[Ppnews] Miami: a Refuge for Terrorists
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 23 12:40:22 EST 2007
January 23, 2007
Staging Area for Anti-Castro Forces
Miami: a Refuge for Terrorists
By GLORIA La RIVA
How is the surrender of huge weapons caches
supposed to lighten someone's sentence?
This is the case with Santiago Alvarez and
Osvaldo Mitat, who by any dictionary's
definition, are terrorists. The evidence against
them? Machine guns, C-4 explosives, dynamite,
grenade launchers, recorded statements calling
for a nightclub full of people to be bombed,
admissions of plots to assassinate the Cuban president, etc.
Yet, now the U.S. attorney's office in Miami has
arranged the surrender of Alvarez's weapons
caches in order to lessen his prison sentence.
That sentence is already a pitiful slap on the
wrist, four years for Alvarez, three for Mitat,
for the one weapons charge they were allowed to plead guilty to in November.
The last time I heard, Miami was a city in the
United States. The last time I heard, there are
United States laws against launching armed
actions against a country with whom the United
States is not at war with. Yet, Alvarez's and
Mitat's lawyers state openly that their clients'
aim was "always" to overthrow Fidel Castro.
The situation in Miami is becoming more and more
bizarre, but it is not a funny kind of bizarre.
This is terrorism we are talking about.
Alvarez will get a lesser sentence but the "Cuban
Five," men who were working in Miami to stop the
terrorists, are unjustly serving 15 years to
double life in U.S. federal prison.
The unfolding revelations of the terrorists'
activities in Miami-and the influence they wield
over Miami institutions-proves more and more that
the Cuban Five could never have hoped to receive
a fair trial in Miami. From day one, every aspect
of the U.S. government's prosecution of these
five men, their arrest, trial and sentencing, was politically motivated.
It is apparent that the U.S. government's
objective in the Cuban Five's prosecution was to
tie the hands of these anti-terrorists. At the
same time it looked the other way while
terrorists like Alvarez and Mitat amassed weapons
and hatched assassination plots.
The terrorist bands must feel that Miami is the
perfect refuge for their kind. After all, it is
where Alvarez and crew smuggled Posada in. Don't
forget Posada's three accomplices in the Panama
terrorist plot. They flew into Miami hours after
their ignominous pardon in August 2004.
Has the FBI or U.S. Attorney's office ever
considered prosecuting those three terrorists?
There is certainly enough evidence against
Guillermo Novo Sampol, Pedro Remón and Gaspar
Jiménez for their terrorist crimes committed on
U.S. soil. And their plot to try to assassinate
Fidel Castro in Panama, definitely qualifies as a
violation of the Neutrality Act.
But the FBI interviewed the three terrorists upon
their Miami arrival and let them go.
On Jan. 15, Alvarez and Mitat were indicted for
refusing to testify to a grand jury in El Paso
about their role in smuggling Posada into the United States in March of 2005.
And the U.S. Attorney is going to lessen their sentence? What is going on here?
It is clear that the U.S. officials' orientation
in coddling the Miami terrorists comes directly
from the White House. George Bush has failed to
utter one word denouncing or acknowledging Luis
Posada Carriles' presence in the United States or his terrorist history.
Bush's attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, has
yet to declare Posada a terrorist. By his
inaction Gonzales may be giving the ultimate
green light to Posada. The immigration judge has
set Feb. 1 for the U.S. government to declare
Posada the terrorist that he is, or he could very well be freed.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice continues to
ignore Venezuela's extradition request of Posada
for his leading role in bombing the Cubana
airliner in 1976 and killing 73 people.
The absolute impunity with which the anti-Cuba
Miami terrorists operate, and the complicity of
the U.S. government in protecting them, demands
an outside independent investigation.
Investigation and prosecution of the terrorists
are what is needed, not symbolic sentences.
In the meantime, supporters of the Cuban Five
continue to fight for their freedom. To learn
about the campaign and their appeals, freethefive.org
Gloria La Riva is Coordinator, National Committee to Free the Cuban Five
<mailto:Glorialariva at hotmail.com>Glorialariva at hotmail.com
The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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