[Marxism] FLASH: Miami Herald reports: "Agents target Posada ally"
walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Nov 19 04:51:10 MST 2005
(VERY IMPORTANT NEWS. Could there be a falling out among thieves?
Washington has been protecting Luis Posada Carriles for years and
more so recently having publicly announced it won't extradit him
to Venezela where he's wanted for his role in the Cubana bombing,
or to Cuba which has publicly renounced any request for extradition.
(There's a tinge of red-baiting in the comments from Posada's allies
as they are given this platform to address the public through the
pages of the Miami Herald. It seems like something important may be
about to break here. The timing IS rather interesting. View the ad
which appeared in yesterday's New York Times opposing the granting
of US asylum to Luis Posada Carriles:
Background information files on Posada:
Walter Lippmann, CubaNews
Posted on Sat, Nov. 19, 2005
Agents target Posada ally
U.S. agents searched the office of Santiago Alvarez, a benefactor and
supporter of controversial Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles.
BY OSCAR CORRAL AND JAY WEAVER
ocorral at herald.com
Federal authorities searched the Hialeah office of Cuban exile
militant Luis Posada Carriles' biggest benefactor Friday, the same
day that a Cuban group ran a full-page advertisement in The New York
Times denouncing Posada.
The investigation of Posada's close friend Santiago Alvarez may
signal a hardening by the U.S. government in the Posada case at a
time when the Bush administration is facing tough scrutiny for its
treatment of suspected terrorists abroad.
But probing the background of Posada's South Florida associates may
cause a political migraine for the Republican president, whose party
counts anti-Castro exiles among its most loyal constituencies.
Alvarez, a developer, has been a stalwart supporter of Posada for
years and helped shelter him in Miami before authorities arrested him
in May. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement declined to say what
they were looking for in his office.
But a federal source told The Herald that ICE agents suspect Alvarez
recently received counterfeit Guatemalan passports, the basis for the
Alvarez's lawyer, Kendall Coffey, said his client is innocent of any
wrongdoing and maintained he did not know what the government
expected to find.
He also said that Cuban leader Fidel Castro's repeated attacks on
Posada and his allies may be bearing fruit.
''The reality is that there is movement against Posada on at least
two fronts on the same day,'' Coffey said. ``It may well be a
coincidence, but it is certainly fascinating.''
The raid also comes weeks after a U.S. immigration judge ruled that
Posada could not be deported to Cuba or Venezuela because he likely
would be tortured there, which angered the governments of both
Posada's case has put Washington in the uncomfortable position of
being accused of harboring a suspected terrorist even as it wages a
global war on terrorism. Now friends of Posada say the pressure on
Alvarez proves Washington is giving in to pressure from its enemies.
''This was uncalled for,'' said Ernesto Abreu, a friend of Posada and
Alvarez. ``They went in, they broke the door, and they haven't found
anything. And they won't find anything. There is nothing Santiago is
doing that is illegal. It's a shame that these people are playing the
game with Fidel Castro. When he screams, the U.S. government jumps.''
Abreu and others said that Havana has stepped up its pressure on
Washington not to harbor Posada in the wake of the immigration
court's decision. On Thursday, Abreu said, Castro warned in a speech
that there would be trouble for Posada and people who have helped
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez
confirmed that ICE agents carrying a search warrant raided Alvarez's
business. But she declined to comment further because the search was
part of an ongoing investigation.
ICE agents are gathering evidence on Alvarez to determine whether he
broke any immigration laws last May when he helped Posada illegally
enter the United States, said a federal source familiar with the
Ever since Posada sneaked into the country earlier this year, Castro
has repeatedly alleged that Alvarez smuggled him aboard his fishing
boat, Santrina. Alvarez denies it, and both Posada and the U.S.
government's official version is that Posada entered the United
States when he crossed the Mexican border in a car in late March.
Agents sought the warrant because they got a tip that Alvarez
allegedly received several counterfeit Guatemalan passports in recent
weeks, according to the source. Authorities don't know what Alvarez
might have intended to do with the forged passports.
''He's been under the microscope for a while,'' the source said.
The warrant, signed by Magistrate Theodore Klein on Wednesday, gave
agents permission to gather ''fraudulent identification documents''
-- along with dozens of other business records. It also gave them the
authority to seize Alvarez's office computer and other electronic
Reached by phone, Alvarez said he was taken aback by the search.
''I don't know why they were searching my business,'' he told The
Herald. ``I don't want to say anything more.''
Also on Friday an anti-Posada group from Cuba ran an expensive ad
inside the A section of The Times, framed as an open letter to the
families of the victims of 9/11, stressing that there should be no
safe harbor for Posada.
''October 6, 1976, was our September 11,'' said the letter, referring
to the bombing of a Cubana De Aviación jetliner that killed 73
people. ``Help us keep a terrorist like Luis Posada Carriles,
admitted murderer, from gaining protection and impunity in the
country where so many people still cry for the victims of the
terrorist act that brought down the twin towers on September 11.''
$163,000 FOR AD
According to The New York Times media kit Web page, the rate for a
full page international political advertisement is $163,320.
The letter was attributed to the ''Committee of Families of the
Victims of the Cuban Airliner Bombing in Barbados.'' The website
mentioned for the group is based in Cuba, where the government
strictly controls access to the Internet and its content. But the
plea may have come too late.
In September, a U.S. immigration judge decided that Posada won't be
deported to Venezuela or Cuba, where he is wanted for terrorist acts,
because United States policy forbids deporting people to a country
where they would likely face torture.
One of Posada's lawyers, Matthew Archambeault, said the letter was
merely propaganda from the Cuban government and was not based on
''Cuba and Venezuela have a good propaganda machine,'' Archambeault
said. ``If you look at the facts surrounding the airliner case, you
come to the conclusion quickly that there is really nothing to
support that he was involved.''
Archambeault said the U.S. government is trying to find a third
country to send Posada, but so far has come up empty. Posada and his
lawyers want the government to free him.
Posada, who was detained in South Florida on May 17, gained
Venezuelan citizenship in the early 1970s when he was a top officer
in the Venezuelan state police. Venezuela is still asking that he be
extradited for trial on charges of masterminding the airliner
bombing, but the judge's ruling precludes that.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has threatened to ''reconsider our
diplomatic ties'' with the United States if Washington doesn't
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