The Miami - El Paso Connection


“My conduct as a restless combatant has made me a main figure in many political and military events. These circumstances…turned me into a protagonist of deeds which had worldwide significance involving organizations and countries, politicians and judges, spies and investigators, individuals and families.” (Luis Posada Carriles, Preface to his autobiographical book, The Warrior’s Roads)

With such a public testimony, could the US government dare to chance its luck on one of its most faithful servants, with a full knowledge of undercover political intrigues? The refusal to extradite such a notorious terrorist to Venezuela is not the work of a modest administrative employee from the El Paso Immigration Service, Texas. This decision has its very roots in Washington.

The White House will use any means to prevent putting Posada at the Venezuelan Court’s disposal. His confessions could unleash a chain of international scandals of unforeseen political consequences, either for the US executive or for its security institutions, closely linked with plots which according to Posada’s own words, “ are still undisclosed in all their dramatic intrigue and unraveling.”

The move to impede the confessed killer’s deportation could not be more infamous. At the defense’s suggestion, Judge Abbot gave Posada Carriles protection under the International Agreement against Torture, in spite of Posada’s record of being a former chief of special operations (killings and torture) of the Directory of Intelligence and Prevention Services during Rafael Calderas’ regime in Venezuela. Moreover, officers from the Homeland Security Department declared during the migratory hearing that they do not have any evidence to prove that Posada would be tortured in a Venezuelan jail.

Deportation of the terrorist to a third country is next to impossible. Even though the servile attitudes of some Central American governments before the US Empire are well known, the US would not run the risk of sending him to a third nation –it would cost the US huge sums of money to protect one of the most sought after fugitives of justice. Posada’s criminal past has made him enemies everywhere.

His cohort, Orlando Bosch, has already commented about this on TV. He told a Miami television program that Posada’s possible deportation to a third country would never happen. And he seems to be right; so far the treatment and protection given by US authorities to Posada –since his veiled arrival to Miami aboard the Santrina shrimp boat in March— has widely demonstrated this.

To add insult to injury, while the whole ordeal has taken place, the 29th anniversary of the Barbados tragedy has come and gone while its mastermind remains free.

The White House’s position on the Posada case is one of best examples of the US’ double standard in its so-called war against terrorism, but it’s not the only one. US authorities recently requested that the Atlanta Court of Appeals review its decision –with a full panel of all twelve appeal judges— that overturned a Miami ruling in the case of the Cuban five.

This maneuver seems to be little more than a stall tactic, aimed at keeping the five Cubans in jail even longer. From a legal standpoint, it will be very difficult to change the unanimous verdict of the Atlanta Appeals Court –although one can never rule out political maneuvering that could see the White House look to friends in 11th Circuit Panel or even the Supreme Court to fulfill its old obligations to the influential ultra-rightwing groups in southern Florida.

In the face of Washington’s tricks, both in El Paso and Miami, that protect terrorism, the Cuban people and honest people the world over continue the struggle for justice.