A.P. REPORT ON CUBAN REQUEST TO U.N.
Sorry this is so long, but as you read this -- and my bracketed comments which are in blue -- you may also want to see some of the earlier articles (to back up those comments) that I am appending at the bottom...
October 15, 2004
Walter Lippmann noted:
(The United Nations many weaknesses caused Cuba's Foreign Minister to raise serious questions last month about the world body's utility, but Cuba is definitely not walking away from the UN, as can be seen by this article from the Wall Street Journal.
(Note the bizarre "objective", "even-handed" way in which the AP report describes the differences which separate Cuba and the US as a mere matter of opinion.)
PEREZ-ROQUE on the
UN: "A New World Order is Necessary"
Cuba Asks UN To Evaluate Panama's Pardon Of 4 Exiles
October 14, 2004 7:22 p.m.
UNITED NATIONS (AP)--Cuba has asked the U.N. counter-terrorism committee to evaluate Panama's pardon of four Cuban exiles that the communist government accuses of trying to assassinate President Fidel Castro.. [Actually, it is not just the "communist government of Cuba" that accuses these four men. In fact, the government of Panama not only accused them, but convicted them of a number of counts -- although after a lot of intimidation, they backed down from trying them on the attempted assassination charge. If they hadn't been convicted by her own judicial system, Moscoso wouldn't have had to pardon them....]
In a letter to the U.N. Security Council circulated Thursday, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said his government hopes that "such an effort might bring an end to impunity for these terrorists."
Cuba broke diplomatic ties with Panama in August after President Mireya Moscoso issued the pardons, six days before she handed power to President Martin Torrijos. Three of the exiles are now in the U.S. and the fourth is believed to be in Honduras. [Where he was taken in a privately chartered plane with false documents, both presumably supplied by the CIA and rightwing Cuban exile groups in Miami.]
The four were arrested in Panama during an Ibero-American summit in 2000 after Castro claimed he was being targeted for assassination. They were serving sentences for endangering public safety after being exonerated of possessing explosives. [If they had been exonerated of possessing explosives they wouldn't have been endangering public safety. The explosives were found to have been in their car. The driver admitted taking them out when the plot was revealed and showed police where they were. There was other proof as well. --(see statement of prosecutor below). The auditorium where Fidel was to speak would have been filled with several thousand Panamanian students and faculty....]
To some, especially the Cuban government, it is a clear case of international terrorism. But to others, the four were freedom fighters trying to liberate their homeland. [OK, so if they WEREN'T trying to assassinate Fidel Castro and they DIDN'T have those explosives, WHY would "others" consider them to be "freedom fighters trying to liberate their homeland"????]
Perez Roque claimed the U.S. pressured Moscoso to release the four men, and alleged that their release was "a significant electoral favor to the administration of President George W. Bush, who seeks to be re-elected with the support of the Cuban-born extremist and violent groups based in Florida."
After the four were pardoned, U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said it was a decision made by Panama. "We never lobbied the Panamanian government to pardon anyone involved in this case," he said. [Does anyone believe him? Well, yes, sort of. The US doesn't "lobby" countries it considers underlings. It TELLS them what to do. Secretary of State Powell didn't ASK Moscoso to release the men; he TOLD her to.]
Moscoso said she wanted to prevent a future government from extraditing the four - Luis Posada Carriles, Gaspar Jimenez, Guillermo Novo and Pedro Remon -when they finish their prison terms, saying she was certain they would be executed. [Aside from the fact that if any four men ever deserved to be executed, these four do (see note #2 below), the two governments which have a legal right to extradite the men and have expressed interest in doing so are Cuba and Venezuela. Cuba pledged not to seek the death penalty if they were returned for trial in Cuba and Venezuela doesn't have a death penalty.]
The counter-terrorism committee was established after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. to monitor what governments are doing to implement a resolution demanding a halt to all support, financing and sanctuary for terrorists. [Which the US consistently ignores, welcoming with open arms some of the world's worst terrorists, especially those that have been in its pay. See www.cja.org for some of the actions that have been taken to bring some of these criminals living the good life in the US to justice.]
Perez Roque said Cuba 's first report to the committee in 2002 listed instigators of terrorist acts against Cuba , including the four men pardoned by Moscoso.
He said the government wants to know what steps the counter-terrorism committee "has considered taking in response to the voluminous information that Cuba has provided to it." Cuba also requests the committee to evaluate the pardons. [He could well have asked the UN Committee to also evaluate Miami's open and public heroes' welcome given the three who were returned directly to Miami. See fotos of their welcome in the Miami Herald. Normally criminals are not allowed to immigrate to the US, and immigrants have been deported for far lesser crimes than those committed by these four (see below)]
Cuba "reaffirms its decision to cooperate in fighting international terrorism and hopes that the international community will not remain impassive to the action" of Panama "which promotes terrorism and awards its perpetrators."
Britain's U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry, the current Security Council president, said he hadn't yet seen the letter.
Note #1 CBS Report: Panama Pardons Spur Cuban Outrage
HAVANA, Aug. 27, 2004
Luis Posada Carriles is escorted into a Panama City courtroom last year. Havana calls him "the hemisphere's top terrorist." (Photo: AP)
"Panama's release of recognized purveyors of violence such as Guillermo Novo and Luis Posada is not only a travesty of justice, it is a danger to future victims." Peter Kornbluh
(CBS) By CBS News Producer Portia Siegelbaum
The Chilean Supreme Court on Thursday stripped former military dictator Augusto Pinochet of his immunity. That leaves the courts free to prosecute him for the deaths or disappearances of opposition figures in the 1970s.
Just a few hours earlier, Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso was pardoning four Cuban exiles, one of whom collaborated with Pinochet's secret police.
Guillermo Novo, along with three other Cuban exiles, were arrested in Panama in November 2000 on information provided by Cuban intelligence.
Fidel Castro's personal security detail had swept the Panamanian capital in advance of the Cuban president's arrival for an Ibero-American Summit. They provided Panamanian authorities with a surveillance video of four known anti-Castro extremists believed to be plotting to assassinate Castro. The plan, said Cuban security, was to plant explosives at a scheduled meeting between Castro and university students.
Panamanian courts, however, determined there was not enough evidence to sentence the men for attempted murder and instead sentenced Novo and Pedro Remón to seven years each for endangering public safety and Luis Posada Carriles and Gaspar Jiménez to eight years for endangering public safety and falsifying documents.
Cuba protested the court ruling, charging the men had gotten off too easy. Posada Carriles, the most notorious of the four, topped Cuba's most wanted list.
Peter Kornbluh, a specialist on U.S.-Cuban relations, agrees with Havana. This was not the first time Novo dabbled in violence, said Kornbluh. In 1978, he recalls, Novo was tried and convicted for his role in the assassination of former Chilean Foreign Minister, Orlando Letelier, and his American secretary Ronnie Moffitt. The men were killed in a car bombing in Washington D.C.
A U.S. Federal appeals court overturned the conviction on a technicality in 1981.
Kornbluh, author of "The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability," considers Novo "one of the leading Cuban exiles who collaborated with the Chilean secret police, DINA, in the mid-1970s to conduct terrorist operations outside of Chile's borders.
"At a time when civilized nations are fighting a war against terrorism, Panama's release of recognized purveyors of violence such as Guillermo Novo and Luis Posada is not only a travesty of justice, it is a danger to future victims," Kornbluh stressed.
Not surprisingly, Letelier's son, Juan Pablo Letelier, today a deputy in the Chilean Congress, also reacted sharply to Moscoso's action. Letelier called the pardons "an imprudent decision" with "international repercussions" in Chile's "La Tercera".
The Cuban government broke relations with Panama just eight hours after the president pardoned "the Hemisphere's top terrorist", Posada Carriles, and the other three.
All day Thursday and into Friday morning, Cuba's state run media broadcast a lengthy government declaration detailing what it called Posada Carriles "terrorist" record in dossiers it has kept over the past four decades.
The declaration accused Moscoso of violating "international treaties against terrorism signed by Panama" and of becoming an "accomplice of terrorism".
Moscoso told the press that one reason for pardoning the men, just a week before leaving office, was to prevent their being extradited in the future. The President hands over power next Wednesday to Martin Torrijos, son of the late Omar Torrijos, a populist military general, who, like his father, is friendly with Castro.
Havana requested the extradition of the four men. Posada Carriles also faces criminal charges in Venezuela for a possible connection to the 1976 terrorist bombing of a Cuban commercial airliner off Barbados. All 73 persons on board were killed. The flight originated in Venezuela. Posada Carriles, who escaped from a Venezuelan jail while facing charges of planning that bombing, denies involvement.
Havana also charges that he paid a mercenary to bomb a series of Havana hotels and restaurants in 1997, in which an Italian businessman was killed.
In a 1997 interview with the New York Times, Posada Carriles took credit for the hotel explosions. He later retracted the claim, although the newspaper said it had his admission on tape.
The U.S. denies charges in the Cuban and Panamanian media that it brought pressure on Moscoso to grant the pardons.
"This was a decision made by the government of Panama. We never lobbied the Panamanian government to pardon anyone involved in this case," spokesman Adam Ereli told reporters at a State Department briefing.
President Bush's new get-tough Cuba policy and the outgoing Panamanian President's close relations with the White House have fanned the rumors.
Three of the men, Pedro Remón, Guillermo Novo and Gaspar Jiménez were flown to Miami on a private plane Thursday morning, shortly after being released. They were greeted by family and well-wishers.
A second plane flew Posada Carriles, who is not a U.S. citizen, to an undisclosed location. There are unconfirmed reports that the plane made a stop in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and that immigration officials there are searching for Posada Carriles. [Honduras' president later angrily protested the fact that this had been done without consulting his government.]
#2 Backgrounds of the 4 terrorists
Subject: Miami Herald profiles of four released terrorists
Date: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 7:10 AM
Karen Lee Wald adds essential facts to the profiles which
the Miami Herald gave of the four terrorists on August 27.
Also available in color on the internet: http://www.walterlippmann.com/klw-8-28-2004.html
Subject: The terrorists who were released:
Miami Herald profiles of four released terrorists
[See my notes in brackets re corrections of this. Keep in mind that this list would make these men both reprehensible to most decent human beings, but would make them heroes to some people in Miami....and DC....kw]
From: "Walter Lippmann" Sent: Saturday, August 28, 2004 6:09 AM
Subject: Miami Herald profiles of four released terrorists (Take the time to read these profiles by the Miami Herald, a publication which sympathizes with their goal of overthrowing the Cuban Revolution. Even in this profile you can see why outrage has spread all over against the pardon of these for criminals by a lame duck president in Panama. Much is left out, but it's remarkable what nevertheless remains here...)
Posted on Fri, Aug. 27, 2004
4 VETERAN FOES OF CASTRO
Luis Posada Carriles, 76
Explosives expert, trained by the CIA in the 1960s. Accused
in the 1976 mid-air bombing of a Cuban jetliner that killed
73 people. Tried in Venezuela, he was acquited and escaped
from jail in 1985 while awaiting a re-trial. He has denied
any involvement in the bombing. Both Cuba and Venezuela
asked for his extradition while he was jailed in Panama. He turned up in El Salvador after his prison escape, working with a group linked to White House aide Col. Oliver North that sent supplies to contra rebels fighting the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. He claimed and then denied responsibility for a string of terrorist bombings in Havana in 1997 that killed an Italian tourist and wounded more than a dozen others.[He claimed credit in a long taped interview for the NY Times, in which he also said he got the money for it from the Cuban American National Foundation --Mas Canosa et.al. Apparently CANF was not pleased at this disclosure, so he subsequently backpedaled, said he had just made that up. But his denial wasn't too convincing, since he was really proud of what he had done. kw]
He served in the security forces
of anticommunist governments in Guatemala and Venezuela and survived a 1990 murder attempt in Guatemala City.
Gaspar Jiménez, 69
A former Miami chauffeur, served six years in a Mexican
prison for the attempted kidnapping of Cuban diplomat
Daniel Ferrer and the death* of a man accompanying him -- described as either a bodyguard or a fishing expert -- in Mérida, Mexico in 1976. He escaped from prison and returned to the United States. He was also indicted -- though the charges were later dismissed -- for the 1976 bombing that blew off the legs of Miami radio personality Emilio Milián.
[*Notice that when someone tried to give Posada his due,
that was called a "murder" attempt. But when Gaspar Jimenez shot and killed a Cuban "bodyguard or fishing expert", the MH doesn't tell us he served a prison term for "murdering" the man, but softpedals it as "the death of....]
Pedro Remón, 59
A former Miami truck salesman, he was sentenced to 10 years
in U.S. federal prison in 1986 after pleading guilty to the 1980 attempted murder*of a former Cuban diplomat at the United Nations, Félix García Rodríguez, He was also linked to an attempted bombing of Cuba's U.N. Mission in 1979. [They actually got this one wrong: he ATTEMPTED to murder Raul Roa Kouri, then Cuban ambassador to the UN. He DID kill Felix Garcia, who was a lower level employee of the Cuban Mission to the UN.]
Guillermo Novo, 61
A former radio advertising salesman in New Jersey who later moved to Miami, he was convicted of perjury in the 1976 car-bombing murder of former Chilean diplomat Orlando
Letelier* and an American aide in Washington, D.C. The
verdict was overturned on appeal, and he was acquitted in a second trial. He was arrested in a 1964 bazooka attack on the U.N. headquarters during a speech by Ernesto ''Ché'' Guevara, but the charges were later dropped. [*The Novo brothers were actually part of the team that planned and carried out the gruesome car-bomb murder of Letelier and Moffitt. The government let him off on technicalities. See Saul Landau's and other books on the subject....}
SOURCE: Herald archives
#3 Subject: Panamenian Prosecutor Sure of Conviction of Posada et.al. This was actually published in the Nuevo Herald!
Basically, it says that the Panamanian government has more than sufficient proof to convict Posada, Remon, Novo and Jimenez of possession of explosives, illegal (false) passports, and attempts against internal order or state security. The prosecutor pointed out that "the explosives weren't brought in by Fidel Castro and didn't fall from the sky"....
FRIDAY - SEPTEMBER 5, 2003
Agence France Presse
El fiscal que acusa al anticastrista Luis Posada Carriles y a otros tres cubanos de planear el asesinato del gobernante cubano, Fidel Castro, en Panama en el 2001 dijo estar convencido de que seran condenados en el juicio.
''Existen evidencias suficientes para culpar a los acusados de posesion de explosivos, asociacion ilicita para delinquir, alteracion de documentos y contra la seguridad colectiva'', dijo el fiscal panameno Arquimides Saenz .[...]