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Posada Carriles

By Vanessa Arrington

Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles must be charged with terrorism, not just with lying during U.S. naturalization proceedings, the Cuban government said Monday in criticizing a recent U.S. Justice Department decision.

"The U.S. government knows very well - and has all the proof - of the innumerable acts of terrorism committed by Posada Carriles," the Foreign Ministry said in the statement published on the front page of Granma, the Communist Party's daily newspaper.

Posada, a former CIA operative with ties to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in the 1960s, is suspected of plotting the bombing of a Cuban jetliner 30 years ago in Venezuela. He was indicted last week in El Paso, Texas on charges of lying on his application and under oath when applying for naturalization to the United States in September 2005 and April 2006.

The statement said the foreign ministry hopes the recent charges "won't become a smoke screen to extend immunity for the serious crime of terrorism."

Cuba and Venezuela say Posada, 78, should face trial in the 1976 Cuban jetliner bombing, either in Venezuela or before an international tribunal. But a federal immigration judge who ordered Posada out of the United States ruled he could not be sent to either country.

Several countries have rejected U.S. requests Posada be sent there.

In last week's indictment, Posada was charged with one count of naturalization fraud and six counts of making false statements in a naturalization proceeding.

He said he traveled from Honduras through Belize, ultimately reaching the United States near Brownsville, Texas, with the help of a human smuggler. But the U.S. indictment alleges Posada actually entered the country by sea on a boat with four other people.

The indictment also says Posada had a fake Guatemalan passport bearing his photograph and the name Manuel Enrique Castillo Lopez.

Source: Bradenton Herald


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