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.


Robert said...

I am very skeptical of Posada and what may have been his true intentions.

Nevertheless, you failed to mention that Posada was acquitted TWICE in Venezuela of charges that he blew up that Cubana plane back in the 70s.

You talk about criminal evidence, but where's the beef? He was convicted in Panama of a different charge, but the focus here is whether Posada is a bona fide terrorist. He may be, but until the courts determine that he is, he's legally innocent. If you're going to invoke evidence and the rule of law, then you have to acknowledge that fact.

Please note that you don't have to be pro-Posada to admit this, it's just the facts. And you can question the motives for his current detention, but the fact is that he IS behind bars, and very likely to spend the rest of his life there. And, aside from a relative few, nobody seems to be raising a big stink about it in Miami.

Manuel A. Tellechea said...

You have a very curious agenda, Watcher; or perhaps I should say that you have two great obsessions: anti-Castro radio and anti-Castro freedom fighters.

Will we ever see a thread attacking Fidel Castro's regime?

I think not.

pawntorook4 said...

You asked "when will this blog attack Fidel and his regime". I don't think anyone should dictate to the author what and how he/ she should blog, just like you wouldn't like someone to go over to say, I don't know, Babalu Blog, and ask Val when he will cover a certain topic. If some poster went over to ask Val why he didn't cover this incident it would not be appreciated. On more than one accasion Val has clearly stated, he will not speak out against "anti-Castro" groups and individuals. Thats his right, it's his blog. And as for this blogger and his/ her agenda, what is the difference with Mambi Watch and Henry's Herald Watch? I am no fan of Fidel or Chavez but I am also no fan of Mambi or the Herald. Both cover issues and topics with a clear bias. You want to counter this, go start a "Radio Miami/ Progreso Weekly Watch". You get plenty of ammunition to show their bias towards Chavez and Castro.

Mambi_Watch said...

Robert said:

"you failed to mention that Posada was acquitted TWICE in Venezuela of charges that he blew up that Cubana plane back in the 70s."

This is a myth that I will try to touch upon on a later occasion. Tellechea actually once said that Posada Carriles was "thrice found innocent".

The best clarification of Carriles' judicial status concerning the bombing in 1976 has been reported by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs.

They say:

"Posada was first tried before a military tribunal, which acquitted him of the crime of treason. However, a higher military court found that the lower one lacked jurisdiction and annulled the entire case, which was then handed off to the civil courts... Initially, the prosecutors in the civil case declined to try him... [but, later]saw fit to bring homicide charges against Posada, and it was during this period that he escaped from prison....In the final analysis, Posada was in the process of facing prosecution for a major crime at the time when he escaped from Venezuela."

Thus, demands for his extradition to Venezuela still apply.

There is much more to why Posada is seen in the press as "innocent", but read the report.

Mambi_Watch said...