by Agustin Blazquez with the collaboration of Jaums Sutton

While the liberal U.S. media constantly reports the violations of human rights of the terrorists at Guantanamo, they are silent about the violations of human rights on the case of Posada Carriles.

It is very sad for the people who believe in the precepts on which this republic was founded, that there are shameful violations of human rights by the United States on our own land. The case of Luis Posada Carriles is a prime example.

Posada Carriles is a 79-year-old man with cancer and heart problems. He is a broken man who has been languishing in solitary confinement at the Otero County Jail in New Mexico since January 2007. His elderly wife and daughter live in Miami.

Before being sent to the Otero County Jail he was in detention at El Paso Immigration Facility in Texas since May 2005, where he was awaiting his immigration trial. However, the judge said that unless the Justice Department advised him that Posada Carriles represented a danger for the society and the security of the United States by February 1, 2007, he would be released, in compliance with the Supreme Court directive that a person cannot be detained indefinitely without specific charge.

The Justice Department did not act upon the judge’s request. But, somehow, out of the blue, just before the deadline, criminal charges were filed. They charged him with lying on his application for citizenship – citizenship he is entitled to under the U.S. law that calls for citizenship for those who have served this country. And he did serve this country dearly.

Before being transferred to the Otero County Jail, while he was at El Paso Immigration Facility, Posada Carriles was treated well and his Mexican American guards treated him with great respect. He felt happy there. He was allowed visits and phone calls. Because of his artistic talent, he was allowed to paint. He used his art to support his family in Miami. His paintings were sold in exhibits in Miami and the money went to his elderly wife.

Posada Carriles’ legal situation is complicated and political. And difficult to sort out – purposefully, I’d say. He was made a “hot potato” by way of the accusations of a known agent of Fidel Castro, Gilberto Abascal. For example, Posada Carriles states that he entered the U.S. via Mexico. Abascal claims that he came via a boat, “Santrina.”

It is relevant to mention that the accusations of Castro’s agent Abascal are exactly the same accusations that Castro made on Cuban state television show “Mesa Redonda” (Round Table) in 2005, just before Abascal made the claims officially in the U.S.

Luis Posada Carriles is a patriot who served the United States honorably and with dedication. He served in View Nam as a Lieutenant. He was trained by and worked for the CIA. He is a man who, in spite of the way this country is paying him back for his service, he loves and honors this country and if he had the opportunity to serve the U.S. again, he would do it without hesitation. He is not a criminal to deserve this kind of punishment.

So, how did he end up in this situation?

In 2005, Castro, a pathological liar, and his copycat, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, declared Posada Carriles a terrorist. He is wanted by Chavez in Venezuela for a kangaroo trial, to declare him guilty, despite the fact that he was found not guilty in two separate trials in Venezuela. Both a criminal court and a military court have found him innocent, despite numerous appeals by both government bodies.

Apparently, the U.S. is bowing once more to the international blackmail of these two goons. Posada Carriles was arrested in the U.S. for illegal entry into the country – you have to have guts to do such a thing in a country constantly invaded by illegal aliens and hardly anything happens to them!

Actually the situation of Posada Carriles in the Otero County Jail is more reminiscent of a prisoner in Castro’s Cuba, than in the U.S. The other inmates refer to it as “the hole.” According to a source, there is a calculation that in the U.S., 1% of the penal population is sent to “the hole” as punishment for severe infractions such as being found with drugs in the urine, for fighting or when an inmate kills another.

But in the case of Posada Carriles, there is no such reason. According to a source that went through the same treatment, if you ask why, the standard reply would be, “for your own protection.”

He can appeal the decision, but according to the same source with experience in another federal facility, they all have the same system of “the hole.” There is no precedent for a successful appeal for someone in that situation.

The opinion that he is kept there in solitary confinement to keep him isolated from the outside world.

This is “the hole” in which Posada Carriles is kept on U.S. soil:

The lights are on 24-7 in his small punishment cell. Twenty-three hours of the day without seeing any other human – I omitted “being” on purpose. The food is given to him through an opening in the door of his cell. He is allowed to make phone calls every two weeks. They take him out of his cell to the phone with his feet and hands chained, so it wasn’t easy to make the call. Fortunately on February 24, they discontinued the chains to go to the phone. But he can only call collect. And if the person doesn’t happen to be in, bad luck. He is not allowed to call cell numbers.

He has limited access to two books a week and he cannot choose them. They take him out one hour a day to watch television. However Posada Carriles cannot hear very well and they don’t allow him to wear an earphone. His is not allowed to receive visits or packages in the mail.

I am not discounting the charges against Posada Carriles – but considering the sources (Castro-Chavez-Abascal); their veracity is questionable. What I am concern is with the treatment he has been receiving without a guilty verdict. His trial is scheduled for May 10. 2007.

And the reason for the harsh treatment in the jail in New Mexico for this elderly man with cancer and heart problems? You have to seriously consider the unthinkable – that the plan is to cause his death in jail so Castro and Chavez will be satisfied, or at least quiet. As of March 13, a source told me that he was extremely depressed and confused in a recent phone call. So don’t be surprised if in the not so distant future Posada Carriles dies while in jail.

Meanwhile in Miami, on February 24, where a group of about 500 Cuban Americans were participating in a quiet demonstration in favor of the freedom of Posada Carriles, two small planes flew overhead carrying banners saying “POSADA TERRORISTA,” my guess paid for by Castro-Chavez and his untouchable agents in the U.S.

If Posada Carriles wasn’t a member of the most openly hated and politically discriminated minority in the U.S. – the Cuban Americans – and even if he had been a real terrorist, he would be in a much better position. At the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo, the terrorist inmates sleep at night with the lights off, are allowed to see the blue Cuban skies all day, are allowed to read all kinds of religious books of their choice, and are well dressed and well fed – all scrutinized by international organizations of human rights.

But a 79-year-old, sick and harmless Cuban American doesn’t deserve the same treatment as the Talibans in Guantanamo and that is perfectly OK, right here in the United States and no one cares.

I care.

Agustin Blazquez, producer/director of the documentaries
COVERING CUBA, premiered at the American Film Institute in 1995, CUBA: The Pearl of the Antilles, COVERING CUBA 2: The Next Generation, premiered in 2001 at the U.S. Capitol in and at the 2001 Miami International Book Fair COVERING CUBA 3: Elian presented at the 2003 Miami Latin Film Festival, the 2004 American Film Renaissance Film Festival in Dallas, Texas and the 2006 Palm Beach International Film Festival, COVERING CUBA 4: The Rats Below, premiered at the two Tower Theaters in Miami on January 2006 and the 2006 Palm Beach International Film Festival and the 2006 Barcelona International Film Festival for Human Rights and Peace, Dan Rather "60 Minutes," an inside view , RUMBERAS CUBANAS, Vol. 1 MARIA ANTONIETA PONS, COVERING CUBA 5: Act Of Repudiation premiered at the two Tower Theaters in Miami, January 2007, at the Hispanic Cuban Club in Madrid, Spain and will be at the 2007 Palm Beach International Film Festival.

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