March 31, 2005

ONE MAN'S TERRORIST...:

Elusive Castro foe may be here: A veteran Cuban exile militant linked to a string of violent acts against Fidel Castro and his government is reportedly in South Florida seeking safe haven. (ELAINE DE VALLE AND ALFONSO CHARDY, 3/31/05, Miami Herald)

Luis Posada Carriles, the legendary Cuban exile operative accused of blowing up a Cuban airliner in 1976 and trying to kill Fidel Castro in 2000, is believed to have secretly slipped into South Florida after years of hiding abroad, a federal source said Wednesday.

The source said he understands that Posada, 77, has been in the area for about a week and has made contact with government authorities.

The source said he may be trying to retain a local attorney, but didn't explain why. One possibility might be to help ensure Posada wouldn't be extradited to Venezuela, where he escaped from prison in 1985 while facing charges related to the airliner bombing.

The Cuban-born militant, however, does not face any charges in the United States.

Santiago Alvarez, a Miami developer who is a close friend and financial backer of Posada, said he talked to three attorneys on Wednesday in case his friend decides to come forward and seek asylum. Alvarez, however, said he would neither confirm nor deny Posada is in the area.

''I cannot tell you if I have seen him or have not seen him, if he is here or is not here,'' Alvarez said. ``What I can tell you is that I am signing a contract with a lawyer to represent him in case it is true that he is here and that he will present himself to immigration.''

Were Posada to emerge publicly in Miami, his presence could pose an embarrassing foreign-relations dilemma for the Bush administration. Amid the U.S. war on global terrorism, Posada's alleged involvement in hotel bombings and assassination plots could leave the nation open to criticism, especially by Cuba and Venezuela, whose governments are antagonistic toward American policies.


Oh no, criticism from Castro and Hugo? Maybe they'll make it a causus belli.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 31, 2005 7:58 AM
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