(Open letter to Los Angeles Times)

Dear Sirs:

Let’s quote verbatim the last two sentences on the last paragraph of your Editorial of Thursday May 19 entitled “Send him to Caracas”: “Doesn’t President Bush mean it when he says no country should harbor those accused of terrorism? To answer that question in the affirmative, U.S. authorities must extradite Posada to Caracas and review the status of any other Cuban exiles in this country who stand accused of terrorism”. (Emphasis is mine).

For starters you are obviously misquoting Bush. The President clearly referred to countries harboring actual terrorist, not individuals “accused of”. One country that is prominent among those harboring real terrorists (Colombian FARC, Palestinian Hamas, Basque ETA, etc.) is the former Republic of Cuba. Your Editorial parroted -almost to the word- the line of the Castro regime as voiced by its mouthpiece Ricardo Alarcon to ABC’s Ted Koppel in “Nightline ” TV show.

Nevertheless, if you propose deporting any free Cuban standing accused of terrorism, I have to ask you, where would you propose sending me? Your soul mates in “Granma International”, accused me of links to terrorism (Dec. 5th 2003). They were very displeased by a letter I sent to then Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso. My letter requested the release of those four Cubans you called “terrorists”, advancing some of the reasons justifying their eventual pardon. Those arguments you find so “mysterious” dealt with the absence of an actual link between the suspects and the material evidence. That could be small potatoes in your view, just legal mumbo-jumbo. Why should L. A. Times bother with legal facts?

After all, your view of what our judicial process should be -as clearly stated in your sad Editorial- is not the American notion of right or wrong, innocent or guilty, but a bogus approval beyond our borders, so that we are “not seen as hypocritical or politically driven”. Such is the like notion of accepting that a man found NOT GUILTY by a military court then by a civil one should remain in a Caracas dungeon indefinitely just to appease your old tyrannical chum in Havana. Posada Carriles was arrested in November of 1976 and acquitted in September of 1980. Thanks God he managed to escape prison in August of 1985. Is it four years enough time to wait for a trial (while in prison) in your view? Or five years enough time waiting for freedom after been found not guilty twice?

I do not hold any misguided hopes of you publishing this letter. After all it is just another “silly outburst” from one more “hard-right” Cuban expatriate. You could just ignore me. However, let me provide you with just some “ food for thought”: This time around you do not call all the shots anymore. This letter will print not just in Los Angeles, but also in places as far away as Mexico, Spain, Uruguay and Panama. The magic of the Web will take it to Florida, Houston, New Orleans, Austin and New Jersey. In one site alone one hundred and ninety two thousand Net visitors welcomed this column last year. Finally, just one more piece of information for the benefit of the readers and conveniently omitted by your staff writers Gaouette and Dahlburg: Alfredo Duran was characterized on their piece as just “a Miami Lawyer who took part in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion”. Duran has been also a supporter of Castro for many years and was his frequent visitor in Havana until the embargo measures were hardened by the current U. S. administration in 2004. That and other similar despicable activities produced Duran’s dishonorable expulsion from the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association.


I write a column for the weekly local “20 de Mayo” and Miami’s “La Campana”. My column appears regularly in “La Nueva Cuba”, “Guaracabuya” and “La Voz de Cuba Libre”, all Net’s periodicals with thousands of visitors. Recently my column also appears at EspanaLiberal.com, popular site of the Net in Madrid, Spain. Hugo J. Byrne hugojbyrne@aol.com

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