George H.W. Bush, Luis Posada Carriles, and the dirty war against Cuba

Source: People’s World
December 20 2018

by W.T. Whitney

bush y posada.jpgLuis Posada Carriles, left, lived in one of the dark corners of President George H.W. Bush’s political life. | Photos: AP / Graphic: PW

Former President George H.W. Bush recently died. Stories abound as to his civility and easy interaction with political associates and casual contacts alike. In Maine, where his family owns a summer home, the press highlighted such qualities and also his generosity. The assumption prevails that affability softened the hard edges of wielding power. Dark corners in Bush’s political life received less attention.

The criminal Luis Posada Carriles lived in one of them. President Bush’s dealings with Posada reflected amorality, want of ethical principles, and dedication to preserving a world of privilege. The contrast between a decent-guy image and easy tolerance of blatant criminality is striking.

It’s a blight recalling the high-minded framers of the U.S. Constitution who owned enslaved people. Bush resembled the “gentleman” Southern planter of pre-Civil War years whose hands were not often dirtied. An underling enforced the “pushing system” of industrial-scale cotton production, the extraction of work through the use of oppressively direct supervision of enslaved people (see this analysis of “Baptism by Blood Cotton.”) Similarly, Bush himself didn’t perform the dirty deeds against Cuba.

On-call thugs were central to both projects: the overseer with a whip and Luis Posada. On September 7, 1988, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin exposed the connection between Posada’s crimes and Bush’s permissiveness.

Bush was running for president that year. Harkin, speaking in the Senate, announced that “the American voter deserves answers from George Bush to some tough questions about his and his Vice Presidential office’s relationship with a known international terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles” (Congressional Record – Senate, 100th Congress, 2nd Session, Vol. 134 No. 131, S 13037).

He points out that Luis Posada Carriles and Félix Rodríguez were colleagues in a “White House operation” that in 1985-86 delivered weapons from El Salvador to Contra counter-revolutionaries in Nicaragua. He adds that Posada “had spent 10 years in a Venezuelan jail for blowing up a Cuban airliner, killing 73 people, in 1976.”

Harkin continues: “So I ask, Mr. President: Can we really believe that Don Gregg never asked his former CIA colleague Rodríguez about either the secret supply operations or Rodríguez’s partner, international terrorist Luis Posada?” Gregg was Bush’s national security advisor.

cubana bombing victims

Photographs of some of the victims of the bombing of a Cubana airliner in 1976 are displayed outside the U.S. Immigration detention center during the trial for Luis Posada Carriles, Aug. 29, 2005, in El Paso, Texas. | Rudy Gutierrez / El Paso Times via AP

Observing that Rodríguez was Bush’s “good friend,” Harkin asks Bush—who was not present and who never responded—“did you ever ask him about his associates and whether he had in his employ Posada?” Then as regards Cuba: “Mr. Bush, when you were CIA Director in 1976, did you ever investigate the role of Posada and other Cubans in the 1976 airliner bombing?”

According to Harkin, Bush “took a personal interest in this and a string of related anti-Castro bombings that shook the hemisphere that year, 1976.” He identifies Posada as an operative of the CORU group of terrorists responsible for the bombings. And Posada “worked for the CIA on contract as late as 1975.” Actually Posada “worked virtually full-time for the CIA from the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 until 1967.” So, says Harkin, “the first step is to come clean about Luis Posada, the international terrorist.”

He concludes: “The Posada case demonstrates that you didn’t bother to use your offices and your International Terrorism Task Force to investigate the activities of a known international terrorist. Was it because, Mr. Vice President, of Posada’s ties with your ‘good friend’ Félix Rodríguez? Or was it because of Posada’s role in organizing the secret Contra supply operation run out of Ilopango airbase [in El Salvador]? Or was it because of Posada’s past ties with the CIA, which you headed in the mid-1970s?”

During his tenure as CIA director, Bush could have hobbled Posada the terrorist who had worked for or with the CIA. That didn’t happen. Posada had free rein to plot the airliner bombing, deliver weapons to the Contras, arrange to have hotels in Havana bombed in 1997, and try to kill former Cuban President Fidel Castro in Panama in 2000.

Harkin’s last question lingers, although answers fall short. Fabián Escalante, former head of Cuban intelligence services, provided insight, however. He claimed that Posada joined other Cuban-American assassination experts banded together in the CIA’s “Operation 40,” based in Miami. Escalante cited sourcesindicating that a few members of that group, Posada included, were present at Dallas’s Dealey Plaza on the day that President John F. Kennedy was killed.

Escalante suggested that Posada’s grim deeds go unpunished, because “he has a life insurance policy, which is what he knows about the Kennedy plot.”

In the end, it’s clear that President George H.W. Bush in normal circumstances was accommodating and adept at social niceties. It’s clear also that when the stakes were high—bringing down the Cuban Revolution, for example, or institutional loyalty, or both—opportunism took precedence over ethics.

In any case, dirty war against Cuba was a project far larger than the actions of Bush or Posada alone. Attacks on a wide front have been constant and probably continue. They are bereft of an ethical North Pole.

According to journalist Arthur González, scientists have recently identified the presence in Cuba of a new serotype of hemorrhagic dengue. That potentially fatal infectious disease has been endemic in Cuba ever since the 1981 appearance of an earlier serotype. The outbreak then, widely attributed to biological warfare at the hands of the United States, sickened more than 344,000 people and killed 159.

González claims that U.S. operatives introduced the currently new microorganism. The purpose, he states, would be to disrupt tourism and force Cuba to spend money on controlling an epidemic rather than on solving current economic problems.

Tried in New York in 1984 for murders and terrorism, CIA agent Eduardo Arocena, a Cuban-American with terrorist associations, confessed to having introduced harmful biological agents in Cuba. Many think he had a role in promoting the 1981 epidemic. González catalogues diseases of pigs, dairy cattle, sugar cane, plantain, citrus fruits, and coffee plants for which he blames the United States.

Luis Posada Carriles died at the age of 90 on May 23, 2018 in Miami, where he had lived happily undisturbed for decades. Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archive referred to him as “one of the most dangerous terrorists in recent history” and the “godfather of Cuban exile violence.” But his enabler George H.W. Bush is widely and officially remembered as a genteel gentleman whom current politicians might well emulate.

Kenya: Cuban doctors saving lives in terror-infested area

 

Cuban Doctors in Remain in Mandera as Local doctors Flee From Al-Shabab

Two Cuban doctors working in Mandera County have been forced to work on their own after their counterparts fled the area for fear of terror attacks.

The two; Dr. Herera Correa, a general practitioner and Dr. Landy Rodriguez, a surgeon; are however determined to stay put.

Dr. Correa sees 20 patients per day during his eight-hour shift while Dr. Rodriguez handles about 10 surgical procedures daily; they are on call 24 hours a day.

Local medics recently left in droves due to the threat posed by Al-Shabaab.

We have worked in far worse conditions

“Before I came here, I checked the internet and saw that Mandera is very dangerous with frequent attacks from Al Shabaab but we have worked in far worse conditions,”said Dr. Rodriguez.

The two Cuban doctors say they have already started learning Kiswahili and Somali since language barrier is their greatest challenge.

Luckily, one of the local doctors, Dr. Ali Osman who decided to remain with them was trained in Cuba.  He speaks fluent Spanish and is the one who acts as a translator for the Cuban doctors.

“They communicate easily in theatre using medical language and since they came, major operations have been very successful,” says hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Mohamed Adan. Ms Dekha Tawane had a hernia foetus growing inside her uterus and went into labour for four days in the bush.

“With the help of the team in the theatre, I managed to extract the baby in a bid to remove pressure from the mother’s belly. Both the mother and baby are in good condition,” says Dr Rodriguez, who performed the operation for two hours.

Mandera County Health Executive Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed says the Cuban doctors are a blessing because getting personnel in specialized cadres has been a huge challenge.

Venezuela’s Maduro To Present Evidence Incriminating Colombia in Failed Attack

Source:  TeleSUR
7 August 2018

supporters of maduro rally in the streets august 6Supporters of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro attend a rally in support
of him in Caracas, Venezuela Aug. 6, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

“I am going to show evidence and testimony. Our people want justice against terrorism. Justice,” Maduro said concluding his statement.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced that he will be presenting forceful evidence incriminating the government of Colombia in the failed assassination perpetrated against him on Saturday in the capital Caracas.

“I inform the people of Venezuela that we continue to work on the investigations into assassination attempt in a degree of frustration, and in the next few hours I will be presenting strong evidence of the links that the Colombian oligarchy has with the events on Avenida Bolivar,” the president said in a video posted on his official Twitter account early Tuesday.

Also, the president said that the executors of the plan received training in the city of Chinacotá, department of Santander in Colombian territory.

“It is clear and there is sufficient proof of the participation of the Colombian government of the outgoing Juan Manuel Santos. We have the location, the names of the place in Chinacota Norte de Santander where they trained, the assassins, the terrorists, all in the coming hours.

In this regard, the Venezuelan head of state confirmed that all those involved in the terrorist act have already been captured.

Minister for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace, Néstor Reverol noted that one of those involved has an arrest warrant for his involvement in the attack on Fort Paramacay base in 2017, while another was held in prison in connection to the 2014 violent anti-government protests known as guarimbas.

“I am going to show evidence and testimony. Our people want justice against terrorism. Justice,” Maduro said concluding his statement.

CNIDH Condemns Assassination Attempt on President Maduro

 

network in defense of humanity caribbean chapter.jpgINTERNATIONAL  NETWORK  IN  DEFENSE  OF  HUMANITY 

 (CARIBBEAN  CHAPTER)

PRESS  STATEMENT 

“We Denounce the Attempted Political Assassination and the Planned Military Overthrow of the Democratically Elected Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”

The Caribbean Chapter of the International Network in Defense of Humanity strongly condemns the assassination attempt on the duly elected President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro Moros, that took place on Saturday August 4th, 2018.

Whilst the global pro-imperialist news media has been more interested in reporting the attack as “amateurish”, we see the attack as only the most recent and most aggressively desperate manifestation of a long and persistent assault on the sovereignty of  Venezuela and of longstanding efforts to thwart the will of the Venezuelan people.

We view this attempt on the life of President Maduro as confirmation that the enemies of Venezuela’s socialism are now acknowledging their failure at overthrowing the Bolivarian government through electoral manipulation, mass protest, media propaganda ,and economic destabilization.  We therefore identify this shift to a new stage of political assassination and criminality as a sign of failure, but also a disturbing sign of dangerous desperation on the part of the anti-socialist right wing extremist forces both inside and outside Venezuela.

Our Chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity does not separate the assassination attempt on President Maduro from the several years of threats of military intervention, open support for and identification with acts of criminal aggression, and a sustained anti-Maduro campaign by the most powerful country in the Western Hemisphere and by the agents of capitalism. Indeed, we have noted that these acts of internal aggression against the Bolivarian government have not only taken the form of orchestrated violent mass demonstrations, but have also included a helicopter attack with the use of grenades and an assault on the parliament building of Venezuela.

We therefore use this sad occasion to call on the regional news media and on our Caribbean governments to exercise vigilance and to avoid allowing themselves to be used as pawns in an illicit campaign of military and economic aggression against a friendly sister nation.

Despite our awareness of the history of imperialist and right-wing aggression towards the socialist government of Venezuela, our Caribbean Chapter of the Network was nevertheless shocked that in their single-minded desire to reverse the socialist path of Venezuela, the fascist, oligarchical enemies of the Bolivarian Republic would attempt to use such extreme and barbaric violence that could have potentially taken the lives of scores of citizens, as well as the lives of the democratically elected leadership of the country.

We unequivocally condemn this open resort to terrorism, and call on our Caribbean governments to reiterate our region’s commitment to the furtherance of peace, the rule of law and democracy.

Finally, the Caribbean Chapter of the International  Network in Defense of Humanity expresses its satisfaction that President Maduro and the political  leadership of Venezuela were not hurt in the attack.  We also express our empathy with the patriots and soldiers who were injured during the attack and wish them a speedy recovery.  Our Network would also like to record that we are pleased with the words of magnanimity spoken by President Maduro following the attack and his words of advice to the opposition that “While I guarantee you can live in this country peacefully.  If something happens to me, you will have to face millions of campesinos and humble people making justice with their own hands…”. 

The Caribbean Chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity urges the Venezuelan Opposition forces to adhere to the principles of democratic dialogue, peace and mutual co-existence and to avoid the urgings of those from outside who are impelling them to resort to violence and criminality in the pursuit of their political objectives.

Caribbean Chapter
International Network In Defense of Humanity

Cuba reiterates unconditional solidarity and support for President Maduro and the Bolivarian Chavista Revolution

Source:  Granma
August 6 2018

Leading the commemoration of the 8th anniversary of ALBA were Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, then President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, and President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro Moro. Photo: Juvenal Balán

The revolutionary government of the Republic of Cuba forcefully denounces the attempted attack on the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, which occurred Saturday August 4, during a military parade in Caracas, on the occasion of the 81st anniversary of the founding of the Bolivarian National Guard.

This terrorist act, presuming to ignore the will of the Venezuelan people, is yet another desperate attempt to achieve via assassination what has not been possible in multiple elections, or through the 2002 coup against then-President Hugo Chávez, the 2003 oil industry lock-out, or the unconventional war conducted with media campaigns, sabotage, and violent, cruel acts.

The revolutionary government once again condemns the operation being carried out against the legitimate government of Venezuela, as part of imperialism’s policy of harassment to overthrow the Bolivarian Revolution, that includes the arbitrary, aggressive U.S. Executive Order describing Venezuela as “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy” of the United States; unilateral economic sanctions in violation of international law; the statement by the U.S. Secretary of State asserting that the Monroe Doctrine remains in full effect and calling for a military coup against the constitutional government of Venezuela; and the U.S. President’s threat of using “a possible military option” against the country.

July 14, 2017, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz warned:

“The coup plotting aggression and violence in Venezuela hurts all of Our America and only benefits the interests of those who are intent upon dividing us, to exert their domination over our peoples, regardless of the conflicts generated with incalculable consequences in the region, as we are witnessing in different places around the world.

“We forewarn today that those who attempt to overthrow the Bolivarian Chavista Revolution, via unconstitutional, violent, coup-plotting methods, will assume a serious responsibility before history.”

The revolutionary government expresses its full, unwavering solidarity with Venezuela and its unconditional support to President Nicolás Maduro Moros and the civic-military of the Bolivarian Chavista people.

As the President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, said this past July 17, within the context of the Sao Paulo Forum’s 24th meeting, we must “strengthen the conviction that to fight for Venezuela is to fight for the region’s integration, for respecting the sovereignty and independence of Our America.”

Maradona: To Attack Maduro is to Attack the Venezuelan People

Source:  TeleSUR
August 6 2018

maradona says Venezuela does not surrenderMaradona says Venezuela “does not surrender.” | Photo: @pvillegas_tlSUR

The Argentine posted to social media to denounce an attack on Maduro during a military parade.

On Sunday, soccer icon Diego Maradona has joined the long list of people who have expressed solidarity with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro following failed drone attack.

RELATED:  Venezuela’s Foreign Minister: Probe Into Attack Against Maduro Points to US, Colombia

The Argentine posted to social media to denounce the attack on Maduro during a military event. Maradona addressed the attempt against the life of the Venezuelan president, stating that an attack on the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution is an attack on the people of Venezuela.

The diminutive world cup champion added that Venezuela “does not surrender” before urging for strength for his “dear friend!”

The attack on the Venezuelan president took place during a ceremony to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard, in Caracas.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Sunday that the attempt on Maduro’s life was a manifestation of frustration against the president as well as state officials.

Arreaza also remarked that, so far, investigations point to the involvement of the United States and Colombia. “There is no doubt about the origin of these attacks coming from a Miami-Bogota-Caracas axis.”

Interior Minister Nestor Reverol disclosed that six people had been arrested in connection with the attack.

World Extends Solidarity to Venezuela’s Maduro After Attack

Source:  TeleSUR

August 5 2018

nicolas maduro telesur world extend solidarityTwo drones carrying explosives were detonated, injuring seven military
personnel and halting Maduro mid-speech.   | Photo: Twitter / @PresidencialVen

Bolivia’s Evo Morales was among the first to comment, posting on Twitter: “Now the empire and its servants threaten his life.”

Messages and statements of support and solidarity from World leaders, governments, and intellectuals continued pouring in Sunday as they condemned the assassination attempt against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro.

RELATED: Venezuela: Maduro Survives Drone Attack, Blames Colombia

The attack against President Maduro took place at the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard, in which two drones carrying explosives were detonated near the presidential platform, injuring seven military personnel and halting Maduro mid-speech.

Ecuador and Uruguay are the latest countries to issue strong statements condemning the attack against President Maduro and rejecting such attempts by violent and terrorist attempts to destabilize the country.

“The Republic of Ecuador expresses its firm rejection and censure the violent acts that took place on August 4 in Caracas, during the commemoration ceremonies of the 81st. anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard, which caused several injuries and endangered the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, his companions and others attending the official ceremony,” read a statement by Ecuador’s foreign ministry.

Meanwhile, Uruguay’s government said it “expresses its solidarity with the victims and their families” and “reiterates its absolute rejection of any illegal act of violence against politicians, regardless of their authors or recipients.”

In the early hours of Sunday, the Turkish government issued a statement condemning the attempt on President Maduro’s life. “We are deeply saddened by the attack which was apparently aimed at President Maduro himself,” said a statement issued by Turkey’s foreign ministry.

“We strongly condemn this heinous attack. It is the greatest consolation that President Maduro and his relatives survived the incident unharmed. We wish a speedy recovery to the 7 soldiers reported to have been wounded in the explosions.” The statement went on to say that “Turkey stands with the brotherly and friendly Venezuelan people and President Maduro, his family and all government officials.”

This assassination attempt, one which is a crime against humanity, only demonstrates the desperation of an empire defeated by brave people. We send our solidarity. Strength to our brother, President @NicolasMaduro and the Bolivarian people! #NicolasMaduro #AtentadoFallidoVzla

Also, the Russian and Spanish governments expressed Sunday their support to President Maduro, his government and the people of Venezuela and called for peace. The Russian Foreign Ministry considered “categorically unacceptable the use of terrorist methods as instruments of political struggle”.

“It is obvious that such actions are intended to destabilize the situation in the country after the recent congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, which defined the priority measures for the recovery of the national economy.”

The Spanish government has underlined its “firm condemnation of the use of any type of violence for political purposes” and has expressed its desire for “prompt recovery” to the wounded.

Those statements were also echoed by the government of Dominica who condemned “with no reservation the attempted assassination of the His Excellency Nicolas Maduro, the President of The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.  All law-abiding global citizens should stand in condemnation of the calculated and cowardly act against the Venezuelan people. As Prime Minister of Dominica, I  stand in solidarity with the President and the people of Venezuela.

RELATED:Venezuela Lauds Ahed Tamimi Who Notes Maduro, Chavez Support

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales was among the first to publicly denounce the attack. Posting on his Twitter account, Morales wrote: “After the failure in their attempt to overthrow him democratically, economically, politically and militarily, now the empire and its servants threaten his life.”

He was swiftly followed by the leaders of various political and social organizations across the continent, from Alternative Revolutionary Force for the Commons (FARC) leader Rodrigo Londoño in Colombia to Argentine sociologist Atilio Boron.

Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega also condemned the bombing, writing in a statement: “With a heart full of indignation, with the sacred fire of our revolutionary brotherhood, our strong condemnation to those cowardly terrorists.”

Noted Mexican philosopher Fernando Buen Abab also took to Twitter to voice his condemnation: “This episode does nothing but unite us more than ever, receive my usual fraternal embrace, Chávez lives.”

“I strongly condemn the assassination attempt against President @NicolasMaduro. We send our complete solidarity with the government and the Bolivarian Republic of Twitter Ads info and privacy

In El Salvador, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) offered its support to Venezuela: “Our solidarity with the victims and their families. Live Venezuela!”

Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz Canel and former President Raul Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, also expressed their full solidarity with President Maduro.

The Union of South American Nations (Unasur) also denounced the assassination attempt against the Venezuelan president. In a statement, the Mexican Coordinator of Solidarity with Venezuela categorically rejected all such attacks on Venezuela’s president. Former Argentine footballer Diego Armando Maradona also extended solidarity towards Maduro.