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?
THE "WAR ON TERROR"
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.