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Target No. 1 Luis Posada Carriles:
Wanted for Terrorism

What is CODEPINK's Most Wanted Campaign about? ­
We discovered that in 2008, the FBI is launching a new 20-city billboard ad campaign targeting the Most Wanted Criminals and Terrorists. The FBI will place billboards in strategic locations where they can be seen by millions driving by each day, asking the public to call the FBI with any tips or leads. We have looked at the FBI's Most Wanted List, and it fails to include many people we think should be on that list. So we've started our own Most Wanted Campaign.

Who is Luis Posada Carriles and why is he on your Most Wanted List?
In the FBI's campaign, Miami was chosen as one of the 20 cities. Yet when we looked on their list of Most Wanted, we discovered that an important name was missing—that of Luis Posada Carriles.

Luis Posada Carriles is known worldwide as a ruthless terrorist.  He masterminded the destruction of Cubana Airline Flight 455 on October 6, 1976. The plane blew up just after taking off from Barbados, killing all 73 men, women and children aboard, including the entire teenage Cuban Olympic fencing team. Within 24 hours, according to a declassified FBI cable dated the next day, an intelligence source "all but admitted that Posada had engineered the bombing of the airplane."  He was arrested and jailed for nine years in Venezuela until 1985, when he bribed his way out of prison.

In 1997, Mr. Posada orchestrated a series of hotel bombings in Havana intended to deter the growing tourism trade in Cuba. In one bombing incident, an Italian tourist was killed and 11 people wounded. In a taped interview with New York Times reporter Ann Louise Bardach, Mr. Posada proudly assumed responsibility and suggested such acts of terror would continue. "It is sad that someone is dead," he said, "but we can't stop."

Then in November 2000, Mr. Posada was arrested in Panama, charged and convicted as the ringleader of a conspiracy to assassinate Fidel Castro during a state visit - a plot that involved detonating a carload of plastic C-4 explosives that could have killed dozens of innocent bystanders.

But instead of spending the rest of his life behind bars, Posada Carriles lives freely in Miami! The Bush administration's failure to detain or extradite this dangerous man makes a mockery of the U.S. war on terror.

What are the campaign goals?
Our goal is the inclusion of Luis Posada Carriles on the FBI Most Wanted List, and his prosecution in the U.S. or extradition to Venezuela, where he is wanted on 73 counts of first-degree murder.  We also aim to highlight the need to stop the U.S.'s selective enforcement of terrorism, and to expose the duplicity of elected officials, particularly Congressmember Ros-Lehtineen and Congressmembers Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balarts —congresspeople who have advocated on behalf of Posada Carriles.

What activities will CODEPINK engage in?
We will launch the Campaign in Miami on January 12-14. We will produce 5,000 Posada WANTED postcards addressed to the FBI, and will spend several days doing outreach on the streets of Miami (including Little Havana) asking people to sign the cards. On Sunday, January 13, we will do a 24-hour vigil at a symbolic location. On Monday, we will go to the FBI at 9am to turn in the cards and demand the arrest of Posada Carriles. We will also protest the FBI destruction of five boxes of evidence related to the case. At noon we will go to the office of Cong. Ros-Lehtinen to demand that she stop supporting terrorism.

The next phase will be our billboard campaign, based on the FBI campaign. Our billboard, with a profile of Posada Carriles and text Wanted for Terrorism, will encourage people, if they see him, to call the Miami FBI. We will attempt to put several billboards up in downtown Miami, starting in February.

In Washington DC, we will pressure members of the Congressional Judiciary Committee and Homeland Security Committees to call for Posada's arrest. We will do vigils out side the Justice Department, calling on Attorney General Michael Mukasey to enforce U.S. anti-terrorism laws. We will follow the Federal Grand Jury proceedings in New Jersey on this case to see if it produces results.

We will also organize a mock trial in Miami that will include legal and academic experts, as well as victims' families.

Why target Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen? How is she involved?
After the July 2005 terrorist attack in London, the Congresswoman said, "The targeting of innocent lives is insidious and shows the utter disrespect that perpetrators of terror have for humanity. Those who committed this callous act must know that our determination to neutralize terrorism is unshaken and that we will not yield in the face of such perfidy."

Yet in the case of Luis Posada Carriles, in 2003 Ros-Lehtinen, along with Congressmen Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balarts, pressured then Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso to release Posada, Pedro Remón, Guillermo Novo and Gaspar Jiménez. All four were convicted in Panama of plotting to blow up a university center where Fidel Castro was scheduled to visit. In one of her last acts before leaving office, Moscoso pardoned the four men.  
In May 2007 the same Congresspeople denounced the Justice Department's cooperation with the government of Cuba on collecting evidence on Posada Carriles and the 1997 hotel bombing that killed an Italian tourist, a case that is still under a New Jersey grand jury probe. The representatives “condemned the Bush Administration Justice Department's so-called ‘search for evidence on terrorism' from the Cuban terrorist regime.”

As Jim DeFede of the Miami Herald wrote in an article about Ros-Lehtinen, “The nobility of your cause cannot be a justification for terror, because every terrorist believes that what he is doing is right. Which is why the only way to fight terrorism is to condemn it in all its forms and not just when it is politically convenient.”

Isn't it dangerous to do this in Miami, where there is a militant right-wing Cuban community?

Yes, those who live in Miami know that there are elements of the Cuban community who are very violent. They have bombed and beaten people who dared to criticize their positions. But if the US. is going to have moral standing in the world, we must be consistent in opposing all violence against civilians and holding all terrorists accountable. It's up to us to force our government to stop holding a double standard of condemning some acts of terrorism and supporting others.


NEWS VIDEO: Protestors Clash With Activists Over Militant | CBS

 A political protest in the streets of Miami boiled over on Saturday when several hundred people from Miami's Cuban-American community clashed with a group of out of town activists.

Members of the San Francisco-based group CODEPINK antiwar group had planned to protest peacefully at Versailles restaurant in Little Havana. Little did they know they would be greeted by some 500 angry Cuban-American protesters.

"He's been declared by the U.S government as an alien terrorist," Benjamin said. "Why an alien terrorist would be walking freely down the streets of United States." More...

Anti-war group aborts demonstration plans in Little Havana By Ruth Morris |

Peace activists in pink dresses and tiaras demanded the arrest of anti-communist militant Luis Posada Carriles Saturday, but aborted plans for a demonstration in Little Havana after Carriles supporters rushed their vehicle.

The six activists, of the Codepink anti-war group, had planned to speak to reporters outside the landmark Versailles restaurant to publicize their campaign against Carriles-- a former CIA operative wanted in Venezuela in connection with the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner.

However they were met by some 200 irate Cuban-Americans who consider Carriles a champion of freedom. Some ran at the activists' truck as they arrived, tearing off its pink fringe, while others shouted sexist slurs. More...

More Press Coverage:

Anti-Posada demonstration in Miami called off after confrontation
Miami Herald, Associated Press
January 13, 2008

Protest against anti-communist militant met with resistance, derailed: Activists abort plan after meeting resistance
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
January 13, 2008

Pleito por campaña contra Posada
La Prensa (En Español)
January 13, 2008

Cuban exile militant stirs up foes, fans
Miami Herald
January 13, 2008

Cubans rout campaign against Posada Carriles in Miami
EFE News
January 12, 2008

Other Articles & Resources:

Pinking Posada By Medea Benjamin for the CODEPINK Blog (Includes many action photos)

The coddled "terrorists" of South Florida
By Tristram Korten and Kirk Nielsen for
January 14, 2008