The CIA’s Human Hurricanes

“He who sows winds will reap hurricanes.”

“Quien siembra vientos recogerá tempestades” – Spanish proverb

Luis Posada Carriles, now in his 80s has returned to Miami as a triumphant hero after an El Paso jury acquitted him of 11 counts of lying on an immigration form. Strangely enough, the Justice Department had presented evidence showing Posada had orchestrated a series of bombings in Cuba in 1997 – which killed one tourist.

Posada returned to Miami where he makes celebrity appearances at fundraisers. According to one US official who requested anonymity, “Posada has become a colossal pain in the ass.”

The blow back syndrome has struck again. In the 1960s and early 70s CIA officials worked intimately with Posada, but he didn’t mind making money from other three letter agencies. He planned terrorism and simultaneously informed on his collaborators. An October 14, 1976 CIA memo from Caracas reports that “a few days after a fundraising dinner Posada was overheard to say `we are going to hit a Cuban airplane [bombs exploded on Cubana 455] and that `Orlando [Bosch] has the details’.”

A November 26, 1976 CIA memo to the FBI stated “Posada was also used as a source of information on Cuban exiles.” The memo affirmed “Posada reported to the Agency and later to the FBI, on his involvement in and the activities of this group [RECE –Plan of the Cuban Exile Representation] and subsequently other Cuban groups with which he became affiliated.”

In my film “Will The Real Terrorist Please Stand Up” Ann Bardach (“Cuban Exiles Leader Among 7 Aaccused of plot,” NY Times July 13, 1998) concluded from interviews with national security officials, the Agency knew Posada planned to hit a Cuban airliner and didn’t try to stop it or inform the Cuban government. Three plus decades later, the US government used its evidence about Posada’s terrorist activities to show he  lied on an immigration form. Charging him with terrorism or deporting him to Venezuela to face trial for the airplane sabotage might have provoked Posada to reveal “family secrets.”

Justice officials wrung their legal hands. Geriatric right wing Cuban exiles hailed his triumphant return to the Autonomous Republic of Miami.

The tinny irony, however, grew into dangerous alloy. Posada raised money from rich Cubans who thought violence would bring them back to lost power and property on the island. The CIA and FBI paid him extra cash for ratting on his exile benefactors, like Jorge Mas Canosa.

Those honoring him deny he did the deeds they honor him for. As does Posada at one dinner said “No comment,” to a question about the accuracy of accusations of his bomb-plotting. He then quoted General Antonio Maceo: “You don’t beg for freedom. You conquer it with the machete blade.”

Octogenarian supporters applauded. At their age they rarely refuse opportunities to eat, drink and celebrate — anything.

On the island, Cuban viejos celebrated their victory at the Bay of Pigs. As the nation endured economic woes, leaders could at least toast happily to 52 years of disobedience to Washington.

They chuckled over Fidel’s successful “export Cuba’s enemies to the larger adversary.” Yes, some useful citizens also fled – but the mass exodus allowed Cuba to plant a fair number of state security agents (infiltrators) as well.

With CIA encouragement in the 1960s violent anti-Castro Cubans became – and remain — a problem for U.S. society. Having aided and abetted terrorism, by training thousands of exiles in violence against Cuba, the CIA also legitimized terrorism at home.

In the 1960s, Agency-backed Cuban exiles carried out thousands of sabotage missions against their former homeland. Some tried to assassinate Fidel and became vocationally committed to such “work.” They also attacked their critics in Miami and elsewhere – with bombs and guns.

Nixon did not consider the toxic inconsistency that arose from this cultivation of terrorists. In 1971, the US signed the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation. Article 7 of that document states: “The Contracting State in the territory of which the alleged offender is found shall, if it does not extradite him, be obliged, without exception whatsoever and whether or not the offense was committed in its territory, to submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.”

An exception appeared, however. In January 1965, Bosch had launched phosphorus bombs at a Cuban sugar mill. He explained to the press: “If we had the necessary resources, Cuba would burn in flames from one end to the other.”

In 1990, Orlando Bosch, Posada’s co-author of airplane sabotage, escaped prosecution in Venezuela by getting a Daddy Bush pardon – against strong advice from the Justice Department. Bosch, like Posada, gloats of his feats in Miami, On 1968, he fired a bazooka at a Polish ship in Miami Harbor; in 1976 he and Posada planned the downing of the Cuban airliner, killing 73.

On November 10, 2001, Baby Bush warned UN members: “Some governments still turn a blind eye to the terrorists, hoping the threat will pass them by. They are mistaken. The allies of terror are equally guilty and equally accountable.” But Bush and his Florida congressional backers didn’t mean Bosch and Posada — freedom fighters not terrorists.

Those human hurricanes left a trail of destruction in their wake –dead bodies of Cuban citizens. In 1961, CIA Chief Alan Dulles had warned President Kennedy about popssivble consequences that would accrue from aborting the Bay of Pigs invasion. The 1500 CIA trained Cuban exiles in Guatemala would become “a disposal problem.” Now in their 80s, Posada and Bosch epitomize that predicament: don’t cultivate garbage unless you have a garbage disposal machine.

SAUL LANDAU, an Institute for Policy Fellow just finished WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP – a film available through Cinema Libre Studio. CounterPunch published his BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD

More articles by:

SAUL LANDAU’s A BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD was published by CounterPunch / AK Press.

Weekend Edition
March 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Roberto J. González
The Mind-Benders: How to Harvest Facebook Data, Brainwash Voters, and Swing Elections
Paul Street
Deplorables II: The Dismal Dems in Stormy Times
Nick Pemberton
The Ghost of Hillary
Andrew Levine
Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Paul de Rooij
Amnesty International: Trumpeting for War… Again
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Coming in Hot
Chuck Gerhart
Sessions Exploits a Flaw to Pursue Execution of Meth Addicts
Robert Fantina
Distractions, Thought Control and Palestine
Hiroyuki Hamada
The Eyes of “Others” for Us All
Robert Hunziker
Is the EPA Hazardous to Your Health?
Stephanie Savell
15 Years After the Iraq Invasion, What Are the Costs?
Aidan O'Brien
Europe is Pregnant 
John Eskow
How Do We Live With All of This Rage?
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: Was Khe Sanh a Win or a Loss?
Dan Corjescu
The Man Who Should Be Dead
Howard Lisnoff
The Bone Spur in Chief
Brian Cloughley
Hitler and the Poisoning of the British Public
Brett Wilkins
Trump Touts $12.5B Saudi Arms Sale as US Support for Yemen War Literally Fuels Atrocities
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraqi Landscapes: the Path of Martyrs
Brian Saady
The War On Drugs Is Far Deadlier Than Most People Realize
Stephen Cooper
Battling the Death Penalty With James Baldwin
CJ Hopkins
Then They Came for the Globalists
Philip Doe
In Colorado, See How They Run After the Fracking Dollars
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Armed Propaganda
Binoy Kampmark
John Brennan’s Trump Problem
Nate Terani
Donald Trump’s America: Already Hell Enough for This Muslim-American
Steve Early
From Jackson to Richmond: Radical Mayors Leave Their Mark
Jill Richardson
To Believe in Science, You Have to Know How It’s Done
Ralph Nader
Ten Million Americans Could Bring H.R. 676 into Reality Land—Relief for Anxiety, Dread and Fear
Sam Pizzigati
Billionaires Won’t Save the World, Just Look at Elon Musk
Sergio Avila
Don’t Make the Border a Wasteland
Daryan Rezazad
Denial of Climate Change is Not the Problem
Ron Jacobs
Flashing for the Refugees on the Unarmed Road of Flight
Missy Comley Beattie
The Age of Absurdities and Atrocities
George Wuerthner
Isle Royale: Manage for Wilderness Not Wolves
George Payne
Pompeo Should Call the Dogs Off of WikiLeaks
Russell Mokhiber
Study Finds Single Payer Viable in 2018 Elections
Franklin Lamb
Despite Claims, Israel-Hezbollah War is Unlikely
Montana Wilderness Association Dishonors Its Past
Elizabeth “Liz” Hawkins, RN
Nurses Are Calling #TimesUp on Domestic Abuse
Paul Buhle
A Caribbean Giant Passes: Wilson Harris, RIP
Mel Gurtov
A Blank Check for Repression? A Saudi Leader Visits Washington
Seth Sandronsky
Hoop schemes: Sacramento’s corporate bid for an NBA All-Star Game
Louis Proyect
The French Malaise, Now and Then
David Yearsley
Bach and the Erotics of Spring