Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Posada back to Panama?

“We ask God to sharpen our machetes because difficult times are arriving,” Luis Posada Carriles said two months ago at a Miami dinner in his honor.

He was speculating about difficult times in Cuba, but he may be the one facing difficult times, in the form of some new legal trouble.

Posada, whom President Bush’s Justice Department calls an “admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and attacks,” was in jail in Panama when he won a last-minute pardon from outgoing Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso in 2004. He had been serving a sentence for endangering public safety and possession of explosives; those charges were brought when he and associates, apparently seeking to assassinate Fidel Castro, traveled to Panama when Castro was there, and were arrested with their explosives.

After the pardon, he entered the United States illegally and faced immigration charges, which were eventually dismissed on procedural grounds by a judge. He is living in Miami and faces deportation – if the U.S. government could find a country to take him.

Because he could allegedly face torture if extradited to Cuba or Venezuela, where he faces charges related to the 1976 bombing of the Cuban airliner in Barbados, extradition to those two countries has been ruled out.

Panama’s supreme court has now declared Posada’s 2004 pardon to be unconstitutional. With that pardon nullified, the way is now open for Panamanian authorities to seek his extradition so he can serve out his sentence.

What would the Bush Administration do if a request came from Panama? Last year, a Reuters report on a UN debate of the Posada case contained this passage:

“U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad … said the immigration judge who originally considered Posada Carriles’s case had barred his deportation to Cuba or Venezuela. But he said Washington would be prepared to send him to another country with terrorism-related charges against him.”

We’ll see.


Anonymous said...

Tell you what, have the Panamanians extradite Pedro Manuel Gonzalez here for killing a U.S. soldier and they can have Posada.

Antony said...

I akways wondered why the Italians never wanted to put him on trial, after all the 1997 hotel bombings in Cuba killed an Italian guy. Posada was involved in that spate of bombings.

Mambi_Watch said...

The first comment by anonymous illustrates how hard-liners will react if Panama does present an extradition order for Posada Carriles, currently free in the US.

The Cuban-American political leadership, which initially lobbied the Moscoso administration to pardon Posada Carriles, will again lobby against a possible extradition request from Panama. They may even repeat the Moscoso argument that Posada may be later extradited to Cuba or Venezuela.

Panama may altogether avoid this headache to extradite an aged "terrorist" with a powerful Cuban-American lobby behind him.

But, since Panama has very good relations with Cuba, they may be pressured by the Cuban government to begin the extradition process after November election results in the US, and a realistic examination of the political waters in the new administration.

The Posada Carriles Saga continues.

Anonymous said...

Cuba never extradited Robert VEsco, ETA members, other US fugitives still at large, the black panther lady

Anonymous said...

"Cuba never extradited Robert Vesco..."

Huh? What has that have to do with the international terrorist Posada Carriles?

There is no extradition agreement between US and Cuba. Despite that Cuba has sent back a number of fugitives to US since Raul took over.

Cuba is NOT asking for Posada to be sent to Cuba; they just want him to serve out his time in Panama, or be sent to Venezuela re Cubana Airlines. Or for the Americans to finally recognize the terrorists in their midsts. To stop the hypocrisy of their war on terrorism. So quit trying to obfuscate the issue with ridiculous attempts at equivalence.
For 50 years the United STates has waged a war of terror against Cuba, that is what the Cubans are fighting, and Posada (the Bin Laden of Americas) is a big piece of that battle.

Phil Peters said...

If there’s a guy out there who killed an American soldier and he can be brought to justice by extraditing him from Panama to the United States, I’m all in favor of that.

But the Bush Administration has set itself up as the leader, morally and operationally, in the global war on terrorism. It has said Posada is a terrorist, it doesn’t want to keep him here, and would get rid of him if a suitable country is found. I think the Administration would be hard pressed to say that a Panamanian extradition request is valid but would only be honored if Panama acts in some other case. My guess is that if there’s a Panamanian request and the Administration doesn’t want to extradite him, it would just study the request to death and run out the clock.

Agustin Farinas said...

Mambi Watch,
I am also in favor of bringing to the US Fidel and Raul Castro two of the biggest terrorists in the history of the world and guilty of the murder and assasination of thousnads of people throughout Latin America with guerrillas armed, trained and equiped by them. Do you remember the 13 of March tugboat? (of course you do, you defended it as a an accident. Or the shooting of an unarmed civilian plane with 2 US citizens and 2 legal residents on board? Or those citizens are less humans than the ones Posada bombed? What do you call that? Is that not terrorism? When Cuba sends those two criminals to the USA to be judged, then we will send you Posada. No, you would not want that, of course because those muderers are your heroes. You sir, are an unrepentant apolologist for the tyranny in Cuba.

Anonymous said...

Apply justice, Obama!!

Anonymous said...

Enough with the distortions, because some one presents facts doesn't mean they are an apologist for Fidel or Raul.
Those planes invaded Cuba airspace illegally more than a dozen times, the Cuban govt continually warned them to stop, complained to the US, which did nothing, then warned the next time they'd be shot down. They did what any country would do, particularly one that had been subjected to previous invasion of air space by private pilots from Miami that brought bombings and disase -- could you imagine the US tolerating invasion of their airspace? Ha! Despite the lies of the State Dept there is concrete evidence the planes were shot down in Cuba airspace. Every country is allowed to protect its sovereignty, except Cuba, because the US has consistently stated they consider Cuba a national issue, meaning they dont consider Cuba as an independent state.
Terrorism -- then every US president since Kennedy is a terrorist. For fifty years the US has supported a war on terrorism against Cuba. That's reality. And what about the hundreds of thousands of Latin American's killed in the 1980s by right wing death squads supported, trained and supplied by US. And the thousands now being killed by an illegal invasion of Iraq. Learn history before you open your mouth.

Then we'll send you Posada? So you admit he is a terrorist. And again the cuban's dont want him, goof, they want him sent to Panama. As long as the terrorist is killing your enemies its justified, what a morally corrupt position.

Agustin Farinas said...

So now civilian aircraft were armed? Now that is a new one.
The shooting down of unarmned aircraft is a crime by any standards. And the sinking of tugboat full of civilians including women and children is not a crime?. Your position is the one morally corrupt. Is muedr plain and simple. No amount of posturing and ideology can excuse that crime. But to you obviously women and children are combatants. What a twisted logic some people use when they try to justify the unjustifiable!.
Cuba is a tyranny, plain and simple. And the Castro brothers are criminals. No amount of white wash can change that fact.

Mambi_Watch said...

Mr. Farinas,

You're terribly mistaken about my position on cases of crimes and justice concerning Cuba and the US.

You cited two examples, so I will respond.

In the case of Fidel and Raul Castro, I am in favor of a national or international tribunal to investigate or charge both leaders with any crimes. I actually support Unidad Cubana's idea for a tribunal after some kind of dramatic political shift in Cuba, BUT I oppose their construction of the tribunal because they do not specify who will be the judges of the court.

Furthermore, there's no need to extradite Fidel or Raul Castro to the US. There are already international mechanisms in place for citizens of any country to bring charges of international crimes against political leaders. All you need is strong evidence, since many political leaders seem to slip through the hands of justice.

Finally, my thoughts on the case of the 13 de Marzo tugboat have been made clear on my blog:


My position remains the same: the Cuban government has yet to fully investigate this apparent crime, and the Cuban coast guard along with the Ministry of the Interior must take full responsibility for the lives lost from the sinking of the tugboat. Hopefully, this case can also be settled in within a fair and internationally recognized judicial setting.

But, the cases above, along with the shootdown of the BTTR planes, in my opinion, are not acts of terrorisms.

Luis Posada Carriles is the only case here that is recognized, uncontroversially, as acts of terrorism.

Now, lets get back to the discussion of possible extradition to Panama.

Agustin Farinas said...

Mambi Watch,
is nice how you make a distinction between the terrorism of the Castros and their opponents. Theirs is not, the others they are. If that calms your conscience and allows you to sleep at night, very well. Hope you sleep sound and tranquil after defending what is indefensible.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mambi wants the Castro regime's "apparent crime" "settled within a fair and internationally recognized judicial setting."

Funny, he displays no sense of propriety when referring to the allegations against Posada. Guilty as charged (by Castro)... Off with his head!

Mambi_Watch said...

There's more than "allegations" against Posada. He needs to take responsibility for his actions before a court of law.

Anonymous said...

indeed he does. Before a transparent, impartial, apolitical court of law. In other words, nowhere in Latin America.