Where the World's Views of America Come into Focus
April 11, 2005Original Article (english)
President Fidel Castro yesterday demanded that U.S. President George W. Bush respond before the world, as to whether his government is sheltering notorious international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles on U.S. territory.
By April 11, Posada Carriles had been in the U.S. for 19 days, but top officials in that country had not said a single word on the subject; the news had spread via press reports like one published in The Miami Herald, in which a federal official confirmed the terrorist's presence.
All indications are that the assassin's rigged, silent and conspiratorial entry into the U.S. is in line with Washington's wish to let time pass. Given that Washington is now trying to condemn Cuba in the U.N. Human Rights Commission, it would not be convenient for the world to learn of the empire's hypocritical attitude, the revolutionary leader said.
"We call on them to say something, to express some kind of opinion regarding something that is like a creature about to be born. The truth is, at this moment, the honorable president of the United States is like a pregnant woman with a monster in her belly, and she has to give birth, and soon, because it would be too hard to backtrack; they have to present it," Fidel affirmed during a special appearance at [Cuba's] International Conference Center.
The president of the Council of State reminded the U.S. president of the latter's comment on August 26, 2003, when Bush affirmed that he was sending a message that could be understood by the whole world: if someone protects a terrorist, if someone feeds a terrorist, then that person is just as guilty as the terrorists.
Therefore, how to understand the protection being afforded Posada Carriles? In Fidel's opinion, doing so is an outrage to the U.S. citizens who died in the Twin Towers in New York; not forgetting that thousands of relatives of those who have been sacrificed in atrocious terrorist acts are living there -- and here.
Fidel made his observations before an audience
of combatants relatives of those who lost their lives in the sabotage of the
La Coubre [a French freighter said to
being carrying munitions for Castro's militia, which exploded in Havana Harbor] and in the struggle against bandits begun in late 1960; survivors and relatives of the victims of an explosion in the El Encanto department store in 1961; combatants and relatives of those who died fighting the mercenaries during the Bay of Pigs invasion; and members of the health brigade that tended to the victims at the time.
The audience also included relatives and survivors of the February 1974 bombing attack on the Cuban embassy in Peru; relatives of those who died in the mid-flight explosion of a Cubana Airlines jet in 1976 (the most monstrous crime of its type committed in this hemisphere); and relatives of those who died during the attack on Tarara harbor in January of 1992.
Other members of the audience were victims of the hemorrhagic dengue fever epidemic triggered by the CIA in Cuba; relatives of those who died in the sabotage of the Nico Lopez refinery; relatives of Adriana Corcho, murdered in the Cuban embassy in Portugal in 1976; the father of young Italian Fabio Di Celmo who died as a result of acts of terrorism perpetrated on hotels and other facilities in Havana in recent years; and the relatives of the five Cuban patriots imprisoned in the U.S.
Also in attendance were lawyers participating in two lawsuits filed by the Cuban people against the United States government for human and economic losses.
Referring to all of them, Fidel said: "Listen well, Mr. Bush. Here are the victims of the crimes and terrorist acts committed against our people going back dozens of years. It is in their name that I am speaking."
He then asked the European governments to express an opinion regarding the reality that monstrous killers (Posada Carriles' accomplices) should be welcomed into the United States with expressions of tribute and recognition.
Fidel charged the U.S. leader to respond as to whether certain persons in his most intimate circle have persuaded him, George W. Bush, to offer hospitality to Posada Carriles. And if he was not aware of that, when did he become aware of it.
Moreover, Castro demanded that the U.S. president publicly state whether he knew that his closest friends in the White House were involved in protecting the terrorist while John Paul II was on his death bed, and if he was aware of that fact when he traveled to Rome and bowed before the Pope's body.
Fidel also asked Bush if at the moment of humanity's consternation at the death of the Supreme Pontiff, he was aware that something as shameful and repugnant as the protection of Posada Carriles was taking place in the United States.
"Would the Pope have approved of such conduct, would world public opinion have approved of that conduct, the peoples -- including our own -- the families of the victims of acts of terrorism?," the Cuban president inquired, going on to add: "Everyone would like to know whether you knew or not, if you are aware or not of what is happening, because that would be like bin Laden being on U.S. territory and the president of that country not knowing about it or not doing anything about it."
WHAT SECURITY CAN THE U.S. PEOPLE HAVE?
What kind of a president does the United States have, a man who can grant safe haven to a terrorist monster who masterminded the sabotage in mid-flight of a plane with 73 people on board, and who carried explosives to Panama to blow up a university amphitheater, which could have caused the death of hundreds of people? What kind of security can the U.S. people have with a president like that? What use are all the security bodies, all the intelligence agencies, the machinery costing hundreds of billions of dollars, if they didn't know that Posada Carriles was there? Fidel asked.
"And if they knew and they informed you," he continued, "why haven't you informed world public opinion?" he insisted.
Referring to Bush, he stated: "You have a great responsibility to world opinion; to the people of the United States; to the victims of acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens in any part of the world; before the peoples of Latin America; before the people of Cuba; and before the families at this meeting who have never even received the consolation of one word of remorse, one word of pardon on the part of any U.S. government."
He qualified as a monumental and grave deed Washington's action in relation to Posada Carriles, whose terrorist record, as well as that of his closest accomplices, is fully and publicly known.
Fidel also recalled that the Cuban leadership has always been disposed to cooperate with the U.S. authorities and give them the necessary information on the criminal history of these terrorists, although the White House and its agents, including the CIA, are well aware of it because those killers have worked under the orders of the empire for many years.
The Cuban president recounted in detail the post-trial events in Panama that led up to the release of Posada Carriles and his accomplices, via a pardon granted by the ex-president of that country, Mireya Moscoso.
After recalling that it was Cuba that supplied all the information leading to the arrest of the terrorists by Panamanian police, he noted that Cuba could have captured them, "but we never did and never will, because we have an ethic, we respect the sovereignty of other countries and we are not accustomed to undertaking actions of that type in which the empire is always involving itself."
Commentaries circulating among the America's ultra-right are generating much expectation concerning the political cost to the administration at the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, given the total silence on the part of the [U.S.] government and counterrevolutionary capos in their attempt to conceal Posada Carriles, he observed.
"However," he added, "the information filtered out before it should have, because members of the Cuban Liberty Council (a notorious counterrevolutionary organization), have been approached to offer financial support to Carriles; in other words, asking the Council to do what they had planned to do in any case."
TALES OF THE MOB
Fidel explained how newspapers and radio stations in Miami have been seeking a way to once again introduce Luis Posada Carriles, a notorious counterrevolutionary terrorist, to the city, by describing him as a "veteran anti-Castro warrior," a "symbolic figure," and "an exiled Cuban."
After describing the maneuvers of these self-proclaimed human rights defenders as "outrageous" and "abhorrent," the leader of the Revolution explained, in depth, the cynical focus that these media outlets have adopted in reporting Posada as a "legendary fighter" who is now bringing to an end to his "errant, clandestine life" and seeking asylum in the United States.
He listed many of the attacks this well-known criminal and his accomplices have committed over the past 40 years, and condemned the attitude of successive U.S. administrations that, from the very triumph of the Revolution, elected to train, direct and protect them.
Fidel referred to the public confession made by the Posada Carriles in The New York Times, in regard to his pride at having perpetrated the 1976 attack on an airplane flying out of Barbados, in which 73 people, the majority of them young Cuban athletes, lost their lives.
Long before this, going back to 1960, Posada Carriles had organized counterrevolutionary plans directly linked to the CIA. On that subject, Fidel recalled that one of the empire's declassified documents reveals that the ringleader worked under the pseudonym "The Hunter" in the "Black Hawks" terrorist organization. He also stated that in 1961, Posada received military training in order to back up the mercenary landing at the Bay of Pigs, but the rapid military victory of our people prevented him from acting.
This notorious enemy of the Revolution's links with the worst causes in Latin America were clearly demonstrated in the events recalled by Fidel, which included attacks on Venezuelan revolutionaries during the 1960s as well as in other countries of Our America.
The list of bloody attacks carried out by Posada Carriles and his henchmen is extensive and includes the assassination of Cuban officials abroad and the organization of attacks on the life of the president, particularly during various Ibero-American Summits in the 1990s.
In Cartagena de Indias, Colombia in 1994, taking advantage of the leaders' meeting, Posada Carriles organized an attack on Fidel scheduled to take place as he was traveling by car into the city with Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, as part of the Summit agenda. The attack failed.
The leader of the Revolution gave details of the extensive list of terrorist attacks perpetrated by Posada Carriles, Pedro Remon Rodriguez, Gaspar Jimenez Escobedo, and Guillermo Novo Sampoll.
He spoke of how the terrorists tried to destroy what Cuba was creating in the tourist industry, the country's way out of the "Special Period" [the collapse of the USSR and the socialist bloc.] Nor should it be overlooked that with those acts of sabotage, they were attempting to create an atmosphere of internal chaos to defeat the Revolution.
Fidel offered details of the arrests of Luis Posada Carriles and his sidekicks on November 17, 2000, when they had everything planned for an assassination attempt against him as he was to meet with students at the University of Panama lecture Hall. They were in possession of no less than 40 kilograms of TNT and other sophisticated armaments for effecting this crime.
"We had them under surveillance, under control and on film, and we gave the Panamanian authorities some time so they could take steps. Remember that I appeared before the press and offered them details of the monstrous slaughter that they were planning, after which they were arrested," he explained.
Immediately afterwards, the Cuban president spent some minutes giving a synthesis of the dossiers on Posada Carriles and his supporters, Remon Rodriguez, Novo Sampoll and Jimenez Escobedo, with details of killings and attacks, such as the murder of Eulalio J. Negrin in November 1979. Negrin attended a Nation and Emigration conference in Cuba, after which Pedro Remon (following orders of Orlando Bosch, another henchmen imprisoned in Venezuela at the time), killed him in front of his son.
He also spoke of the murders of Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier and Felix Garcia Rodriguez, a Cuban official at the U.N., in which those individuals also took part. "Criminals such as these are currently in the United States. Is it possible that the Americans are unaware of the presence of these individuals, that have been exposed by our country?
Once pardoned by Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso, Bush's "little buddies" were feted in Miami and other cities, where money was even raised on their behalf. The Cuban Liberty Council stood out in that endeavor by organizing a party in their honor in Miami on September 28, 2004.
The leader of the Revolution recalled that while these killers are walking free, five Cubans, anti-terrorist fighters, are languishing in U.S. jails serving life sentences, while their families are barely able to visit them. "How noble, how democratic, how just are these gentlemen of the empire!"
"Here are the diplomatic notes from Cuba directed to the so-called government of the United States," said Fidel. "Our country protested against what they were attempting to do in order to change the legal process against the murderers in Panama, maneuvers in which the hand of the United States appeared pressuring the government to free the terrorists."
The Cuban Foreign Ministry (MINREX) condemned the ploys and intimidation to which key [Latin America] figures were subjected [by the United States], in order to destroy a judicial process [Cuba's] that had gone ahead with impartiality and justice. In one of these notes, Cuba stated that it was aware of Mireya Moscoso's intention of pardoning the terrorists, but not one of those communiques received a reply.
"We made it known to the government of the United States -- supposedly committed to combating international terrorism -- that if these criminals entered that country they should be handed over to the Cuban authorities, who would cooperate in offering any information requested," he stated.
"We are informing the world before they complete their dirty work. So many notes sent and they still haven't uttered a single word."
Fidel recalled that immediately after their release, the U.S. government was asked to act on information that Posada Carriles was in Miami, and that MINREX was demanding his arrest and extradition to Cuba to be tried for crimes committed against our people. It was stated in those notes that he and his accomplices would be tried for the crime of international terrorism. We hope that the United States acts in a responsible manner and does not allow these ‘gentlemen' to once again make a mockery of justice."