Luis Posada Carriles, a well known terrorist that was condemned for attempting against Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s life a number of times, has been released by a special pardon issued by Panamanian authorities and is now lost in Central America.
Sources say he is on tour to the United States.
Last week, Panamanian president Mireya Moscoso, who leaves office on Wednesday, issued an order freeing four Cuban exiles accused by Havanna of trying to assassinate Fidel Castro in November 2000. Among them is Luis Posada Carriles who had escaped from a Venezuelan prison in 1985 after plotting the 1976 bombing of a Cuban civilian jetliner that killed 73 people.
Cuba and Venzuela immediately withdrew their ambassadors from Panama, as the elected president Martin Torrijos apologized for the actions of his predecessor. Moscoso, allowed the four men to leave Panama, saying that Posada Carriles could be “killed in Venezuela”, even when the South American nation has not dead penalty.
Venezuela’s vice-president, Jose Vicente Rangel, angrily replied that he did not see any difference between Posada Carriles and Al-Qaeda, as Washington welcomed the three other men within its territory and granted asylum. The question now is where is Posada Carriles?
Like in old Cold War times, nobody will admit knowing where is this dangerous terrorist, who even when denied involvement in the jetliner killings, has acknowledged organizing hotel bombings in Cuba in which an Italian tourist died. First versions say he is in the Central American republic of Honduras, where the President, Ricardo Maduro told a news conference on Monday he was worried by reports that the 76-year-old Posada was in the country -- apparently aided by wealthy and influential friends.
"If Posada Carriles is in Honduras, he will be punished and deported to Panama for violating our immigration laws," Maduro said told a news conference, responding to reports that Posada entered the country aboard a private jet. Guatemala and El Salvador also say he is unwelcome there.
Maduro said the only thing he knows about the case is that "a flight entered the country in an irregular way with four passengers with false passports and names and that one of them remained." The president said he did not know if Posada was the man who remained, "but we are worried about the objectives that the person who remained here might have, because he might use our nation's territory to carry out terrorist or drug trafficking activities or to commit crimes."
"That person is not a common criminal because he entered the country on a private jet and obviously has funds and support from powerful people because he had false United States passports." The director-general of immigration, Ramon Romero, said a private plane landed last Thursday at La Mesa International Airport in San Pedro Sula on Honduras' north coast and remained for 40 minutes.
Other rumours say Posada Carriles has already left Honduras and is on his way to the United States, to join his “friends” in Miami and find cover in the Cuban community there.
Posada is perhaps Cuba's most-wanted man. He left Cuba after the Castro-led revolution of 1959 and has spent much of his life seeking overthrow of the Cuban leader. He trained for the CIA-organized Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, though his group did not reach shore. He is a dangerous terrorist and is now lost in America.