May 23, 2005
On May 17, Louis Posada, a right wing Cuban, was arrested by the Homeland Security Department for illegally entering the country. He had been in the country for two months, having entered through Mexico. During that time, a Miami TV station said he was in the country, but a top State Department official said claims he was here were "completely manufactured." He was arrested only after he held a public news conference.
Posada is a long-time CIA agent, hired for the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and trained in the use of explosives. In 1976 he was involved in the bombing of a Cuban plane that killed 73 people. A State Department intelligence brief issued after the attack admitted it. The government of Venezuela, which had citizens killed in the plane attack, held him in prison for nine years during trials and an appeal, until he escaped. He promptly joined with the CIA once again to work with Ollie North's team aiding the armed Contra attacks against the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. Posada never stopped his violent attacks against Cuba. He admitted publicly to arranging bombings of tourist spots in Havana in 1997, one of which killed an Italian tourist.
Unlike the arrest of Arabs accused of terrorism who are today promptly deported to countries claiming a case against them, especially to countries well known for using torture, the U.S. government is handling the Posada case quite differently. Condoleeza Rice said about this request for asylum: "The issues here concern understanding the record of Mr. Posada and then making judgements about what that means about his request." Well, that record is plain: he is a terrorist long in the service of U.S. foreign policy.
Venezuela has an extradition treaty with the U.S., but as its Vice President Jose Vicente said, "It seems that for some there is a good terrorism and a bad terrorism." Or as Bush said after September 11, "If you harbor terrorists, you are terrorists." That's true! And the U.S. government is the chief terrorist in the world.