NYU's symbolic justice for terrorist Luis Posada Carriles
by Albor Ruiz
Oct. 5, 2008
Reprinted from New York Daily News
It took years, but he is finally going to be charged in the U.S. for his crimes - even if only symbolically.
It will occur Tuesday and take place here, in New York, when a tribunal composed of scholars and human rights activists take up the case of international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, a man who is responsible for a long list of murderous attacks.
Posada, though, is a very lucky man.
Despite his dark history, Posada remains free to roam Miami's sunny streets and happily lives at home with his family.
His rap sheet is long and deadly.
A convicted terrorist in two countries - he escaped Venezuela and was pardoned in Panama - Posada is considered the mastermind behind the 1976 bombing of Cubana Airlines Fight 455, which killed the 73 passengers on board, including the Cuban national fencing team. He is believed responsible for a string of hotel bombings in Cuba, resulting in the death of Italian tourist Fabio diCelmo. But these are only two examples of his treachery.
Posada later boasted about the diCelmo killing in a New York Times interview, which should give everybody a clear idea of what kind of person this man is.
Inexplicably, the Justice Department has refused to classify the former CIA operative as a terrorist.
The reason may have to be found in Posada's long and extensive ties with the CIA and several other nation's intelligence agencies.
Even with the war on terror grinding on, the Bush administration has refused to bring Posada to justice for his terrorist acts. But the symbolic tribunal will make the case against him and against the outrage of allowing this dangerous character to remain free on the streets of the U.S.
The distinguished panel is composed of Jane Franklin, a historian and expert on Cuba; Wayne Smith, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and former head of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana under President Jimmy Carter, and Brian Becker, the director of the Act Now to Stop War & End Racism Coalition
The moderator will be Danny Meyers, President of the New York University chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, organizers of the event.
"We want to highlight the hypocrisy of the Bush administration," said Heidi Boghasian, of the guild.
The event begins at 6 p.m. in room 216 of New York University Law School's Furman Hall, 245 Sullivan St.
In another Cuba-related issue, an absurd law approved by the Florida legislature curtailing even more the slim chances Cuban-Americans have of traveling to their homeland, was suspended by U.S. District Judge Alan Gold on Wednesday.
Travel agencies that sell trips to Cuba had promised to fight the law in court when the bill was first introduced in April.
The law, the brainchild of Rep. David Rivera (R. Fla.), a New York-born Cuban-American, would have required travel agents who book trips to Cuba to post a $250,000 state bond on top of an existing $25,000 federal bond.
Gold said that the law, which took effect July 1, could violate the Constitution since the federal government, not the states, is only responsible for dictating American foreign policy.
A new trial will have to be held to determine the law's constitutionality before it can be applied, but no date has been set.
Download the flyer for the event