[Marxism] Posada's Labyrinth ( editorial, La Alborada)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Feb 6 07:09:48 MST 2007

Posada's Labyrinth La Alborada - February 6

The following contains a confusing number of twists and turns. 
We regret that the subject matter requires this outcome. Please 
Follow along.

The US maintains that it can find no acceptable country willing to
take Luis Posada Carriles, and therefore cannot deport him. As a
result, the US laments, it might just have to free him.

It refuses to turn him over to Cuba--which has waived its claim to
try him on charges of mass murder and other acts of terrorism, in
favor of Venezuela's petiton for extradition--nor to Venezuela,
claiming, without any evidence or logic, that Posada would be
tortured there. The US, which now defends torture at the level of the
president and his attorney general, says that international
anti-torture treaties--which the US ignores when it comes to its own
tortures--prohibit Posada's extradition to Venezuela.

The US also claims that it has asked several other countries to take
Posada, but that they refuse to do so. The countries are Canada,
Mexico, and the Central American nations of Panama, El Salvador,
Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. Canada and Mexico are close
allies of the US, and free-trade partners in NAFTA. The other four
have also signed a free trade agreement with the US, hoping for an
economic miracle. None of them are known for putting up determined
opposition to a pointed request from the US. Canada and Mexico have
maintained a certain independence in the past, but not under their
current governments. One would think that a little arm-twisting and
maybe a development grant would resolve the impasse. Yet, they all
refuse to take Posada, even US disciple Oscar Arias in Costa Rica.

We do not know the position of the rest of the world, nor whether any
other country has even been asked. What about the UK, for example?
Wouldn't Tony Blair do another favor for Bush before leaving office?
How about Colombia, or Chile, or Marshall Islands? It seems that the
US is unusually stymied in getting another country to take Posada.

US law suggests that if Posada cannot be deported for lack of a
nation willing to accept him, well, he just may have to be set free.
Why speak of deportation? Because the US refuses to call Posada a
terrorist. He has been held only for immigration violations, to which
recently were added charges of lying to immigration officials. That
was done in order to dodge an immigration judge's deadline that would
have forced the US to release him from immigration detention.

Posada remains in detention, but with no visible chance of
extradition or deportation. Under treaty, if he is not extradited he
must be tried here--not for illegal entry, but for the heinous crimes
of which he is accused. But the US has no intention of complying with
those treaty obligations any more than it intends to extradite

And the fact is that Posada does not want to go anywhere but to the
US--in particular, Miami--and if he were deported he would not get
back in. The US government, committed to its supporters in Miami who
consider Posada not a terrorist, but a hero, is casting about for a
way to release him onto Calle Ocho with some semblance of reason or
lawfulness. One way of doing that would be to try him for a minor
violation, give him a light sentence, and then--this being a nation
of laws--set him free.

Curiously, at least El Salvador was earlier proposing to request
Posada's extradition, on the charge of holding false documents from
El Salvador, where he used to live. At that time, that would have
relieved the US of the hot potato. But that later turned into a
refusal to take him, even through simple deportation, even though he
still has charges pending in El Salvador. It's not unreasonable to
think that the several denials have been orchestrated to provide the
US with the desired option.

El Salvador's president was happy to oblige with a strong
denunciation of Posada, although he may have overdone it. His
Minister of the Interior said that "We don't like terrorism, we want
no connection (with Posada Carriles)." Asked about Posada's
involvement in terrorist acts, the president himself said: 
“People who commit an act of terrorism should be tried as such.”

Panamanians know also that Posada was in that country trying to blow
up an auditorium where Fidel Castro was to speak. Posada was arrested
and found guilty of related charges. He was in jail in Panama when he
was pardoned by the departing president, who departed all the way to
Miami, where she now lives. The governments of the neighboring
Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica are surely familiar with Posada's

In sum:

Everyone knows that Posada is a terrorist. That, however, is not the
reason why seven countries refuse to accept him upon deportation: the
reason is that the US does not want any country to take him, because
then it can eventually release him in Miami. He will not be tried on
criminal charges more serious than lying to immigration officials,
not as long as Bush is president. And, specifically, the US will
never call him a terrorist, no matter how clear the evidence in its
own intelligence reports. Because as far as the US is concerned,
Posada Carriles is a hero.

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