By: Patricia Cáceres
The text presented at the ELAM contributes to the political struggle for the Five.The text presented at the ELAM contributes to the political struggle for the Five. Photo: AINZoom
Cuban based Canadian journalist Jean-Guy Allard presented his book Posada Carriles - Four Decades of Terror at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana as part of awareness campaigns to free five Cubans unjustly held in the United States.
''We should all feel great respect and admiration for our Five Heroes. Today’s revolutionary should dedicate some time to think about what can be done from Cuba, or anywhere else in the world to force the US Administration to release them,” said Allard.
Young Cubans have been organizing events on the fifth day of each month in support of the Cuban Five: Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez. In a trial plagued with irregularities and held in a highly biased Miami court, the five men were given harsh sentences ranging from 15 years to consecutive life terms plus 15 years.
The five Cubans were working to uncover information about terrorist activities being planned and carried out against Cuba by ultra-rightwing organizations based in southern Florida with a long record of terrorist actions against Cuba and the Cuban people. When they turned their information over to authorities they were arrested and have been in jail ever since.
Posada Carriles - Four Decades of Terror outlines many of Posada Carriles' terrorist activities and demonstrates that the work of the Cuban five amounts to what is legally known as a state of necessity. The well known writer exposes the many fallacies fabricated by the mass media and the innumerable judicial violations endured by Antonio, Gerardo, Ramon, Rene and Fernando while contrasting these to Carriles' criminal activity and his controversial judicial process in Panama at which Allard was a witness.
Allard’s book also describes episodes from the terrorist’s childhood, to his recruitment into the CIA to take part in the failed 1961 Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs) invasion and up until his illegal entry into the US in 2005.
This illegal entry led to a trial against Luis Posada Carriles in the federal district court of El Paso on Monday. Instead of facing charges of premeditated murder —for the bombing deaths of 73 people who died in a Cuban airliner on Oct. 6, 1976, and other crimes— Posada was only tried for perjury and immigration fraud.
The perjury and immigration fraud charges are related to Posada's illegal and secret entry into the United States in late March 2005, when he lied to US immigration officials. At that interview, he was asked whether he had a role in procuring the help of mercenaries who planted bombs in Havana hotels in the summer of 1997.
In one of those bombings, an Italian tourist, Fabio Di Celmo, was killed when shrapnel struck him in the lobby of the Copacabana Hotel in Havana on Sept. 4, 1997. In a July 13, 1998 New York Times interview with journalist Ann Louise Bardach, Posada boasted of his directing role in those bombings. He also gave the names of his financiers in the Cuban American National Foundation.
Posada Carriles remains in Miami under state protection, despite the charges of terrorism against him. The US government is fully aware of his murderous crimes, because he carried them out in various Latin American countries on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Posada Carriles has a long history—since at least 1959—of carrying out numerous terrorist attacks on behalf of the CIA against the Cuban revolution and other progressive Latin American movements.
Soon after the Cuban revolutionary movement triumphed in 1959, Posada was in the employ of the CIA to carry out sabotage on institutions and individuals associated with Cuba.In the early 1960s, he was trained in the use of explosives and other sabotage at Ft. Benning, Ga along with hundreds of other Cuban right-wing extremists.
In the 1970s, Posada was recommended by the CIA to help head up the intelligence police, the DISIP, of Venezuela. It was there that Posada hunted down, tortured and murdered Venezuelan progressive activists.
While working in the DISIP, Posada and Orlando Bosch paid two men, Hernan Ricardo and Freddy Lugo, to board Cubana flight 455 on Oct. 6, 1976, bound from Caracas to Barbados and then Cuba. After they planted two bombs, Ricardo and Lugo exited the plane in Barbados on its stopover. Several minutes after takeoff, the bombs exploded. All passengers and crew died, after a heroic but futile struggle by pilot Wilfredo Pérez Pérez.
While Posada awaited a civilian trial in Venezuela for the crime, he escaped from prison in 1985 after the secret intervention of US operatives. From there, Posada continued to conduct his bloody terror in El Salvador as a close operative of Oliver North in the arming of Nicaraguan contras, and in Panama, where he planned to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro, in November 2000.
In that plot, several hundred Panamanian students and other students would have also perished in the auditorium where Fidel was set to speak if the 30-plus pounds of C-4 explosives had been successfully planted and set off.
Venezuela continues to press its extradition order for Posada that it filed with the US State Department in June 2005, but the Bush Jr, and now the Obama administrations, have refused to honor the petition.
Whenever Posada has faced serious prosecution, the US government has stepped in to manipulate the process and rescue him. After being in a Panama jail for less than four years—again on lesser charges rather than attempted murder—the pro-US, outgoing President Mireya Moscoso, pardoned him in August 2004, along with three of his accomplices.
At the conclusion of launch of his latest book on Posada Carriles, Allard concluded by saying that after so many years and accumulated crimes, Posada Carriles continues to walk free in Miami while five Cubans are condemned for their efforts to protect their people from terrorist activities.