Dear Friend and Supporter of Justice, Posada
Last week, the Bush Administration—which pretends to be fighting a “war on terrorism”—allowed the release from prison of the leading self-confessed terrorist in the Americas, Luis Posada Carriles. The release of Posada, wanted in Venezuela for organizing the bombing of a plane in 1976, which killed all 73 persons on board, has created a wave of outrage in Latin America and around the world. Quoting Bush’s hypocritical words back to him on April 19, the day of Posada’s release, a Cuban youth leader said, “If you harbor a terrorist, you are a terrorist.”
On May 11, 2007, Posada is scheduled to return to El Paso, Texas for a trial on minor immigration charges. The Bush “Justice” Department, headed by Alberto Gonzales, has refused to bring charges of terrorist activity—including murder—against Posada despite the existence of mountains of evidence against him. Bush and Gonzales have refused to extradite Posada to Venezuela, despite a legally binding extradition treaty that country has had with the United States for more than 80 years.
We, too, will be in El Paso on May 11. Together with people from across the Southwest and beyond, we will be there to demand justice for Posada’s victims and his extradition to Venezuela to stand trial for his horrific crimes. We are asking for your support in organizing a demonstration and press conference outside the courthouse in El Paso and in other cities across the country on that day. We must raise thousands of dollars to organize transportation to the El Paso demonstration, including for the families of victims of Posada’s murderous acts over the years. Their suffering has not ended and their voices must be heard.
The bombing of the Cubana Airlines plane on its way from Caracas to Havana, was far from Posada’s only terrorist act. In a 1998 New York Times interview, Posada admitted organizing and paying for a series of bombings of tourist hotels in Havana. One person, an Italian tourist named Livio Di Celmo, was killed and dozens wounded. In November 2000, Posada organized an assassination attempt against Cuban President Fidel Castro when he was visiting the University of Panama. The plan, which was thwarted by Cuban security services, called for blowing up—using 33 pounds of C-4 plastic explosives—a packed auditorium filled with 2,000 students while Castro was speaking. The death toll would have likely been in the hundreds. After a short prison term, Posada and his cohorts were pardoned by U.S.-dependent Panamanian president, Mireya Moscoso, on her last day in office.
At the same time Posada walks free, the Cuban Five—five men whose mission was to stop terrorist attacks emanating from Miami against their homeland—remain locked away, three of them serving life sentences in U.S. prisons. Nothing could highlight more clearly the injustice suffered by these five men than the release of the arch-terrorist Posada. The freeing of Posada is a declaration by the Bush administration of its intent to continue the 48-year undeclared war against the small neighboring country of Cuba.
We are appealing to you to join and support the campaign for justice on May 11 and beyond. Please click here to make a much needed donation today.
Yours for Justice,
Ramsey Clark, Gloria La Riva, Cynthia McKinney