[Marxism] José Pertierra: Posada Carriles may soon hit the streets

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Fri Jan 6 02:16:21 MST 2006

(The author, a Cuban-American, is counsel to the Venezuelan
government which has requested Posada's extradition in the
case of the Cubana bombing of 1976 over Barbados. IMPORTANT.)

Posada Carriles may soon hit the streets
José Pertierra* www.cubadebate.cu

It's now clear why the United States refused to charge Posada
Carriles with terrorism. Not until now do we see exactly why the
government charged him only with the single and timid charge of
entering the country without proper papers. Instead of pursuing
justice, the United States government simply scolded the terrorist.

According to an article published this Wednesday in the Miami
Herald's Spanish language newspaper, the Office of Immigration and
Customs Enforcement recently informed Posada´s lawyers that his
"status as a detainee would be reviewed on the 24th of January." This
means that within a few weeks Posada Carriles, the man responsible
for the blowing up of a passenger plane with 73 people on board in
1976, could soon be freed by the U.S. government under regulations
that prohibit the indefinite detention of undocumented aliens whose
deportation from the country cannot be carried out within a
ninety-day period.

Everything has gone according to script so as to give the appearance
of legality to actions whose intent is precisely to circumvent the

Immigration Judge William Abbott ordered Posada´s deportation to any
country but Cuba or Venezuela on September 26, 2005. The law requires
that once an order of deportation becomes final, it should be carried
out within a ninety-day period or the person released, because the
indefinite detention of undocumented aliens is illegal. In this case,
the 90 days began running a month after the order became final when
the government declined to appeal. That is to say, on the 26th of

In Zadvydas v. Davis, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an
undocumented alien has the right to conditional liberty if he cannot
be removed from the country within a reasonable period. However,
terrorists are exempt from this ruling. "Terrorist" is a word that
the government has avoided associating with Luis Posada Carriles at
all costs.

The Patriot Act authorizes the detention of someone who has not been
deported, if he is a danger to the national security of the country
or has been involved in terrorist acts. We don't have to go far to
find evidence that Luis Posada Carriles is a terrorist. It's
sufficient to read his own book, The Paths of the Warrior, in which
he boasts about some of the terrorist acts he has organized, or we
can go to the declassified intelligence cables from the CIA that
report Posada´s boasting of his plans to down a Cuban passenger plane
three months before he actually did it! We can also read the
interview he gave the New York Times in 1998 in which he admits
orchestrating the campaign of bombs that his paid Central American
agents placed in various hotels and restaurants in Havana in
1997-bombs that killed an Italian tourist and wounded several others.
We can also turn to the Panamanian Court decree that finds him guilty
of trying to use the explosive C-4 to blow an auditorium full of
students in 2000 during a speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro in
Panama. In the interviews he gives and in his public statements,
Posada Carriles advocates violence as the best way to defeat the
government of Cuba: "It's the only way to create an uprising there,"
he told the New York Times.

There are enough laws in the United States to keep this terrorist in
jail. What is lacking is the political will to do so. From the
beginning of this drama, George W. Bush has wanted to shelter, rather
than prosecute, the terrorist. Somewhere in a drawer in the
Department of State are the pleadings filed by Venezuela, asking for
his preventive detention as well as his extradition. The Bush
Administration thus far ignores them and instead mocks U.S. law, as
well as three separate extradition treaties signed, ratified and
conveniently used by the government of the United States in other
cases in its war on terror.

The family members of the victims of the passenger plane that Posada
Carriles downed over the waters of Barbados on October 6, 1976, seek
only minimal justice: that the man responsible for the cold blooded
assassination of those 73 passengers be prosecuted for homicide and
not treated as a humble undocumented worker in the United States.

With the possibility of Posada Carriles´ imminent release from
detention in the next several days, it is more urgent than ever that
the Department of Justice do what it should have done since May of
last year: file the Venezuelan petition for an extradition detainer
against Posada before a federal court. The Justice Department must
file the request for a detainer right away. It need not wait until
the immigration case is finished, because the extradition process has
priority over immigration matters. The law here is quite clear and
there is more than enough evidence to show that this man is a
fugitive from justice in Venezuela with a resume filled to the brim
with terrorist acts. As such, Posada has no right to conditional
release and instead needs to be extradited for murder. As if this
weren't enough, two of his closest collaborators who presumably
helped him enter the United States illegally, Santiago Alvarez and
Osvaldo Mitat, are now in jail in South Florida charged with illegal
possession of a war chest loaded with weapons and false documents.

The only problem facing the American justice system in the case of
Luis Posada Carriles is the false premise that the United States
government uses to spin this case. From the beginning the Bush
Administration has tried to bury this man's bloody past and instead
presents him before the law and public opinion not as the terrorist
that he is but as a simple undocumented alien that entered the United
States without being inspected by an immigration officer. If the
government is allowed to operate with this false major premise, he
will be free within a few days. If Posada Carriles hits the streets,
mendacity will have triumphed as it did when the world was told that
Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

(José Pertierra is a lawyer representing the government of Venezuela
in the extradition case of Luis Posada Carriles. His office is in
Washington, D.C.)

José Pertierra
Pertierra and Toro, P.C.
1010 Vermont Avenue, NW
Suite 620
Washington, D.C.  20005
202 783 6666 

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