[Marxism] Miami Herald: "Posada ally [Santiago Alvarez] could be sent to Cuba if convicted"

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 23 04:44:47 MST 2005

Here's a headline whose purpose is transparent: to encourage
rightist hysteria in support of this terrorist. Well, it just
might have a surprising effect, making it impossible for this
terrorist to get what he wants: a trial in Miami, should his
case actually come to trial. Or course, given the immigration
system's track record with terrorists like Posada, maybe he
will only have to suffer the inconvenience of being detained
for awhile until the immigration people can decide that he'd
be tortured if sent to Cuba, and that would be the end of it.
One wonders under what conditions this man who was found with
MACHINE GUNS, AMMO and a fake Guatemalan passport is currently
being held? Does he have a cell phone? Visitors? Can his wife
and children visit him?

This article flat out LIES when it says Cuba has clamored for
Posada's extradition. Cuba has specifically RENOUNCED that as
it favors Posada going to Venezuela, which does NOT have the
death penalty, which Cuba continues to retain. This is one of
the many benefits of the "free press" in the United States:
it is "free" to print things it knows consciously are false
if it wishes to encourage its readers to react angrily.

At the tail end of this article with the inflammatory head-
line, we read that this man, caught with machine guns, ammo,
and a fake Guatemalan passport, could be completely free in

Below this, today's MIAMI HERALD editorial on this case.

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews

Posted on Wed, Nov. 23, 2005


Posada ally could be sent to Cuba if convicted


Santiago Alvarez, benefactor of Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles,
could face deportation to Cuba and loss of his citizenship


achardy at herald.com


Santiago Alvarez, a permanent resident, could face deportation
proceedings and be denied U.S. citizenship if convicted of federal
weapons and fraudulent passport charges.

Alvarez, a close ally and benefactor of Cuban exile militant Luis
Posada Carriles, is being held on charges of possession of a cache of
machine guns, grenades, rounds of ammunition and a fake Guatemalan
passport and identification papers. His immigration status could be
further complicated by a prior aggravated assault conviction stemming
from weapons charges, according to experts on U.S. immigration law.

Alvarez's attorney, Ben Kuehne, said his client is not ''a convicted
felon'' because his 1988 case was settled when the judge withheld
adjudication. Immigration attorneys, however, say that such a ruling
is considered a conviction for the purposes of immigration law.

''He could be subject to deportation on his previous conviction and
may now be -- depending on the outcome of this case -- subject to
deportation without any relief available to him,'' said Ira Kurzban,
a Miami immigration attorney considered a national authority on
immigration law.

During Alvarez's bond hearing Monday, Kuehne revealed his client is
not a U.S. citizen but was applying for citizenship. Alvarez's
co-defendant in the case, Osvaldo Mitat, is a U.S. citizen.

Kuehne also disclosed immigration authorities had questioned his
client in recent years as a result of the 1988 case. Under changes to
immigration law in 1996, foreign nationals convicted of aggravated
felonies are subject to deportation.

Kuehne said Alvarez is optimistic. ''Mr. Alvarez's position is that
he is a lawful permanent resident and he's confident that he will be
able to obtain his citizenship when he prevails in this case,''
Kuehne told The Herald Tuesday night.

Because Alvarez is Cuban, he would not be deported immediately. 
But the federal case against Alvarez, a wealthy developer and exile
activist, has angered many elderly hard-line exiles who believe the
Bush administration is making Alvarez a scapegoat to appease the
Cuban government in the Posada case.

Posada is wanted by both the Cuban and Venezuelan governments for the
1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner and hotel bombings in Havana in
1997-98. Posada says he was not involved.

Cuba generally does not take back Cuban nationals ordered deported,
though Cuban leader Fidel Castro has clamored for Posada's return.

U.S. immigration authorities generally do not seek to send exiles
back to their homeland, but convicted Cuban nationals living in the
United States usually face deportation proceedings in case political
conditions change in Cuba. If and when those conditions change,
immigration officials say, thousands of Cubans ordered deported over
the years could be sent back.

In some cases, however, immigration officials have asked immigration
judges not to order a Cuban deported. That happened during Posada's
recent asylum trial when a Department of Homeland Security assistant
chief counsel told the immigration judge Posada should not be
deported to Cuba because he could face torture there.

Judge William Abbott eventually agreed not to deport Posada, a
naturalized Venezuelan born in Cuba, to either the communist island
or to Venezuela -- but said he could be expelled to a third country.

As a permanent resident, Alvarez could ask an immigration judge to
spare him deportation but only if his conviction did not amount to an
aggravated felony.

However, some of the charges lodged against him over the weekend are
aggravated felonies under immigration law.

If convicted, Alvarez would serve prison time and then would be
transferred to immigration custody for deportation proceedings.

Once a judge's deportation ruling is final, he could be held up to
six more months and then set free under supervision if he cannot be
deported to Cuba

(Considering that this is the MIAMI HERALD, it's not bad, though
you have to wonder about their sincerity and consistency after
providing all that great publicity for Posada, even cooperating
with his secret press confrence earlier this year, and helping 
build support for him in the media by saying he might also be
deported to Cuba, right in the heart of Miami's big Cuban exile
community. When they say "private armies will not bring democracy
or the rule of law in Cuba", you know they are flat-out lying as
they know perfectly well there are private armies in Miami from
Rudolfo Frometa's Comandos F-4, and now to Santiao Alvarez with
his machine guns. With Alvarez' lawyer saying OPENLY that these
war weapons weren't supposed to be used in the United States, it
is mighty sweet of the Miami Herald's editorial board not to say
where they were supposed to be used. Probably not in Palau or in
the Marshall Islands, or even in Panama or Mexico's Isla Mujeres.
These weapons had only one possible intended destination: Cuba.
That is PRECISELY why the Cuban Five were in Miami, because of
people like Santiago Alvarez, Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch.

Will Charlton Heston bring the voice of God and the National Rifle 
Association out in support of Santiago Alvarez? It seems a bit of 
a stretch, even for them, but let's wait and see. This is Miami!

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews

Posted on Wed, Nov. 23, 2005

Anti-Castro crusaders face weapons charges



People who stockpile illegal weapons are not model citizens. They are
lawbreakers. Federal agents found just such an illegal-arms cache
last week in South Florida and charged two longtime anti-Castro
crusaders in connection in the case: Santiago Alvarez, a successful
businessman, and his employee and associate Osvaldo Mitat.

Presumed not guilty

Some supporters see their arrest as a betrayal of the exile community
and the U.S. government as kowtowing to Fidel Castro. Federal agents,
however, were rightly doing their job. Law enforcers who root out
illegal weapons and the people who stash the weapons are protecting
us and U.S. national security. After all, the weapons found are
designed to maim and kill.

Messrs. Alvarez and Mitat are presumed to be not guilty, unless
otherwise proven in a court of law. The two are guaranteed due
process under the law -- something that defendants in Cuba don't
enjoy. No U.S. authority, moreover, can silence their supporters,
unlike in Cuba. Under our system, Messrs. Alvarez and Mitat will be
judged on the evidence against them

We, too, would like to see Cubans on the island freed from a tyrant.
But good intentions do not excuse criminal actions.

Federal agents seized more than 20 weapons, at least five of them
automatic machine guns such as an AK-47 and AR-15s, some with ID
numbers filed off; unregistered silencers; grenades and a grenade
launcher; thousands of rounds of ammunition; gun magazines, gas
masks, explosives and blasting caps. The weapons were found in the
management office of a Lauderhill apartment complex owned by Mr.
Alvarez and in a cooler transported by Mr. Mitat.

These aren't the kind of weapons outdoorsmen use to hunt deer.

Mr. Alvarez is a friend of Luis Posada Carriles, a sworn Castro enemy
accused of masterminding several terrorist bombings of Cuban tourist
venues and a Cuban jetliner. After Mr. Posada entered the country
illegally and was arrested in Miami, Mr. Alvarez helped pay his legal

Mr. Alvarez also has been accused by the Cuban regime of organizing a
2001 ''mission'' in which three Miami-Dade men were captured trying
to land in Cuba with assault rifles.

No private armies

Mr. Alvarez's lawyer now says that the weapons found were not
intended to be used in this country.

Whatever the intention, it is a crime to harbor illegal weapons.
Under the U.S. Neutrality Act, it also is illegal for U.S. residents
to try to overthrow foreign governments not at war with this country.
U.S. civilians should not be freelancing in U.S. foreign policy, much
less with weapons of war. We, too, want Castro out of power. But
private armies will not build democracy or the rule of law in Cuba.

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