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Posada Carriles Case Exposes Bush Double Standard

Between the Lines Q&A
A weekly column featuring progressive viewpoints
on national and international issues
under-reported in mainstream media
for release June 6, 2005
http://www.btlonline.org/btl060305.html

Posada Carriles Case Exposes Bush Administration's Double Standard on Terrorism

- Interview with Jane Franklin, author of "Cuba and the United States: A Chronological History," conducted by Denise Manzari

Listen in RealAudio:
http://www.btlonline.org/carriles060305.ram
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On May 17, Cuban exile Luis Posada-Carriles was detained by customs and immigration police near Miami and transported to the former Homestead Air Force Base in south Florida, reportedly flown there by the Department of Homeland Security.

Posada, 77, an anti-Castro militant seeking asylum, entered the United States illegally through Mexico in March of this year, making his way to Miami. The Bush administration claimed ignorance of his whereabouts, despite a formal asylum petition submitted by Posada.

The Justice Department has rejected Venezuela's request for the arrest of the Cuban exile wanted for an airplane bombing as a preliminary to his extradition. The Venezuelan government charges that Luis Posada Carriles, along with Orlando Bosch, masterminded the bombing of Cubana Airlines Flight 455, which exploded shortly after takeoff from Barbados on Oct. 6, 1976, killing 73 people.

Posada Carriles, who has only been charged with entering the U.S. illegally, was planning to leave the U.S. just prior to his arrest. In Havana, more than a million Cubans had marched past and protested at the U.S. Interests Section there May 17, demanding Posada Carriles' arrest by the U.S. government.

Jane Franklin is the author of "Cuba and the United States: a Chronological History." She spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about Luis Posada's terrorist activities and the double standard the Bush administration exhibits in its fight against terrorism.

JANE FRANKLIN: He was active for the administration of the dictatorship Gen. Fulgencio Battista before 1959. He was a sales a representative for Firestone in Havana. He was in the CIA or working with the CIA by 1960 in Havana and was found out. He left Cuba in February '61 just prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion and was training for the Bay of Pig invasion, but his particular unit never got to the island. So then he engaged with Alpha 66 primarily and raids against Cuba for years, many raids. The failure of the 1961 invasion led to another plan to invade, Operation Mongoose. And Posada was active all through those years. Now as revealed later in FBI and CIA documents, CORU (Commanders of the United Revolutionary Organizations) was soon involved in more than 50 bombings and quite likely, political assassinations. And one of the people that was working closely with CORU, was Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles who planted a bomb at the Costa Rica Cuba Cultural Center in San Jose, Costa Rica on July 1, 1976. Now this was a few months before the plane was blown out of the air. Posada by then had been working with the CIA since at least 1959.

Now, there were many bombings that year, and of course, that culminated in the 1976 Oct 6. bombing of the Cubana civilian jetliner killing all 73 people aboard, including the Cuba's Fencing Team of a young group of Cuban, and a number of people from Guyana and North Korea. Posada had trained at Fort Benning, which is a notorious training spot. When that whole thing was exposed, if you remember, the plane was shot down, and Eugene Hasenfuss identified and Felicia Rodriguez, Posada, and led to the Iran Contra hearings, in which Felix Rodriguez testified that he had brought Luis Posada to el Salvador and so on, and was praised for that by congressional members, who should have known better already. After that was all exposed, Luis Posada drifted around Central America doing one terrorist action after another. For instance, he was thrown out of Honduras at one point, for allegedly setting off 41 bombs in one year. That's almost a bomb a week.

He went to el Salvador again and in 1997, he engineered, masterminded and paid for, with of course, money from the Mafia in Miami, a bombing campaign in Cuban hotels aimed at the Cuban tourist industry. There were about 11 or 12 bombings, and Italian Fabio di Celmo was killed by a flying piece of shrapnel in the Copacabana Hotel. Cuba intelligence arrested the people who had set the bombs. It turned out they were el Salvadorans paid a $1,000 per bomb by Luis Posada, who was in el Salvador. He admitted all of that to the New York Times in those articles in 1998. He bragged about them. He sent more people, Guatemalans this time, with bombs to Havana in 1998. This kind of thing was going on constantly. He was also trying to fascinate people, whenever Fidel Castro went to any foreign capital for any meeting, Posada and his cohorts would try to kill Fidel Castro.

The other possibility that Cuba has brought up, is giving him over to an international tribunal for trial. But of course, Venezuela is really demanding that the extradition treaty with the United States -- and they've had it since 1922 -- be recognized. This is a state-to- state relationship that the United States should honor.

Posada right now is being held in El Paso, Texas. He has a hearing coming up on June 13. Venezuela is asking -- demanding, actually -- his extradition within 60 days or Venezuela says that if it is not done in 60 days, they will re-evaluate their relationship with the United States, and perhaps break diplomatic relations. So, it's a serious situation for the United States since Venezuela provides a lot of oil to this country.

"Cuba and the United States: a Chronological History" is published by Ocean Press. For more information on the Posada case, visit www.disinfo.com or www.bardachreports.com

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Denise Manzari is a producer of Between The Lines, which can be heard on more than 35 radio stations and in RealAudio and MP3 on our website at http://www.btlonline.org. This interview excerpt was featured on the award-winning, syndicated weekly radio newsmagazine, Between The Lines for the week ending June 3, 2005. This Between The Lines Q&A was compiled by Denise Manzari, Anna Manzo and Scott Harris.

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