Volume , Number 0
There are no articles.Commentary
There are no articles.Culture
There are no articles.Features
Vets for Peace
Lt. ehren Watada
Sharat g. Lin
Dorothy Ray Healey, Activist
Beyond Same-Sex Marriage
There are no articles.
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
The Strange Case of Luis Posada Carriles
A long with this year’s fifth anniversary, the release of the film United 93 has brought renewed attention to the tragic events of 9/11. Yet Americans are less familiar with the story of another jet full of innocent people destroyed by terrorists, Cubana Flight 455. On October 6, 1976, it was scheduled to take off from Barbados to Kingston, Jamaica. Nine minutes after takeoff, a bomb in the aircraft’s rear lavatory exploded. The captain radioed to the control tower: “We have an explosion aboard, we are descending immediately.” A second bomb exploded, causing the plane to crash into the water. All 73 people on board died, including all 24 members of the Cuban national fencing team, many of them teenagers. Until 9/11 Cubana Flight 455 was the worst act of terrorism aboard a commercial airline in the Americas. One of the people “allegedly” responsible for the planning of this incident lives in the U.S. and is currently applying for citizenship. His name is Luis Posada Carriles.
A fanatical antiCastro Cuban exile, Posada has left a bloody swath of terror and destruction across the Gulf of Mexico. By his own admission, the CIAtrained and Miamifunded Posada has planned bombings of Cuban hotels, cafes, and dance halls. Although he has denied involvement, strong evidence exists that Posada was also involved in the bombing of Cubana Flight 455. CIA and FBI documents unearthed by George Washington University’s National Security Archive place Posada among the conspirators at two planning meetings for that bombing. Further, Posada has spent 30 years on the run from the government of Venezuela, which tried him for his role in bombing Flight 455. His trial was never completed because Posada escaped and is still wanted by the Venezuelan government. He was arrested in the United States in 2005 where he had applied for asylum. A judge ruled last September that he could be deported, but not to Cuba, where he faces execution, or to Venezuela.
On April 26, 2006, in a new twist, Posada applied for U.S. citizenship. Not surprisingly, Posada’s case has not made national news. The reason for the media indifference is, in part, the double standard that exists in the United States between a “terrorist” and a “freedom fighter.”
In a November 2001 news conference, President George W. Bush declared that, in the “war on terror,” there is no room for neutrality. “A coalition partner must do more than just express sympathy, a coalition partner must perform…. All nations…must do something…. [It’s] important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity.… [Y]ou’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.” Bush effectively eliminated the distinction between passive and active sponsors of terror. George town Professor Daniel Byman says that a regime is “guilty of passive sponsorship if it knowingly allows a terrorist group to raise money, enjoy a sanctuary, recruit, or otherwise flourish, but does not directly aid the group itself.” If so, why then has the U.S harbored a group of terrorists for over 40 years?
Ever since the Bay of Pigs disaster, the United States government has ignored Cuban exile involvement in terrorist operations against Cuba, as well as violence and intimidation directed against U.S. citizens. According to the Center for International Policy, “Militant hardline exile activities in the late 70s and early 80s caused the FBI to designate Miami the ‘terrorist capital’ of the United States. The terrorist activities in Miami included death threats, beatings, mob attacks, vandalism, extortion, bombings and outright murder.” The same article reported 68 acts of terror in Miami since 1968, including:
- the 1988 and 1990 bombings of the Cuban Museum of Art
- the 1988 attempted bombing of the home of Maria Cristina Herrera, the organizer of a conference on U.S.Cuba relations (the bomb was discovered in her garage before it went off)
- the 1989 and 1996 bombings of the Marazul Tours, which arranges travel to Cuba
- the 1996 bombing of Little Havana’s Centro Vasco prior to the performance of Cuban singer Rosita Fornes
- the 1999 bombing of the Amnesia nightclub before a performance by Cuban singer Manolín
Actions abroad have included bombings and assassinations directed against Cuban interests in Venezuela, Guatemala, and other countries. In many cases the CIA or the FBI did little to prevent these actions or apprehend the perpetrators. The documents in the National Security Archive’s (www.gwu.edu) demonstrate that U.S. intelligence had advance knowledge of the bombing of Cubana Flight 455, but did nothing to warn Cuban authorities or to stop it.
The Cuban exiles are not the only ones who have enjoyed such passivity from U.S. law enforcement and intelligence. According to an article by professor Daniel Byman in Survival magazine, the United States also allowed representatives of the terrorist antiIran group, Mujahedine Khalq, to lobby government officials until 1997 and turned a blind eye to IRA fundraising by front organizations, such as the Irish Northern Aid Committee, during the bloodiest time of “the Troubles.” Of course, there is also the now familiar clandestine U.S. aid to such murderous revolutionaries as the Contras in Nicaragua and the antiSoviet Islamic fighters in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Undeniably, the United States has been both a passive and active sponsor of terrorism for many years. However, to official Washington, such people are not terrorists, but “heroes” and “freedom fighters.”
Documents in the National Security Archive reveal a surprising degree of collusion between Posada and the United States. His involvement can be found in the IranContra affair where he worked as an overseer in the illegal supplying of weapons for the U.S.backed rebels. He worked for a CIA operative who reported directly to the White House. “The FBI and the CIA don’t bother me and I am neutral with them. Whenever I can help them, I do,” Posada boasted (www.nytimes.com). When asked whether he felt any guilt over his campaign of hotel and café bombings, Posada declared that he “sleeps like a baby.”
Similarly, the first Bush administration, under pressure from the Cuban exile lobby, gave asylum to exile terrorist Orlando Bosch. Bosch fired a bazooka at a Polish freighter docked in Miami and has been linked by the Justice Department to “more than thirty acts of sabotage and violence in the United States, Puerto Rico, Panama, and Cuba; planning the murder of two Cuban diplomats in Argentina (who subsequently were kidnapped and disappeared); the bombing of the Mexican embassy in Guatamala in 1976; and sending package bombs to Cuban embassies in Lima, Madrid, Ottawa, and Buenos Aires.” Bosch is also a suspect in the bombing of Cubana Flight 455.
In the United States there is little public knowledge of these exiles’ horrible crimes. As Jeff Cohen noted in a Los Angeles Times oped, “The stories of Luis Posada and the CIA’s historic links to rightwing terror groups overseas have been underreported because much of the U.S. media is content presenting a simplistic view of the world where Americans in white hats police the globe of black hats—usually worn by Middle Eastern terrorists.”
If we give Posada citizenship, what separates us from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the other countries that the United States has charged with passive sponsorship of terrorism? It is the height of hypocrisy to lecture other countries about terrorism when we are seriously entertaining a bid for citizenship by a person who is wanted for helping to destroy a passenger airplane, especially in light of our own recent history.
On a more human level, the families of those lost in the bombing of Cubana Flight 455 deserve justice. To the relatives of the victims, the Posada citizenship proceedings are a ghoulish insult. The anguish behind the words of Carlos Cremata, who lost his father at the age of 16, is palpable: “What made things worse was that we were never able to bury my father…. [The asylum proceeding] makes everything worse…. It’s inconceivable.”
Posada must not be allowed to wrap himself in the refuge of citizenship. In turn, the United States must act to punish Cuban exile terrorists. It is time to end the further mockery of justice and peace that has existed for too long in Miami.
Adam Elkus lives in Pacific Palisades, California where he is involved in several human rights groups. He is also a cofounder of Electric Avenue Artists Society, a small poetry venue in Venice, California.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.