US grants bail to terrorist

On April 6, notorious Cuban-born terrorist Luis Posada Carriles was granted freedom on bail in the El Paso Federal Court, which will allow him to return home to his family in Miami after the payment of US$250,000. Posada, a former CIA operative, was the mastermind of the deadly bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976, and has been involved in other terrorist acts and violent campaigns against popular movements in Latin America. Washington has denied requests to extradite him to Venezuela, where he had been imprisoned until he escaped in 1985.

Posada has been held only on immigration charges, related to his illegal entry into the US in 2005. That year, a federal immigration judge ordered Posada's deportation. However Washington refuses to send him to Cuba or Venezuela to face justice, and no other country wants to accept him.

On April 12, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans issued an order to block Posada's release.

On April 10, Cuban President Fidel Castro argued that the decision to grant bail "could only have come from the White House". Referring to US President George Bush as "undoubtedly the most genuine representative of a system of terror forced on the world by the technological, economic and political superiority of the most powerful country known to this planet", Castro said: "It was President Bush himself who ignored at all times the criminal and terrorist nature of the defendant who was protected with a simple accusation of immigration violation levelled at him. The reply is brutal. The government of the United States and its most representative institutions had already decided to release the monster."

Protest actions were launched across Cuba from April 12 in response to the ruling. The sister of Nancy Uranga, one of the 73 victims of the 1976 plane bombing, told the Cuban News Agency: "We only ask for justice, because we will never forget that we were not able to see her return, or enjoy the birth of the child she was expecting."

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