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US detains former cia agent cuban terrorist { May 17 2005 }

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   http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-051705cuban_wr,0,4185388.story?coll=la-home-headlines

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-051705cuban_wr,0,4185388.story?coll=la-home-headlines

U.S. Detains Militant Wanted in Cuba
From Associated Press

12:58 PM PDT, May 17, 2005

MIAMI Under growing international pressure, U.S. authorities today detained a Cuban exile accused by Fidel Castro's government of masterminding a 1976 airliner bombing that killed 73 people, a friend said. He had been seeking asylum in the United States.

Luis Posada Carriles, a former CIA operative and Venezuelan security official, was taken into custody by the Department of Homeland Security, friend and benefactor Santiago Alvarez told The Associated Press.

The U.S. government had no immediate comment.

Posada, 77, is wanted by Venezuela for escaping from prison in 1985 while awaiting a prosecutor's appeal of his second acquittal in the bombing of a Cubana Airlines jetliner near Barbados. His whereabouts had been unknown until he surfaced in Miami in March and sent word that he was seeking asylum.

Castro has demanded Posada's arrest by U.S. authorities for his alleged role in the airliner bombing and other anti-Castro violence. That demand was echoed by thousands in protests in Havana today.

Venezuela recently approved an extradition request and Castro has made numerous televised speeches calling Posada a terrorist and accusing the United States of a double standard on terror. The United States and Venezuela have an extradition treaty.

"The majority of Americans would never be in favor of harboring a terrorist," said Wayne Smith, a former U.S. envoy to Cuba who now heads the Cuba program at the Washington-based Center for International Policy. If the United States were to grant asylum, Smith added, "we will be seen as hypocrites and as being against terrorism only when is suits our purposes."

Posada and three others were pardoned last August by Panama's president for their role in an alleged assassination plot in 2000 against Castro during a conference in Panama. Posada was also connected to a series of 1997 bombings of tourists sites in Cuba, one of which killed an Italian tourist.

In an interview in today's Miami Herald, Posada denied any involvement in the airliner bombing but refused to confirm or deny involvement in other attacks, telling the newspaper: "Let's leave it to history."

"I feel that I've committed many errors, more than most people," he said. "But I've always believed in rebellion, in the armed struggle. I believe more and more every day that we will triumph against Castro. Victory will be ours."


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