The Posada case is the strongest evidence of the five Cubans’ innocence
BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD
THE strongest evidence of the innocence of the five Cubans imprisoned in the United States is that provided by the case of international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and the way it has been dealt with, affirmed Ricardo Alarcûn de Quesada, president of the Cuban Parliament, who noted that the strategy of the U.S. government in this case is to let time go by, so that the process stretches out. and thus try to avoid public attention.
Alarcon was speaking at the Casa de la Amistad in Havana to a group of visitors from Puerto Rico and the United States who are part of the Venceremos and Juan Rius Rivera brigades.
After recalling that Posada Carriles was convicted in Panama for terrorist crimes, Alarcûn pointed out that from the moment that Posada reappeared in Miami, “the Venezuelan courts renewed their application for him to be handed over so that the trial interrupted 20 years ago could resume.”
“Up until now, the U.S. government has not paid heed to that extradition application from Venezuela and instead of doing so, is engaged in a complicated process to try to determine the immigration status of this individual who arrived in the United States, of course, without a visa.”
Posada is to appear before an immigration judge in El Paso, Texas on July 25 for a bail hearing; he will have another hearing on August 29 regarding his immigration status, “and possibly there will be further meetings,” Alarcon commented.
“But, what does that mean? That, four months ago now � and it will be more than five by August 29 , a convicted, admitted and moreover notorious terrorist has remained in the United States without being brought to trial for his terrorist activities because that is what the U.S. government wants. For less than that, more than 1,700 people from the U.S. and more than 100,000 Iraqis have died in Iraq.”
The United States would not permit any country to retain a terrorist over immigration questions without immediately handing that individual over to justice, the National Assembly president emphasized. He recalled how the United States pushed through the approval of a series of international resolutions in the UN Security Council after the September 11 attacks, “which are now being violated” by that country itself “in the same way that all of the conventions against terrorism � and against attacks on civilian passenger planes, which is part of that � are being violated.”
HE REAPPEARED IN MIAMI, NOWHERE ELSE
The parliamentary leader made special note of the fact that Posada chose Miami for his reappearance in the United States.
“When Posada reappeared and showed up in public four months ago, he did so in Miami, not anywhere else. He did not go to another country, he did not go to another state. He went specifically to that place.”
“His friends in Miami have proposed that he should be treated in the same manner as all of their buddies, who live freely in that city.”
In Miami, he emphasized, there is an “abnormal situation,” in which “a terrorist mafia dominates the media, dominates the local government,” and from that region of the country, “for decades, terrorist actions have been carried out and continue to be carried out against Cuba.”
The only possibility for Cuba to defend itself against those actions is to do what the five comrades did,” Alarcûn said, adding humorously: “If George Bush ruled here, Miami would have been bombed a long time ago!”
UN COMMITTEE DECLARES THEIR IMPRISONMENT ARBITRARY AND ILLEGAL
Alarcûn recalled that on July 14, it was announced “in a parallel and independent manner” by the U.S. Associated Press news agency and by the BBC of London that something had occurred on May 27: the decision by a UN agency, the Human Rights Commission Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on the five Cubans being held in U.S. jails.
The group of experts, made up of five jurists from five continents, concluded: “The same thing that we ourselves have being saying for years.” After analyzing three aspects of the case in particular the solitary confinement they were subjected to from the moment of their arrest and for 17 months; the obstacles to their being able to communicate with their lawyers plus the fact that the latter did not have access to much of the evidence on which the prosecution based its case; and the hostile conditions that exist in the city of Miami, where the trial took place.
“The experts concluded that these aspects are so serious that they comprise an obvious case of arbitrary and illegal detention, and that the United States has to do something to stop being in violation of the international convention on civil and political rights.”
“Do you known what the word “kidnapped’ means in English and in Spanish?” Alarconn asked rhetorically.
“A person who is deprived of his or her liberty arbitrarily and illegally is the exact definition of what a kidnapped person is.”
In that case, what is a government obliged to do when someone under its jurisdiction is a victim of kidnapping.
“Obviously, release them. In this case, the kidnapper is the government, so the solution is an easy one!”
Since May 27, “the U.S. government has been in possession of the determination of that UN agency, which has asked it to take the necessary steps to remedy the situation � those are its words � to put an end to the arbitrary and illegal deprivation of freedom of five individuals.
“And the only way to do so, of course, is via the immediate liberation of those five people,” concluded Alarcon, Cuba’s representative to the UN for 14 years in New York.