HAVANA TIMES — Luis Posada Carriles, accused of terrorism by Havana and regarded as a hero by anti-Castro militants, appeared Saturday in a protest of old guard Cuban exiles and supporters in Miami against the resumption of relations between the US and the island, reported dpa.
“I felt very sad, but I reacted and I saw the picture. Cuba will not be a tourist haven. We must resist that with all that we can to the end,” Posada Carriles, 86, said with great difficulty to journalists.
Posada, a Cuban but with Venezuelan citizenship, was one of about 200 people who gathered to protest the United States government’s agreement announced on December 17th to reestablish diplomatic relations with the island.
“It will not succeed. You cannot do business with bandits. Nobody can do business with criminals, with murderers, with drug traffickers and those are Raul and the horde alongside him,” said Posada Carriles, accompanied by two people who spoke in favor of armed struggle against the Cuban government.
Posada Carriles has a history of attacks and destabilizing operations in Cuba, Central and South America, and he says he is proud of his actions and has no regrets.
“You are young and you are going to see the end, the end of them,” Posada told reporters, with a whisper, referring to the Castro brothers.
In the 60s, Posada was trained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and became an instructor in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.
Cuba accuses Posada of being one of the masterminds of the worst attack suffered by the island, perpetrated in 1976 against a Cubana Airlines plane that killed 73 people off the coast of Barbados.
Posada Carriles was arrested in Venezuela, where he had his base of operations, but a decade later, in August 1985, he escaped from prison.
In Guatemala, Posada was the target of an attack on February 28, 1990, he said was organized by Cuba, although he acknowledged that many people had reasons for wanting to eliminate him.
In a series of interviews with “The New York Times” in 1998, Posada Carriles admitted to a series of attacks on hotel facilities in Havana which a year earlier had killed Italian tourist Fabio Di Celmo.
In 2000, Fidel Castro denounced in Panama, a “plot” to assassinate him during the Ibero-American Summit. Posada Carriles was arrested along with three other men and sentenced to eight years in prison for “endangering public safety”. But in 2004, shortly before leaving office, Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso pardoned him.
In May 2005 he was arrested in the US for illegal entry and lying to immigration authorities after Castro publicly denounced his presence in Miami. Cuba accused Washington of protecting him.
However in April, 2011, a US court in El Paso, Texas found Posada not-guilty of 11 charges including perjury, fraud and obstruction of procedures, allowing him to live freely in the US despite his never renouncing his plans for violent attacks on Cuba or its interests abroad.
On May 7 of this year, Cuban authorities reported the arrest of four Cuban-Americans who had come to the island from Miami to plan “terrorist acts”.
The Havana government accused three Miami residents of being the masterminds of the attacks planned by the four detainees. The three were linked to Posada Carriles, said the official Cuban newspaper “Granma”. Arturo Hernández, Posada’s attorney in Miami, denied any involvement of his client.