[Marxism] FLASH: Prominent Cuban exile gets almost 4 years in prison in arms case

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 14 11:48:28 MST 2006

Imagine, if you would, what would happen to Osama Bin Laden if he
were to be captured. Would he get a mere four years in jail? Not on
your life. And the show-trial which Washington would put on for him
would be broadcast to the entire world. Santiago Alvarez and Oswaldo
Mitat's trial has been reported occasionally in the Miami media where
they are considered heroic patriots in some Miami militant circles.

Even though this rightist militant will only get four years in jail
and one can only assume he'll serve his time in some kind of Club
Fed type, such as where Posada is spending his time lately, this is
a positive development. Along with the recent charges being filed 
by the U.S. Attorney in the baseball smuggling case, and that U.S.
attorney is a Cuban-American and former law clerk to Samuel Alito,
recently appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. And don't forget the
FBI now investigating Posada himself and considering charging HIM
with what he's been guilty of all along: terrorism, and you could
even wonder: has Christmas come a little early this year?

Well, Xmas hasn't come earlier this year. What HAS happened here
is that, in one of those surprising consequences of the 9/11/2001
attacks in the United States, the impunity with which the Cuban
exile militants have gotten away with murder, LITERALLY, for so
many decades, is something Washington is having some difficulty
sustaining now.

The MIAMI HERALD hasn't reported this story yet, by the way.

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews




JIM MULLIN on Miami: The Burden of a Violent History:


Prominent Cuban exile gets almost 4 years in prison in arms case
By Vanessa Blum 

November 14, 2006, 11:56 AM EST


FORT LAUDERDALE -- Prominent Cuban exile Santiago Alvarez was
sentenced on Monday to almost four years in federal prison in a
weapons case.

Alvarez recently admitted he illegally stashed weapons at a
Lauderhill apartment complex and attempted to move them after federal
authorities appeared at his office with a search warrant.

In addition to the 46 months prison sentence, U.S. District Court
Judge James Cohn also ordered Alvarez, 65, to serve two years of
probation and pay a $10,000 fine.

Alvarez's long-time pal and co-defendant, Osvaldo Mitat, 64, was
sentenced to 3 years, 1 month in federal prison in the case to be
followed by two years of probation. Mitat had also pleaded guilty in
the case.

Defense attorneys argued that the two men in the case were patriots,
not crooks.

But Cohn answered, "This court recognizes the ultimate objective and
goal of Mr. Alvarez and Mr. Mitat has always been a free and
democratic Cuba. This court does not question the altruistic motive
here. However . we are a nation of laws."

Alvarez, a real-estate developer, and co-defendant Osvaldo Mitat
recently pleaded guilty to a single conspiracy charge stemming from
the Nov. 18 seizure of a white fishing cooler containing machine
guns, numerous firearms with serial numbers removed, an unregistered
silencer and a grenade launcher.

Prosecutors contended Alvarez and Mitat both staunch anti-Castro
Cuban exiles, maintained caches of weapons, including one in the
Bahamas, to use in attacks on Cuba.

According to a factual summary of the case agreed to Monday by both
sides: Federal agents executed a search warrant on Alvarez's Hialeah
office Nov. 18, after intercepting a parcel addressed to Alvarez
containing counterfeit Guatemalan identification documents. As the
search continued, Alvarez asked an employee to transport a cooler
containing weapons from the Lauderhill apartment to a location in
Miami, where Mitat would pick it up.

The employee, who was an FBI informant, tipped off agents to the
exchange. Authorities arrested Mitat as he took possession of the
weapons and arrested Alvarez later.

Before his arrest, Alvarez was best known for his support of Cuban
militant Luis Posada Carilles. Cuban and Venezuelan authorities
accuse Posada of orchestrating the bombing of a Cuban airliner in
1976 that killed 73 people.

When Posada mysteriously arrived in Miami in 2005 after years in
hiding, Alvarez acted as his chief spokesman and defender. Posada is
in federal custody in El Paso, Texas, where he has been held since
his arrest on immigration charges.

Copyright C 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Cuban exile and employee sentenced in weapons case 
November 14, 2006 12:06 EST


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- A prominent Cuban exile and his
longtime employee will spend time behind bars for having
military-style weapons that were seized last year.

Santiago Alvarez was sentenced today to just under four years in
prison. He'll also have to pay a ten-thousand dollar fine.

His employee, Osvaldo Mitat, will serve about three years in prison.

Both had pleaded guilty to weapons charges arising from seizures last
year of machine guns, a grenade launcher and thousands of rounds of

Prosecutors had said the discoveries of the weapons showed that
Alvarez was actively involved in procuring weapons for an attempt by
some Cuban exiles in Miami to topple the Castro government by force.
Alvarez was a wealthy developer and key benefactor of jailed Cuban
militant Luis Posada Carriles.

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