http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/diaz-balart-ros-lehtinen-condemn-fbi-for-seeking-evidence-posada-case-9963/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Diaz Balarts & Ros-Lehtinen condemn FBI for seeking evidence in Posada case

Posted May 09, 2007 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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BY ALFONSO CHARDY AND JAY WEAVER | Miami Herald

South Florida’s three Cuban-American members of Congress condemned the Justice Department Thursday for sending Miami FBI agents to Cuba to collect evidence against Luis Posada Carriles in a hotel bombing that killed an Italian in Havana a decade ago.

‘By asking a state sponsor of terrorism for `evidence’ regarding terrorism, the Bush administration Justice Department demonstrates a shockingly profound ignorance of the nature of terrorism, of its origins and its state sponsors,’’ U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and brothers Lincoln and Mario D�az-Balart said in a statement.

It marked the first official public expression of anger over a heightening grand jury investigation in Newark, N.J. The former CIA-trained explosives expert was detained by immigration agents in Miami-Dade two years ago.

Posada, 79, is under house arrest at his wife’s home in West Kendall while he awaits a May 11 trial in Texas on immigration fraud charges unrelated to the bombing.

The three Republican lawmakers blasted the Justice Department on the same day The Miami Herald published an article about the FBI’s trip to Cuba in the fall.

Mario D�az-Balart’s office said he would not comment further. The other lawmakers did not return calls, but at least one member of Florida’s congressional delegation said members were briefed about the FBI’s trip months ago.

The FBI’s Miami office and the Justice Department, which is running the hotel bombing investigation, declined to comment.

COOPERATION

The United States and Cuba have cooperated case-by-case on various issues since Fidel Castro seized power in 1959, even in the absence of normal relations. Such cooperation extended to alien smuggling, hijacking and other criminal cases, including a congressional probe of the John F. Kennedy assassination.

‘‘Federal prosecutors and agents travel all over the world searching for evidence of violations of U.S. laws,’’ said Miami lawyer David Buckner, the former federal prosecutor who successfully tried five Cuban spies in 2001 and traveled to Cuba with a team to question defense witnesses.

‘‘Sometimes their pursuit of that evidence takes them to places they would rather not be, but they go because they’re doing their jobs,’’ he said.

Cuba is on the list of the State Department’s ‘‘state sponsors of terrorism,’’ along with Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. The list does not preclude U.S. officials traveling to those countries.

On Thursday, for instance, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with the Syrian foreign minister and greeted Iran’s foreign minister during an international conference on Iraq at an Egyptian resort.

This is not the first time South Florida’s Cuban-American lawmakers have intervened in a case dealing with the Cuban exile militant. A few years ago when Posada was imprisoned in Panama for his role in an alleged plot to assassinate Fidel Castro, they lobbied the Panamanian government to pardon Posada along with three fellow exile militants. Then-Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso pardoned the men in August 2004 and released them.

Posada went into hiding. He resurfaced in Miami soon after sneaking into the United States in March 2005. His illegal entry revived the FBI’s probe into the hotel bombings.

LACK OF PROGRESS

The investigation had been shut down in 2003 for lack of progress after U.S. authorities failed to get any solid evidence during trips to Cuba from 1998 to 2000.

In the most recent trip, FBI agents were given better access by Cuban officials and were able to interview witnesses, review Cuba’s forensic evidence and visit crime scenes, according to three sources familiar with the journey.

The trip may result in a stronger case against Posada, but it only served to exasperate some exiles and the three congressional members.

‘The only `evidence’ that the terrorist regime in Havana could provide the United States with regard to the twice-acquitted-in-Venezuela-Mr. Posada or anyone else would be fabricated evidence,’’ Ros-Lehtinen and the D�az-Balart brothers said in their statement.

``The evidence that the Bush administration Justice Department needs to bring forth and stop ignoring is of the murder of U.S. citizens and other crimes committed with impunity by the Castro brothers and their henchmen.’‘

1976 BOMBING

The congressional members’ reference to the Venezuela acquittals pertained to Posada’s alleged role in the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner that killed 73 people.

Posada was acquitted by a military court in 1980 in Venezuela but fled prison in 1985 while awaiting retrial in a civilian court.

He has denied any role in the plane assault.

The National Security Archive at George Washington University released documents Thursday from the 1970s related to the Cuban plane bombing. One of the documents included a ‘‘surveillance report’’ by a Venezuelan who worked for Posada’s private security firm in Caracas. The Venezuelan, Hernan Ricardo Lozano, listed several ‘‘targets’’—including Cuban jetliner flights, according to the archive.

Ricardo was convicted in Venezuela after Posada fled. Ricardo served about 10 years in prison.

Cuba and Venezuela have demanded that Posada be extradited or prosecuted for the hotel bombings and the deadly attack on the Cuban jetliner. Posada initially claimed credit for masterminding the tourist-site attacks, but he later retracted the claim.

Member Comments

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On May 09, 2007, publisher wrote:

These three “representatives of the people” disgust me and anyone who votes for them should be disgusted as well.

SHAME on them for their disgusting behavior!

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On May 10, 2007, MiamiCuban wrote:

Their behavior hardly surprises me.  I would never expect them to make one single wise decision.  They’re the most pathetic threesome I’ve ever seen.  The three even voted AGAINST workers’ rights recently when even Republicans voted for it!

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On December 20, 2007, publisher wrote:

Let’s not forget her video saying it’s okay if Fidel was assassinated

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On December 20, 2007, Mako wrote:

These truly are despicable human beings

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On October 14, 2008, Betty McDavit wrote:

Whatever Frick and Frack vote for, I’m against as I think they are corrupt and only think about Cuba and not what is in the best interest of our own Country.

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On October 14, 2008, bluemarlinon wrote:

bush and the miami three, gone and will be forgotten. bye bye

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On October 14, 2008, publisher wrote:

Espero.

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On November 07, 2008, bfree wrote:

THESE ARE A FAMILY OF LIARS WHO HAVE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPURTUNITIES FOR ELITISM IN THE US.
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I have in my posession orignal documents of communications (from the late 50’s) which prove that the diaz balart family (Posada) fought along side the castro revolution as guerillas and provided external resources (outside of the sierra maestra) during the armed struggle against batista.

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On November 07, 2008, publisher wrote:

Are the Diaz-Balarts related to Posada? Are they friends?

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On March 19, 2009, Mark wrote:

I am a “No Party Affiliation” registered Miami native voter who votes both sides of the aisle ( R and D ).  In other words I vote for the better of the choices on the ticket.  I would never cast a vote for either Diaz-Balart brother.  Mario solidified that decision of mine as he spoke on Capitol hill re: AIG bonuses blaming the Obama administration for it when the Obama administration had nothing to do with those bonuses.  Where, Mr. Diaz-Balart is your outrage on subjects such as the Miami Int’l Airport which is YEARS OVERDUE AND HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OVER BUDGET while Ft. Lauderdale airport is thriving, expanding and taking business away from MIA?  You and your brother Lincoln are all but useless to the constituency you represent.  Please, PLEASE do a better job for South Florida and stop the ignorant partisan rhetoric…...  Sincerely, A Miami native who loves his hometown.

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On June 29, 2009, Giselle wrote:

POR FAVOR NECESITO UN SITIO DONDE ME PUEDA COMUNICAR CON LA SEÑORA CONGRESISTA CUBANA ILEANA ROS. SOY CUBANA Y LLEGUÉ DE MI PAÍS HACE APENAS UN MES Y UNOS DÍAS.
NECESITO ALGUIEN ME PUEDA AYUDAR Y RESPONDER A LA DIRECCIÓN DE CORREO QUE ANTES LES PUSE.
GRACIAS ANTICIPADAS, GISELLE.

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On October 05, 2009, modesto wrote:

esto es para los tres estupidos mas grandes de la historia de los EEUU:
Como es posible que esten de acuerdo con un gobierno golpista, con un gobierno que suprime las libertades y decreta el estado de sitio.?  Es que para ustedes es mas importante la Politica que los pueblos ?? Vayan se han visto caso de politicos estupidos en la historia de la humanidad, pero donde han llegado ustedes, ya es el colmo.  estan a favor de la guerra, estan en contra del sistema de salud para todos, estan a favor del incrmento de impuestos, estan en contra de todo lo que sea a favor de los pueblos.  Porque no se matan ? Seria lo mejor para la humanidad.

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On March 04, 2010, publisher wrote:

Why did Linconl Diaz-Balart retire?

Does he have ties to Jorge de Castro Font?

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On April 13, 2011, eduardo hunt wrote:

these anti-castro cubans have made america their launching pad for over 50 years to overthrow castro-the cia sponsored and trained gusanos like posada and bosch, frank sturgis, etc. they even hooked up with the mafia’s johnny roselli at the cia station in miami-santo trafficanti jr. -carlos marcdello, once you form a alliance with these guys it’s hard to go back.  they felt betrayed by kennedy and look what happenned to him. their hero posada is playing his -i know too damn much card. remember e. howard hunt knew to damn much and it brought down nixon.