'Latin America's Bin Laden' Hospitalized in Miami Car Accident

Posada and other terrorists. Miami, January 2015
 Luis Posada Carriles, a notorious opponent of the Cuban government who has been linked with various terrorist attacks, was seriously injured in a car accident last Thursday in Miami.

Posada Carriles, 87, was hospitalizaed after suffering a broken clavicle along with three fractured ribs, according to local media reports.

The Cuban national served as a former police officer under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista who became a CIA agent, participating in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. Posada Carriles, who was trained by the U.S. Army at Ft. Benning in the 1960’s, has been directly linked to the bombing attack in declassified CIA and FBI documents.

He is currently wanted on extradition charges by Cuban officials for his role in the 1976 Cuban airliner bombing, which killed 73 people including Cuba’s fencing team.

The 1976 bombing, which represented the first act of air terrorism to occur on the American continent, also involved members from the Cuban exile organization, the Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations, which the FBI categorized as a “terrorist” organization.

The U.S. government also possess sufficient evidence to charge Posada with a 1997 hotel bombings in Havana that killed an Italian tourist, Fabio di Celmo.

During an 1998 interview with the New York Times, Posada Carriles boasted that he had committed the greatest number of terrorist acts against Cuba, and claimed responsibility for the 1997 hotel bombing.

The Italian tourist, he suggested, was merely “at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

According to the International Journal of Cuban Studies, between 1959 and 1997 Cuba was the target of nearly 7000 terrorist attacks organized from the United States, resulting in the death of over 3,000 people and inflicted permanent injuries on 2,099 others.

Despite overwhelming evidence linking Posada to terrorist acts, he continues to live in Miami where U.S. authorities have refused to extradite him for his crimes.

A Venezuelan extradition request was blocked in 2005 by the ruling of a federal magistrate judge because of concerns that the aging militant could be tortured if extradited.

Instead, Posada Carriles was acquitted on charges of lying to immigration officials in 2011 when he was found to have entered the U.S. illegally.

At the perjury trial in El Paso, Texas, his lawyers appealed to the jury’s sympathy for the anti-Cuban radical, who has been called “Latin America’s Osama Bin Laden” by the Venezuelan government’s lawyer on the extradition request. After three hours of deliberation, the jury exonerated Posada Carriles, allowing him to live out the remainder of his life in Miami.

Miami is home to more than half of the 2 million Cubans living in the United States.

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