Some terrorists are more equal than others

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When it comes to politically influential Cubans, the Bush family likes terrorists.

I was reading a review of Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana in the Economist (subscribers only area unfortunately) and came across this, which I had forgotten:

She interviews Luis Posada Carriles, Mr Castro's most persistent would-be assassin. She is surely right to criticise George Bush senior for his ill-considered pardon of Orlando Bosch, who with Mr Posada was responsible for placing a bomb on a Cubana airliner in 1976, killing 73 civilians.

Remember the outrage over Marc Rich's pardon by Clinton? At the time of Bush's pardon, the New York Times decided it wasn't news fit to print. They didn't write about it at all.

Since most of you don't have Economist subscriptions, there is a longer review in The Guardian with additional juicy details.

The president's younger brother [Jeb] was also on the payroll in the 80s of the prominent Cuban exile Miguel Recarey, who had earlier assisted the CIA in attempts to assassinate President Castro.

Recarey, who ran International Medical Centres (IMC), employed Jeb Bush as a real estate consultant and paid him a $75,000 fee for finding the company a new location, although the move never took place, which raised questions at the time. Jeb Bush did, however, lobby the Reagan/Bush administration vigorously and successfully on behalf of Recarey and IMC. "I want to be very wealthy," Jeb Bush told the Miami News when questioned during that period.

In 1985, Jeb Bush acted as a conduit on behalf of supporters of the Nicaraguan contras with his father, then the vice-president, and helped arrange for IMC to provide free medical treatment for the contras.

Recarey was later charged with massive medicare fraud but fled the US before his trial and is now a fugitive.


Most controversially, at the request of Jeb, Mr Bush Sr intervened to release the convicted Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch from prison and then granted him US residency.

According to the justice department in George Bush Sr's administration, Bosch had participated in more than 30 terrorist acts. He was convicted of firing a rocket into a Polish ship which was on passage to Cuba. He was also implicated in the 1976 blowing-up of a Cubana plane flying to Havana from Venezuela in which all 73 civilians on board were killed.

CIA memorandums strongly suggest, according to Bardach's book, that Bosch was one of the conspirators, and quotes the then secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, as writing that the "US government had been planning to suggest Bosch's deportation before Cubana airlines crash took place for his suspected involvement in other terrorist acts and violation of his parole".

Bosch's release, often referred to in the US media as a pardon, was the result of pressure brought by hardline Cubans in Miami, with Jeb Bush serving as their point man. Bosch now lives in Miami and remains unrepentant about his militant activities, according to Bardach.

In July this year, Jeb Bush nominated Raoul Cantero, the grandson of Batista, as a Florida supreme court judge despite his lack of experience. Mr Cantero had previously represented Bosch and acted as his spokesman, once describing Bosch on Miami radio as a "great Cuban patriot".

I chose to highlight The Economist review first, since some of my less enlightened readers choose to see The Guardian as too left-wing to be reliable -- the sort of people who quote Fox News on their web sites.

73 people died on that airplane. Where is the right-wing outrage over "coddling terrorists?"

1 Comment

Excellent post. :)

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