OUR CARIBBEAN: War on terror? US hypocrisy and contempt
by Rickey Singh
Mar. 2, 2007
Reprinted from The Nation Newspaper
THE SENTENCING this past Tuesday by a Miami district judge of a Cuban-born university professor and his wife to five and three-year terms, respectively, for admitting to "spying" for Cuba, is pehaps the latest example of the hypocrisy, the moral inconsistency, of the George W. Bush administration when it comes to issues of terrorism, the rule of law and social justice.
This hypocrisy is well located in the Bush administration's policy and related attitudes of United States authorities in dealing with the documented case of a notorious anti-Castro terrorist, the Cuban émigré Luis Posada Carriles, wanted for the 1976 bombing of a Cubana passenger aircraft in which all 73 people aboard perished off Barbados.
More, later, of the now 77-year-old Posada. First to the "spying" 61-year-old professor Carlos Alvarez of Florida International University. He has admitted to providing, in collaboration with his wife Elsa, information to Cuban intelligence on Cuban exiles living in Florida.
Alvarez told judge Michael Moore that he was once part of "an underground movement" to topple the government of Fidel Castro, but later chose to be "an advocate for dialogue" with the intention of improving relations between Cuba and the United States.
According to information provided to the prosecution by the political and intelligence arms of the United States government, Alvarez had used the codename "David" while he and his wife Elsa, 56 (codenamed Deborah) were engaged in sharing information with Cuban intelligence to "influence dialogue".
In sentencing them, the judge correctly noted that "a good motive is never an excuse for criminal conduct". Well, Posada and his collaborators in crime must be laughing. They would include officials of the Ronald Reagan administration, and also significant roles played by United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) personnel who had trained, bankrolled and protected Posada over the years of sustainted anti-Castro activities as documented in books, magazines and newspaper articles, and found in archival materials.
Even before being facilitated in escaping from prison in Panama for his involvement in the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro in that Central American state in 2004 during an official visit, Posada had earlier been assisted by United States intelligence in Caracas and anti-Castro Venezuelan elements to escape from jail while awaiting trial for his role in the horrific Cubana bombing.
Perhaps, for that Cubana bombing tragedy, Posada also had "a good motive", to use words of the judge, since it was consisent with his driven CIA-sponsored commitment to get rid of a "dangerous enemy" of the Empire in the Western Hemishpere.
He had, after all, been previously engaged – as also documened – in bombing targets inside Cuba that resulted in deaths, injuries and destruction, as well as being an active collaborator with the CIA and the anti-Sandinistas "Contras" when he operated out of El Salvador under the codename "Ramon Medina" to help destabilise the then government in Nicaragua.
Now, however, while governments in Havana, Caracas, and CARICOM have been calling for him to face trial for his murderous role in the Cubana tragedy, Posada is waiting to answer charges in a Texas court.
But not for any of his terrorist activities. Simply for "lying" to immigration officials in his quest to become a citizen of the "democratic United States" that has been his sanctuary, on and off, for a long time.
What contempt for our Caribbean governments. What mockery of the rule of law and sheer hypocrisy of Bush's "war on terrorism"!
* Rickey Singh is a noted Caribbean journalist.