program called "El Grande de las 5", they had a much more elaborate report about the incident. They said that the counter-demonstrators (the Bolivarian Youth) had caused "una provocacion" (a provocation) and went on to describe them as "dialogueros" (those who want a dialogue with the Cuban government) and as a group that "trabajan y sirven el gobierno Castrista" (works for and serves the Castro government).

This is a lesson on how propaganda works. Radio Mambi doesn't specify how the counter-demonstrators engaged in "provocation." Listeners are to fill in the gap and assume that
the violence was justified.

Radio Mambi vilifies and slanders a group that they obviously do not care to identify. It is best for the listener to assume that the counter-demonstrators got what they deserve. I doubt the members of the Bolivarian Youth work for the Castro government, but Radio Mambi wouldn't care to bring any evidence, and obviously being called a "dialoguero" is a label used to distract from the main issue: that the Bolivarian Youth was attacked.

This is Radio Mambi. Always a lesson on how NOT to report the news.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Pride of Perez Roura

Today's Miami Herald reports that the patriot/terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Texas (finally). Anyway, Radio Mambi's general director Armando Perez Roura found this decision as an "abuso"(abuse) and quoted Carriles' lawyer, Eduardo Soto, saying that the charges are "absurdo"(absurd). Furthermore, Radio Mambi's morning show, "La Noticia y Usted/En Caliente," had a spokesperson from the "formerly" militant Cuban-American exile group Alpha 66, stating their full condemnation of the recent indictment.

In the Mambi morning show, Enrique Encinosa, one of the three hosts of the political talk program, said that the decision of the grand jury, and its absurdity, lies in an earlier US statement pointing out that releasing Carriles from prison would pose a problem with foreign relations. Afterwards, Encinosa equated this decision with the likes of being coerced by Libya or some other unfavorable nation. But this is not the case.

International pressure DID and continues to play a part in this case, but it does not originate from ONE country, like Encinosa's inaccurate example.

In October of 2005, at the 15th Ibero-American Summit, virtually ALL the countries from the Latin region condemned US policy towards Cuba, specifically asking that Luis Posada Carriles be tried and extradited to Venezuela. That's 19 nations, not one.

I will produce in the future the statements made by Alpha 66 this morning.

For now, I will leave you with what Armando Perez Roura had to say about Luis Posada Carriles, and another defendant (Santiago Alvarez) who was indicted yesterday.

[From December 22, 2006 - La Noticia y Usted/En Caliente (Morning Show)]

Armando Perez Roura:

"...we have compatriots whom we love and admire much, in the prisons of the United States. I want to tell you what I told Santiago [Alvarez] and Luis [Posada Carriles] yesterday, so the message can be heard by all, absolutely all of those who are suffering in prison for trying to and using their courage to, in all senses, liberate Cuba:

"We are proud of you, we are proud of you. [Or: We have pride because of you.]

"You are the reserve [military or reservoir of good will] that we have, so that one day not far, we can return without bowed heads before a regime that has destroyed our motherland."