The tale of Luis Posada Carriles is a bizarre one indeed. This self described Cuban exile “warrior”, whom many label a terrorist for his involvement in the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airline with 73 souls on board, was also reported to be involved in operation “Mongoose,” the CIA/Mafia/Cuban-exile collaboration of attempted assassination of Fidel Castro in the Kennedy years, secretly run by Robert Kennedy.
Experts in the JFK assassination have linked a rogue element of this collaboration to the conspiracy that killed the president. One report cites an interview with one of the three infamous “tramps” in the Dallas rail yard, who admits to having been a CIA/Mafia false document artist, in which he identifies Posada Carriles as being in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination, although he was reportedly in the US Army at the time. The FBI and CIA withheld the existence of operation Mongoose from the Warren Report investigators.
Mr. Posada later turns up as security chief for Venezuela, in charge of counterinsurgency, and subsequently becomes the hero of the hour for his work organizing and supplying the Contras of Nicaragua, responsible for over 50,000 deaths, mostly peasants and civilians. He has boasted of being instrumental in destroying much incriminating information on the financing of the Contra war after the Iran/Contra affair became public. One report has him confessing his links to cocaine trafficking associated with Contra resupply to FBI agents in Central America. In past interviews he has also boasted of being the mastermind of a string of hotel bombings in Cuba that killed one Italian tourist. Most recently he was imprisoned in Panama for possessing explosives in a reported attempt to assassinate Castro upon his visit there. His training in the army and for the CIA was in explosives. He was unexpectedly released from prison in Panama after Colin Powell made a visit there, supposedly in part on his behalf. Since then he has been in hiding and has now made his way back to Miami where he recently made an interview with a reporter of the Miami Herald.
To date Posada has denied responsibility for the Cuban airline bombing even though the men held responsible for placing the bombs on board worked directly for him in Venezuela. His business associate in Venezuela, Orlando Bosh, who was granted asylum by George Bush Sr., was also reportedly involved in the planning of the airline terrorist attack that killed the Cuban fencing team, mostly teenagers. Recently released internal documents of the FBI describe Posada’s involvement “up to his eye balls” in the Cuban airline bombing. At trial, one military and one civilian, he was acquitted twice in Venezuela, where some report an innocent verdict could be bought for as little as $45, he escaped prison there in 1985 by the use of bribes.
One prominent Miami businessman and politician has recently said that it is Posada’s inside knowledge of secret CIA and FBI affairs, reaching back to the Kennedy years, that has been his protection from Bush administration arrest and prosecution.
With international and domestic pressure building to the point of extreme embarassment, the Bush administration was forced into action, taking Posada into custody last week after questioning whether he was even in the country two weeks before. What will be his fate is anyone’s guess as he has now applied for asylum in the U.S.. But one thing is sure, the administration is facing a conundrum of choices, none of which is particularly palatable.