Monday, May 7, 2007

Towards May 11th

Last week presented some interesting news related to the case of Luis Posada Carriles.

The most surprising was the Miami Herald article revealing that three FBI agents traveled to Havana, Cuba "to interview witnesses, review Cuba's forensic evidence -- including bombing materials -- and visit crime scenes..." concerning the case of Luis Posada Carriles.

That very same day, three leading Cuban-American US Representatives held a press conference condemning the actions of the FBI and the US Justice Department. The three politicians stated that "[t]he only 'evidence' that the terrorist regime in Havana could provide... would be fabricated evidence." The following day the local newspaper Diario Las Americas supported the statements of the three Cuban-American Representatives with an editorial saying:

"Fidel Castro must have had a ball making fun of the tree [sic] FBI agents who went to the Cuban government for information... Unfortunately, when least expected, things like this happen in the United States that have no logical explanation before the nation or international public opinion that knows that the mentioned tyranny rarely tells the truth and even less in matters of this nature."

It seems that Diario Las Americas has little confidence or respect for the information-gathering expertise of the US Department of Justice and its three FBI special agents, and may even doubt their commitment to the security of the nation.

Also on that day (Friday), National Public Radio (by
) followed on the FBI story and reported that the "The Department of Justice has been torn about how to handle [the case of Luis Posada Carriles]." NPR quotes Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, saying that "[t]he FBI going down to Havana looks like an indication of the Bush administration's seriousness... [about holding Posada accountable]."

Meanwhile, in the legal front, Radio Mambi reported early last week that Posada Carriles' lawyer, Arturo Hernandez, filed a motion arguing that his client's history with the CIA is relevant to his immigration trial on the 11th. The US government filed their own motion on the contrary, stating that Luis Posada Carriles and the CIA have not had links for more than 30 years, and that his history with the US is irrelevant to his immigration trial.

By Friday last week, Arturo Hernandez attempted another legal maneuver to have his client's 2006 naturalization interview excluded from trial. Hernandez argues that "U.S. officials entrapped Posada during the two-day naturalization interview." It is in this 2006 interview, according to the Department of Justice, that "Posada allegedly made several false statements regarding his March 2005 entry into the United States, including statements about the transportation routes and methods used, as well as individuals who accompanied him."

This week, US News and World Report (by Liz Holloran) publishes an article that describes the general ambivalent sentiments of the media towards the case of Luis Posada Carriles. Hollaran, just like Temple-Raston (NPR), writes that "Posada has been a political hot potato for a slew of U.S. government agencies." She quotes a local Cuban-American saying:

"All the leaders of the counterrevolution should be living free among us... Yes, some people call it terrorism, and unfortunately, some people have to die. But an armed struggle is an armed struggle... [Posada's] heart is still in the right place... You die with your convictions and beliefs."

Luis Posada Carriles is scheduled to go on trial this Friday (May 11th). Several organizations are planning to hold demonstrations in El Paso, Texas, outside the courthouse that day, and possibly as many days as the trial endures. Additional information can be found here.

Luis Posada Carriles' former immigration attorney, Eduardo Soto, is planning to make a movie of his former client's life. He plans to call it: Made in the USA. How touching.

[Addendum: Democracy Now! has an excellent interview with Peter Kornbluh from the National Security Archives. He responds to the recent FBI trip to Cuba:

"[N]ow we have a situation where the FBI is obviously working again with the Cuban authorities to gather information on the hotel bombings, and if Luis Posada is actually indicted in New Jersey, and other co-conspirators from the New Jersey area, of funding and conducting these attacks against the hotels, I do believe that this will be a very, very important statement by the Justice Department to bring terrorists to justice, frankly, and could be a turning point in the history of US-Cuban relations."]

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