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Posted May 09, 2007 by publisher in Cuban History

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Associated Press

High explosives concealed in shoes and shampoo bottles. Thousands of dollars in wire transfers from New Jersey to a shadowy figure in Latin America. A note in a briefcase saying that “the tyrant has to be eliminated” even if innocent people also die.

An FBI document reveals these and other new details about the U.S. investigation into links between Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles and a wave of 1997 bombings in Havana, one of which killed an Italian tourist at a hotel.

Posada, a 79-year-old former CIA operative and fierce opponent of Fidel Castro, is scheduled to stand trial next week in Texas on immigration fraud charges. Cuba and Venezuela seek Posada’s extradition for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner, but the United States has refused to send him to either country.

The federal investigation into Posada’s possible role in the Havana bombings &#xu2;014 largely dormant until Posada’s 2005 return to the United States &#xu2;014 is centered on the finances allegedly provided by Cuban-American associates in New Jersey. The probe could provide an avenue for Posada to be charged in connection with the bombings.

Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have loudly condemned the United States for not extraditing Posada in the airliner case or charging him with terrorism-related offenses. Some in Miami’s Cuban-American exile community view Posada as a hero for fighting communism.

The FBI document was filed as part of the immigration case in Texas. In it, Miami-based FBI Agent Thomas Rice concludes that “the FBI is unable to rule out the possibility that Posada-Carriles poses a threat to the national security of the United States.”

The document focuses on interviews with confidential sources involved in a utility company in Guatemala in 1997, a firm that included two men associated with Posada. One of the sources, known as CS-1 to the FBI, said he began to suspect that Posada and the two men were involved in “illicit activities” and had a listening device placed in one of the company’s offices.

That device revealed discussions about smuggling a “putty-like explosive” into Cuba in the shoes of people posing as tourists, the FBI document says.

CS-1 also told the FBI that another employee of the utility company found 22 plastic tubes in a closet in August 1997 labeled “high powered explosives, extremely dangerous.” The employee also discovered that the explosives were being mixed into shampoo bottles.

In the closet was a carrying case that contained a note pad with Posada’s name written on it. Another note in the case said in Spanish: “The tyrant has to be eliminated, regardless of how many others are killed,” according to the FBI.

The confidential source also provided the FBI with a fax discussing wire transfers from individuals in New Jersey that was signed “Solo,” which the FBI believes is one of Posada’s aliases. As part of the Havana bombing investigation, the FBI concluded that at least $19,000 (&#xu2;0AC14,010) in wire transfers were sent from the United States to El Salvador and Guatemala to a “Ramon Medina.”

Posada possessed a Salvadoran passport with the “Medina” name and also used that alias when he was involved in the 1980s Iran-Contra operation headed by then Lt. Col. Oliver North, according to court documents.

The fax signed by “Solo” included a recent newspaper article about the 1997 bombings and says that more publicity must be generated about the anti-Castro campaign. “Like I explained to you, if there is no publicity the work is useless,” the fax says.

In 1998, Posada admitted his role in the Havana bombings in a series of articles published by The New York Times, and also told other news outlets that he granted the interviews to “generate publicity for his bombing campaign against Cuba’s tourist industry and to frighten away tourists,” the FBI document says.

Posada later denied making the statements, and his attorneys have repeatedly declared his innocence in the bombings as well as the deadly airliner bombing in 1976. Posada’s lead attorney in the Texas case, Arturo Hernandez of Miami, did not immediately respond Friday to phone and e-mail messages seeking comment.

Posada was released on $350,000 (&#xu2;0AC258,093) bail in the Texas case and is living with his wife in a Miami suburb under virtual house arrest.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on May 09, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I will give plenty of leeway to people who would like to comment on the Luis Posada case here. I understand this is a multifaceted and passionate issue for many so I will allow an open forum so long as the comments do not sink to personal attacks.

    Is Posada a “good” terrorist?

    Is President Bush involved in the decision to release Posada?

    Why did he sneak into the US?



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  2. Follow up post #2 added on May 09, 2007 by Pete Chavez

    Publisher,
    Posada should be locked up and the key thrown away just as all those other Cubans on the other side that have no value for human life.  Like how they blew the brothers to the rescue cessna out of the sky and that sank a tugboat filled with Cubans trying to get out of Havana Harbor in 94’. 
    As an American and a Cuban,  I would jail Posada until he croaked.
    Yet, I would never consider cooperating and handing him over to the very people that tried to aim nuclear weapons straight at us, enabled the drug cartel to have safe harbor through the drug running gauntlet of the Florida Straits, harbored known terrorist and fugitives of American justice throughout the 60’,70’s and 80’s.  And the list is long and can go on but for me, the worst thing that I can’t forgive is the nuclear weapons aimed at the U.S.  that I just mentioned.  Yes, it happened a long time ago but this is not a different government, these are the same players now as then.  That is the main reason especially as an American that I would not do the neighborly thing and turn this lunatic over to the other lunatics.


  3. Follow up post #3 added on May 10, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Point taken but I don’t agree with you on Posada.

    With regards to the nuclear weapons, yes it is the same President and Vice President in Cuba but the Russians are no longer there and it happen before I was born so it is “ancient history” to most Americans, especially those who oppose the Embargo.

    I mentioned “baggage” in a previous post and I may have offended you with that word but this is another example of “baggage” in my opinion. Since the Cuban Missile Crisis really had no impact on my life, I don’t have the memories or “baggage” to hold it against Castro.

    Of course this was a horrific time and I am not trying to make light of it but if the Japanese can get over the Nagasaki and Hiroshima then we should be able to get over the Cuban Missile Crisis.



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  4. Follow up post #4 added on May 10, 2007 by MiamiCuban

    The issue about not sending Posada to Venezuela or Cuba because they might “torture” him doesn’t hold water for me.  First of all, I don’t believe that would be the case, especially not when it concerns a 79-year-old man who is sick (and I’m not saying that someone younger would or wouldn’t receive torture…I am not in a position to say either way).

    My question is this:  if Bin Laden were to show up in Russia, can they claim they won’t send him to the U.S. because of its recent history of torture?  I think one needs to look at situations from all angles to see if they make sense.  The fact is:  1) Posada did escape from Venezuela while awaiting trial; and 2) he did commit acts of terror in Cuba.  Either country has the right to demand extradition of Posada….that’s just abiding by international law.

    As far as the “baggage” of the past as Publisher put it, I agree.  That’s one big mess that no one will ever be able to make sense out of anyway and it shouldn’t continue to botch up the present.  These are different times, and the new generation of people deserve to carve out their future without having to reconcile it with the past.  It just won’t happen.


  5. Follow up post #5 added on May 10, 2007 by Pete Chavez

    Publisher,
    Baggage is what your mother did to you when you were ten!

    First of all, the U.S. publicly apologized for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and it wasn’t even the same government) yet it was elemental to the healing process of U.S./ Japan relations and the wholesale reconstruction of Japan.  Just as the Germans had to make reparations to the Jews for the holacaust.  Just as today Swissbanks are having to return paintings, jewelry and money stolen by the Germans from the jews that were put into Swiss accounts some 60 years ago.  So do you think that because most Swiss and German people weren’t alive during this hideous period in European history, they don’t have to deal with it?  In 1915 during the first world war the Ottoman Turks (Turkey) committed a genocide of one million people against the Armenians.  To this day Armenia demands that they admit they did this and an apology for the Genocide.  Now I know for sure no one in either country is alive now that was alive then.  But why then?  Because history is important and injustice cannot be ignored. Relations and healing cannot resume and take place if culpability is not owned up to.  To this day Turkey refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing (probably for fear of having to pay reparations) and their relations with Armenia are pretty much non existant.  Did you know that our problems with Iran began in 1952 not in 1979?  That’s how the Iranians see it and there are probably just a handfull of people living today in Iran that were alive then.  Even now(meaning the young) most if not all Asian countries despise the Japanese for the atrocities they commited against them during the second World War. 
    Do you think Cuba’s problems with the U.S. began with Castro?  It began in 1898.

    Publisher, I was born well into Cuban communism.  I was not alive during the that first episode between the U.S. and Cuba.  But you must understand that the way that countries relate to eachother in the world does not begin with only what has taken place since you or I were born.  It’s a rather naive and unrealistic reason to cite when making a case for your view in how a problems should be solved among nations.  And I must say AGAIN rather insulting use of the word BAGGAGE to describe people like myself that values the importance of the knowledge of history to better understand the present and avoid the impending problems of the future.


  6. Follow up post #6 added on May 10, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    “And I must say AGAIN rather insulting use of the word BAGGAGE to describe people like myself that values the importance of the knowledge of history to better understand the present and avoid the impending problems of the future.”

    I understand but instead of standing still with your “bags” (48 year old failed Plan A Embargo) I prefer to travel light (remain naive) and move forward (Plan B, engage with Cuba to foster change).

    I’m am sorry that I have to use a word like “baggage” but the “baggage” is the reason for the Embargo and the Embargo restricts Americans’ freedoms and DOES NOT WORK!

    Also, the likes of Diaz Balarts infuriate me for their insistence to stay the course even with a failed policy (just like Bush in Iraq).

    So, I guess we will have to disagree on this point.



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  7. Follow up post #7 added on May 10, 2007 by Pete Chavez

    Publisher,
    I don’t know what the hell you are talking about, that is the most convoluted retort Ive ever heard from you.  Anyway, who the hell told you I was pro embargo? I’m simply stating reasons as to why I would punish Posada here and not do the Castro brothers any favors!  They don’t care about human life (and I believe I stated the reasons why I don’t believe they care about human life), this is all just another publicity stunt for them in a long line of publicity stunts.  AND THAT IS MY OPINION, apparently you are the one with the bagagge of baggage.


  8. Follow up post #8 added on May 10, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Too many issues going through my head today I guess.

    I get very angry when exiles or politicians have tunnel vision that is focused in the wrong direction, the past.

    I’m trying to build a site that encourages dialog about the future of Cuba mostly but I understand we can’t get to the future without understanding the past and certainly the current state of Cuba.

    I’m sorry if I lumped you in with them.



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  9. Follow up post #9 added on May 10, 2007 by Curt

    Publisher, you don’t owe Pete Chavez any apologies since he is wrong.


  10. Follow up post #10 added on May 10, 2007 by Pete Chavez

    Hey, I apologize too. 
    I happen to not agree with a great many issues that the more extreme elements of the exile community are propontents of.  With that said, I also value the community and do not villify them for standing there ground against Castro in what ever measure is available to them that this free and open society happens to afford them.  They are also important because they are the Cuban opposition party (and within that party, there are about five distinct idealogies) that happens to be and can only exist abroad and we know who’s fault that is?


  11. Follow up post #11 added on May 10, 2007 by Pete Chavez

    “Publisher, you don’t owe Pete Chavez any apologies since he is wrong. “


    To whom it may concern, CURTS IS CRAZY!
    On another thread, Curt recomended revenge killing as a solution to the Posada problem.  Whatever Curt whatever!


  12. Follow up post #12 added on May 14, 2007 by Frank Lee

    Hey guys!  I may not know all the details & may get some facts mixed up but I will have to go with the publisher about letting go of the past. Especially since we cannot so anything about it now any way. So lets leave the baggage behind & deal with the issues of NOW!  I may be stupid but if this Posada Carrilles guy is really the way he’s been depicted then he should serve his time in Venezuela. I said it before in another thread, there has been enough wrong done already. It’s not the responsibility nor the role of any truly great nation to interfere with the affairs of another nation.  Whether we agree with them or not.  Haven’t there been enough innocent lives taken in the name of justice. In the end the “BAD GUYS” are all doing the same things. It just depends of which newspaper you read. They’re just excusing themselves for different reasons which they say are the right ones.  In closing, I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist to get the feeling that you wouldn’t want to live next to guys like Posada Carrilles. And for that matter, those who protect him. Say, dosn’t that make them accessories to the crime?


  13. Follow up post #13 added on February 15, 2010 by Frank Lee

    Thanks so much for the posting of this update with documented FBI reports further proving the involvment of Posada Carrilles in terrorist activities & crimes against innocent people whoever they may be. I guess we’ll see now just how much real justice there is in the USA against terrorists! We will see now if this “War on Terrorism” is really that or just an excuse to wield more Government powers, take away more of our freedoms using tax dollars & move us closer to the vary type of government & things which they accuse others of.  Posada is wanted for the same types of crimes that the detainees in Guantanamo Bay’s infamous Camp Delta have been held there for years, undergoing interrogations which have been called torture by the Red Cross. At least four have committed suicide. Why are the same authorities protecting the likes of Posada, now living with his wife, while his lawyer refuses to answer legitimate questions about his activities. Isn’t this what is called hypocracy? Maybe we should ask the Cuban airliner passengers families what they think or the Italian mans family that died a cruel death because of Posada’s terror activities, at his own confession. Why are we afraid of the possibility of him being subjected to torture when he would only be reaping a small portion of what he sowed. Hmmm! Better still, maybe those who handled, & financed his terrorist activities should stand trial with him. Justice & Liberty for ALL!


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