Luis Posada-Carriles: A CIA made terrorist
Coined the ‘Bin Laden of the Americas, the anti-Castro Cuban was the CIA’s dirty secret in South and Central America. Trained as an explosives expert at the notorious School of the Americas, Posada’s acts of terrorism span five decades and impacted half a dozen countries.Over 70 people were killed when Cubana Airliner 455 was bombed in 1976. A terrorist act Posada planned from Venezuela and according to CIA documents, the agency was aware of before it happened.Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, the former Venezuelan Ambassador to the US told RT, “Posada Carriles was the mastermind of the Cubana flight and still he is here.”Posada was convicted in absentia in Venezuela for masterminding the 1976 bombing. However, not only did the US government refuse to extradite Posada to Venezuela to serve his term, the CIA continued to employ him as a key element in the Contra wars which claimed the lives of 70,000 civilians in Nicaragua. He was a leading figure in the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s. If the CIA had stopped Posada in his tracks, Livio Di Celma’s brother Fabio would still be alive.“Put yourself in the place of a family that is a victim of terrorism, and it’s absurd, it’s completely absurd,” Livio told members of the Press during a conference held by the Center for Democracy in the Americas.Fabio Di Celmo, an Italian businessman, was murdered in a 1997 bombing orchestrated by Posada.It was one of a string of hotel and nightclub bombings in Cuba. The bombings were all planned from Cuba and involved both Posada and his former accomplice in the 1976 bombing and CIA agent Orlando Boch. Di Celmo describes Posada as “a monster, created by a country that its government officials to push their agenda are willing to go any road.”After jailing Posada upon entering the US illegally with fake documentation, law enforcement agencies warned the Justice Department of Posada’s terrorist past. But he was set free anyway. Now Posada is on trial in El Paso, Texas; however, the charges against him are not international terrorism but immigration fraud and perjury.Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archives obtained dozens of documents pertaining to Posada’s involvement with the CIA“He was trained, employed, paid, instructed by the CIA in the 1960s and we unleashed him on the world,” said Kornbluh who says this case is about “whether the US can hold terrorists, although a terrorist that was once our terrorist, accountable.”Livio acknowledges the importance of Posada on trial, but insists, “It’s going to be too little, too.”And it wasn’t the only acts of terrorism Posada was involved in.Posada attempted to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro from Panama in 2000. He was also orchestrated a series of attacks across Latin America and was a member of the CIA’s operation 40; responsible for assisting the failed Bay of Pigs attacks and taking out Castro supporters.Kornbluh said, “The legacy of Luis Posada Carriles, is that he is a CIA created Frankenstein and he went out and committed murder and mayhem.”The CIA once described Posada as reliable asset to the US government, a man of good character, pro US who would make an excellent official in a post-Castro government. CIA documents also reveal “If Posada was terminated from the CIA payroll; he would not pose a security threat.”“Actually, their idea of him couldn’t’ have been more mistaken,” said Kornbluh. Half a century after Posada Carriles began doing the CIA’s dirty work in Latin America, his bloody legacy lives on for the countless victims. As the US government fights the so-called war on terrorism, extraditing, kidnapping and assassinating suspects in other countries, it continues to harbor of the hemisphere’s most notorious terrorists.Brian Bekcer, the national coordinator of the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition said the truth regarding Podesta as a CIA backed terrorist needs to come out in court; he should be tried for his acts, not merely for perjury and immigration fraud. “The American government has harbored terrorism, they financed terrorism. Luis Podesta is their terrorist,” he said. Venezuela has continually called for his extradition, the US refuses. Podesta previously escaped from prison in Venezuela and the US claimed they will not extradite because they fear Venezuela will torture him. “It’s nonsense,” Bekcer said. “There is no good reason, moral reason, political reason, or legal reason, not to extradite Luis Podesta to Venezuela.”Podesta is labeled a terrorist by a number of groups, including some US agencies, but he is not being tried as a terrorist because he has the political support of both Democrats and Republicans who bend to the Cuban- American population, argued Becker. In addition, the US fears what information may surface in a trial, because Podesta operated as a CIA asset at that time.