NEW YORK -- April 20 -- The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) announced that known terrorist Luis Posada Carriles has arrived in the United States and is expected to appeal for asylum within days. Posada was convicted in Panama after being caught in 2000 with over 30 pounds of explosives for the planned assassination of Cuban President Fidel Castro. Hiding in Central America for the past seven months Posada has been in Miami since late March. He was released prematurely from jail in Panama at the behest of the Bush Administration.
Posada was a CIA agent in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and possibly to the present. He was trained in explosives and sabotage at the notorious School of the Americas and was part of the CIA's "Operation 40" for the Bay of Pigs invasion. He was also an accomplice with Orlando Bosch in the bombing of Cubana Airlines flight 455 on October 6, 1976 that killed 73 people.
Posada told the New York Times in July 1998 that he directed the 1997 bombings of Havana hotels. A 32-year-old Italian tourist, Fabio Di Celmo, was killed at the Copacabana hotel. While in Venezuela in the 1970s, Posada oversaw the killing of Venezuelan leftists as head of the Intelligence and Prevention Services Division (DISIP) of the national police. In the 1980s Posada commanded the supply of munitions to the Nicaraguan contras from the CIA's Ilopango airbase in El Salvador.
NLG President Michael Avery said, "Since the Cuban revolution, over 3,400 Cuban people have died by violent attacks perpetrated on the island by anti-Cuban paramilitary groups that operate freely in Miami. President Bush has said that in his view any government that harbors terrorists is complicit in murder and equally guilty of terrorist crimes. Allowing Posada into the U.S. and entertaining an asylum request from a confessed terrorist is an open acknowledgement of accomplice liability in the crimes against Cuba."
The National Lawyers Guild demands that asylum be denied to Posada and that he be arrested and deported to Venezuela, which has demanded his return and which has an extradition treaty with the U.S., or that he be tried by a competent international tribunal, as Cuba has alternatively suggested. The NLG also encourages participation in the Campaign to Tell Bush and Congress "No Asylum for Posada," initiated by the ANSWER Coalition, in which thousands of people have already joined, at www.pephost.org/PosadaCarrilesasylum
The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, comprises over 6,000 members and activists in the service of the people. Its national office is headquartered in New York and it has chapters in nearly every state, as well as over 100 law school chapters. The Guild has a long history of representing individuals whom the government has deemed a threat to national security, and has helped to expose illegal FBI and CIA surveillance, infiltration and disruption tactics (COINTELPRO) that the U.S. Senate "Church Commission" hearings detailed in 1975-76, and that led to enactment of the Freedom of Information Act and other limitations on federal investigative power. The NLG has run several educational programs with its legal counterparts in Cuba.