Posada Carriles, an ultra-right Cuban exile who has been on the CIA payroll, is wanted in Venezuela for bombing a Cuban airliner and killing 73 people. The Bushies want to grant him asylum, making a hypocritical mockery of their “war on terror.”
The ANSWER Coalition held a major press conference in D.C. last Friday. These highlights are from their listserv. (The full post should be online shortly.)
Brian Becker spoke of the national campaign launched by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition to put pressure on the Bush administration. “The U.S. government, according to international law, has an affirmative obligation to take Posada, to arrest and extradite him to Venezuela where he has been charged with a grievous crime. The Bush administration might want to sweep this case away and find some third way, but justice requires only one way. Justice requires that Luis Posada Carriles be extradited to Venezuela, to stand trial for the bombing of Cubana Flight 455.”
Not that Bush has ever cared much about international law. However this story is now getting so much media that he may be forced to. And ANSWER has been instrumental in mobilizing on this.
Gloria La Riva presented video documentation of family members of Posada’s victims from the Cubana Airlines Flight 455 plane bombing.
Wayne Smith explained the Bush familyâ€™s links with the right-wing Cuban exile groups. “Jeb Bush was working on the re-election campaign of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and was part of the campaign to allow Orlando Bosch to remain in the United States. George H.W. Bush, then president, approves the pardon and allows Bosch to remain.
“Posada has never expressed any regret of the bombing of the airliner. He continues to say there were no innocent people, he has never renounced terrorism.”
“What is the position of the U.S. government? History repeats itself, but after different circumstances. We are supposedly in an all-out war to combat terrorism. How can we harbor Posada Carriles and maintain any credibility? Bush on September 19, 2001, said anyone who harbors terrorists encourages terrorism. He said on September 23 if you harbor a terrorist you are just as guilty as a terrorist. What is the U.S. government going to do?”
Verheyden-Hilliard from the National Lawyers Guild, continued, “As anyone can recognize, there is no way that Posada can be eligible for asylum by any standards. He would be barred from being granted asylum because the first primary bar rendering a person inadmissible is if a person has engaged in terrorist activities. Without question, Posada meets this standard.”
“Bush’s posture in this situation takes us back to the question, what is a terrorist? â€¦ Posada has bragged about his conduct in murder. He has been linked to the most awful and sick crimes, and yet for the Bush administration, this is not troubling. If Bush is so plainly harboring Posada, he is equally culpable and plainly responsible for the crimes of Posada and his colleagues.”
The US government wants to grant this thug asylum, however opposition to granting Posada asylum has now gone mainstream, and indeed, the story is front page on Google News as I write this. This is precisely what the neocons don’t want – exposure to their slimy hypocritical backing of an admitted terrorist.
Hundreds of thousands of Cubans answered Fidel Castro’s call to file past the American mission early Tuesday in a “March against Terrorism,” demanding that the United States arrest a Cuban exile sought in a deadly airliner bombing three decades ago.