Cuba Intensifying Campaign To Free Jailed Spy Ana Belen Montes 7

Convicted spy Ana Belén Montes -- formerly the Defense Intelligence Agency's lead analyst on Cuban affairs.

Convicted spy Ana Belén Montes — formerly the Defense Intelligence Agency’s lead analyst on Cuban affairs.

14 years of complete isolation in a US prison. Why did Ana Belén Montes cooperate with Cuba?

Solidarity with Cuba and Cuban solidarity with the peoples of the world is one of the core values ​​against which the enemies of the Cuban Revolution are shattered. It is one of our main strengths.

By Néstor García Iturbe

Many people living in countries with vast wealth and high technological advancement, would want their government to lead their nation’s foreign policy differently, not as an instrument of the wealthy to increase their own profits, but to use all those resources for the benefit and improvement of the living conditions of those who have less money, both in their own country and in the world.

They want their country, rather than being feared, to be loved. That war is not the main feature of its foreign policy, it is the peaceful resolution of differences. That the billions intended to cause death, are instead intended to avoid it and improve living conditions. That instead of organizing actions to wipe out the industry and agriculture of other nations, they were dedicated to promote industry and increase agricultural production as a way of fighting hunger suffered by many countries.

They want to feel proud to be citizens of that country, instead of feeling embarrassed. That their flags will be respected, not burned. And instead of listening “go home” they hear “you are home.”

These surely are the reflections of millions of Americans. That fifty percent of the population who do not attend the polls to vote, not to give legitimacy to a system on which they do not have confidence or hope. Among this mass of people, we can include comrade Ana Belén Montes.

Ana Belen’s attitude in the trial to which she was subjected can be described as honest. She expressed her criteria for how the government should conduct US foreign policy.

Ana Belen said: “There is an Italian proverb which is perhaps the best way to describe what I think: ‘The whole world is one country.’ In this ‘country world,’the principle of loving your neighbor as much as you love yourself is an essential rule for harmonious relations among all of our neighboring countries.

“This principle implies tolerance and understanding towards the different ways of doing things of others. It states that we should treat other nations in the way we want to be treated —with respect and consideration. It is a principle which, unfortunately, I think we have never applied to Cuba.”

Feature continues here: “Free Montes” Campaign Intensifying

Editor’s Note: Retired Directorate of Intelligence (DI) Colonel Néstor García Iturbe is one of the regime’s top experts in the targeting of Americans. He culminated his official espionage career as the Director of the Superior Institute of Intelligence (ISI), where Havana’s civilian intelligence officers are trained.

Retired Directorate of Intelligence (DI) Colonel Néstor García Iturbe

Retired Directorate of Intelligence (DI) Colonel Néstor García Iturbe

Advertisements

Cuba’s “Free The 5” Campaign Falters As Support Plummets 4

Convicted Spy Rene Gonzalez:  the poster child for the regime's "Free the 5" program

Convicted Spy Rene Gonzalez: the poster child for the regime’s “Free the 5” program

By Chris Simmons

The headline in CubaSi proclaims “Tsunami of Messages for the Cuban Five Flood the White House.” However, all is not as it seems and even the false enthusiasm of Havana’s spinmeisters can no longer hide the truth. The “Cuban 5” campaign is dying.

A key facet of the “Cuban 5” propaganda operation has been to “flood” the White House with the letters and emails of support on the 5th day of every month. But a drought of supporters has reduced the “tsunami” to a small creek. Just a few thousand messages demanding the release of the three remaining Wasp Network spies arrived at the White House last Friday reported CubaSi.

Almost any well organized and motivated special interest group can generate hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of letters, postcards, and emails at the drop of a hat. In contrast, a Cuba-led program allegedly involving participants from over 40 nations only generates a few thousand emails and letters once a month. The men and women of the Directorate of Intelligence’s “Active Measures” Department (M-IX) should be rightfully embarrassed.

Editor’s Note:  Active Measures are the use of disinformation, threats, and/or violence to discredit opponents or otherwise manipulate the behavior of an individual or group. Disinformation is false or inaccurate information deliberately spread with the goal of rendering genuine information useless. 

Sen. Robert Menendez Seeks Probe of Alleged Cuban Plot to Smear Him Reply

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) (Gary Cameron/Reuters)

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) (Gary Cameron/Reuters)

By Manuel Roig-Franzia and Carol D. Leonnig

Sen. Robert Menendez is asking the Justice Department to pursue evidence obtained by U.S. investigators that the Cuban government concocted an elaborate plot to smear him with allegations that he cavorted with underage prostitutes, according to people familiar with the discussions.

In a letter sent to Justice Department officials, the senator’s attorney asserts that the plot was timed to derail the ­political rise of Menendez (D-N.J.), one of Washington’s most ardent critics of the Castro regime. At the time, Menendez was running for reelection and was preparing to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

According to a former U.S. official with firsthand knowledge of government intelligence, the CIA had obtained credible evidence, including Internet protocol addresses, linking Cuban agents to the prostitution claims and to efforts to plant the story in U.S. and Latin American media.

The alleged Cuba connection was laid out in an intelligence report provided last year to U.S. government officials and sent by secure cable to the FBI’s counterintelligence division, according to the former official and a second person with close ties to Menendez who had been briefed on the matter.

The intelligence information indicated that operatives from Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence helped create a fake tipster using the name “Pete Williams,” according to the former official. The tipster told FBI agents and others he had information about Menendez participating in poolside sex parties with underage prostitutes while vacationing at the Dominican Republic home of Salomon Melgen, a wealthy eye doctor, donor and friend of the senator.

Read more here:  Alleged Cuban Plot

 

 

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) (Gary Cameron/Reuters)

Good Day For Castro Collaborators in Huffington Post 2

Barack Obama and Raul Castro: More Than a Handshake?

By Arturo Lopez-Levy

Nelson Mandela, even after his death, promoted peace and reconciliation among nations and civility between leaders. His funeral has brought about the refreshing image of Presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama, of Cuba and the U.S., greeting each other.

The struggle against apartheid was a cause that gathered many around the world. The African-American university student Barack Obama and the thousands of Cuban soldiers who went to Angola were among them. Mandela inspired them and thanked them all for their contribution. Barack Obama and Raul Castro were on the same side of the South African conflict, Mandela’s side. They had common adversaries like Senator Jesse Helms, author of the insignia law of the embargo against Cuba, and the loudest voice in the racist and reactionary resistance against American repudiation of apartheid.

A gesture says more than a thousand words. Obama behaved in accord with the dignity and protocol that comes with leading a democratic superpower. The handshake would not have been extraordinary without past deviations by the U.S. from all diplomatic norms in its policy towards Cuba. In Mexico in 2002, then-president George W. Bush put President Vicente Fox on the ropes by demanding that Mexico arrange the Monterrey summit in a way that he did not have to greet Fidel Castro. Fox asked Fidel Castro to speak, eat and leave before Bush arrived. When Fidel revealed their phone conversation, Fox’s decision to genuflect toward the North caused a crisis in the relations between Havana and Mexico City.

Article continues here: Barack Obama and Raul Castro: More Than a Handshake?

Change With Cuba in President Obama’s Hands

By John McAuliff

There has never been a more propitious moment in the spirit of Nelson Mandela for President Obama to make an historic change in U.S.-Cuba relations. As I wrote in a previous post, Judy and Alan Gross have given the White House the moral authorization, if not obligation, to negotiate with Cuba to achieve Alan’s release. Two-thirds of the Senate have given it the political space by signing a letter initiated by Senator Leahy.

Cuba has just reaffirmed in friendly language its readiness and the parameters for agreement (exact text here). The content is not new but in the current context is tantalizingly suggestive of the choice facing President Obama.

Cuban President Raul Castro has called for “civilized relations” with the United States, saying the two countries should respect their differences.

Article continues here: Change With Cuba in President Obama’s Hands

Elian Gonzalez Now Just a Castro Mouthpiece 1

His mom died in 1999, trying to get him to freedom in the U.S.

By Joseph Perkins / Orange County Register

Elizabeth Brotons Rodriguez died in vain. Fourteen years ago, she decided to flee communist Cuba with her 6-year-old son, Elian. She wanted the boy to grow up in the United States, a land of freedom and opportunity.

The day after leaving Cuba, the small boat ferrying Elizabeth, Elian and 12 other Cuban refugees capsized off the coast of Florida. Elian’s mom drowned. Her boy was rescued at sea by two Florida fishermen Nov. 25, 1999.

The U.S. government placed Elian in the custody of his great-uncle, Lazaro Gonzalez, a Miami resident who sought asylum for the boy. The request was challenged by Elian’s father back in Cuba, who parted ways with Elian’s mom when the boy was 3.

Elian’s great uncle warned that if the boy was returned to Cuba, he would be used as a propaganda tool by the Castro government and would be subjected to involuntary indoctrination in the tenets of communism.

Elian’s father, backed by the Castro regime, argued that his parental rights trumped any other consideration, including the wishes of Elian’s mother, who died trying to get her son away from Cuba.

In the end, the Clinton administration sided with the communists. And the fears of Lazaro Gonzalez have since been fully realized. Elian, now 20, is, indeed, a propaganda tool for the Castro government. And the young man has indeed been indoctrinated in the tenets of communism.

The prima facie evidence is Elian’s visit this week to Ecuador for the World Festival of Youth and Students, during which he said that Washington – not Havana – was responsible for his mom’s watery death.

“Just like her,” said Elian, “many others have died attempting to go the United States. But it’s the U.S. government’s fault. Their unjust embargo provokes an internal and critical economic situation in Cuba.”

That’s exactly the kind of anti-American pronouncement to be expected from Elian, 14 years after his repatriation to Castro’s Cuba.
Upon his return to the island, he immediately became a Young Pioneer (the Cuban equivalent of Nazi Germany’s Hitler Youth). Then he “joined” the Young Communist Union. Then he “enlisted” in military school.

Now he’s a propagandist for the Castro government, invited to deliver a keynote in Quito, at what CNN describes as a “left-wing conference,” and at which more than 10,000 young Communists like Elian will “discuss global struggles against imperialism.”

Article continues here: Elian Gonzalez Now Just a Castro Mouthpiece

Néstor García Iturbe: A Castroit Brian Latell 1

By Miguel Fernandez

Retired Colonel Néstor García Iturbe has launched a theory on the Kennedy assassination in the leftwing blogosphere. The hard core argument is that the assasination was a plot by the CIA and the Pentagon with some carefully selected members of the anti-Castro groups. However, García Iturbe moves away from the Castroit official line by asserting that Lee Harvey Oswald was a case of “false flag” recruitment. Oswald would have been recruited “for Cuba” by an FBI agent, who had infiltrated the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). Oswald was actually used as decoy in the assassination, but he aimed his rifle on the belief he was working for Castro. Thus, ex-DGI spymaster García Iturbe concurs with the view of ex-CIA desk analyst Brian Latell, who wrote in Castro´s Secrets (2013) that intelligence officers were winding Oswald up at the Cuban Consulate in México City and turned him into “a fully primed soldier of Fidel” (page 227).

False Flag

García Iturbe seems to be unaware of the classic article “Leftist Lee at Work” (The Third Decade, Vol. 2, No. 5, July 1986, pp. 1-6), where Philp H. Malenson demonstrated that Oswald was working against FPCC, id est, against the very flag under which he had been recruited. For instance, Oswald engaged in a radio debate (“Conversation Carte Blanche,” WDSU, New Orleans, August 21, 1963) versus Cuban exile Carlos Bringuier and American anticommunist militant Ed Butler on the U.S. policy toward Cuba. They revealed Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union in 1959, but Oswald replied that FPCC had absolutely nothing to do either with the URSS or the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA). This message was repeatedly delivered by Oswald, who also exaggerated his one-man FPCC chapter in New Orleans. On August 28, Oswald wrote to the CPUSA asking for advice “upon a problem of personal tactics:” whether or not to go underground. He established on paper the very linkage he had denied on the air: “Frankly, I have used my position [in the FPCC] to foster communist ideals.” He never informed the FPCC he had placed such a risky paper-trial linkage (Commission Exhibit 1145) tying the pro Castro group to the CPSUA and, through his background as re-defector, to Moscow.

Crass Ignorance

García Iturbe thinks the job Oswald got at the Texas Book School Book Depository (TSBD), facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, “deserves an analysis.” From his very first question emerges he does not know what he is talking about: “¿Who provided this job to Oswald?” On August 25, 2013, C-SPAN3 broadcasted an interview with Buell Wesley Frazier, the co-worker who gave Oswald the last lift to the TBSD. Frazier reiterated some well-known data available in the Mary Ferrell Chronologies, apparently an alien bibliography for García Iturbe.

Since September 23, 1963, Oswald´s wife had moved with her friend Ruth Paine to Irving, around 21 kilometers of Dallas, for the birth of her second baby. On October 14, Marina and Ruth went to a neighbor´s house (Mrs. Roberts) for coffee. Another neighbor, Linnie Randle, was there. When Paine mentioned that Oswald was looking for work, Randle said there might be a job opening at TBSD, because her brother Frazier had been hired a month ago. Pain called the TBSD and talked with Superintendent Roy Truly, who told her to have Oswald make an application. Paine immediately called Oswald. The next day he went to the TBSD and got a job for $10 daily, from 8 AM a 4:45 PM, with 12 to 12:45 PM for lunch.

García Iturbe confirms his lack of knowledge with this tirade: “What a coincidence that the TBSD was located precisely at a street on the route of the presidential motorcade! Who knew it would go along this street by that time? Usually this is a ‘Top Secret’ in order to protect the President; however, Oswald had foreknowledge and could get his rifle inside the bulding.” García Iturbe has not got even a clue about the fact that all the people in Dallas must know in advance the route of the motorcade for greeting the President on the streets. Both The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Times Herald described it in detail on November 19, 1963. The latter even ran a large map of the motorcade route in the evening edition of November 21.

Coda

As Dr. Latell, García Iturbe tries to connect the dots for making theories, but the crux of the matter is finding facts instead of bringing more factoids, like Oswald being recruited under a “false flag” by the FBI or having not a single unforeseen incident during the days prior to the assassination.

Cuba’s Propaganda Program Showing Signs of Stress 3

By Chris Simmons

Havana seems hyper-sensitive to criticism of its 24/7 propaganda machine. On November 17th, Cuba Confidential posted the story, Cuba’s Ninth Annual “Free the 5″ Meeting Ends With Minimal Fanfare. The feature focused on the absence of crowd size in reporting by Havana on the attendees to said meeting.

Now, the missing numbers have been provided by “The Militant,” a newsweekly associated with the Socialist Workers Party and the leftist publisher, Pathfinder Press. That said, the Militant simply acknowledged “270 delegates from 52 countries” with not so much as a mention of the most notable attendees or a chart of nations represented. The Havana mouthpiece also published a picture of released spy Rene Gonzalez addressing a crowd it claimed was 10,000 strong, although only a hundred or so can be seen in the picture.

The quality of Havana’s propaganda efforts is increasingly less consistent and thorough than its glory days. Decreased resourcing does not account for fundamental “media marketing” failures like poor photo choices and failing to spin numbers to support a storyline. Another recent example includes its error-filled “Free the 5” march on Washington last summer, which Havana has already announced it will repeat in June 2014. The “Free the 5” campaign has been a central theme for well over a decade. Why is it now making amateurish mistakes on a regular basis? Its efforts are clearly in turmoil — the question is why?

US Takes a Step Towards Cuba 3

Moscow’s anti-US “RT” continues the myth of 638 failed assassination attempts against Cuba. The storyline was first established by “retired” Cuban counterintelligence chief Fabian Escalante in his disingenuous book, “EXECUTIVE ACTION: 634 Ways to Kill Fidel.” Hilariously, one year later, director Dollan Cannell made a movie based on the book, but increased the number to 638 alleged assassination attempts.

Washington Post OP/ED: The Cuban Five Were Fighting Terrorism. Why Did We Put Them in Jail? 3

By Stephen Kimber, Contact the author at 902.422.1271 ext 150 or via Stephen.kimber@ukings.ca

Stephen Kimber teaches journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Canada, and is the author of “What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five.”

Consider for a moment what would happen if American intelligence agents on the ground in a foreign country uncovered a major terrorist plot, with enough time to prevent it. And then consider how Americans would react if authorities in that country, rather than cooperate with us, arrested and imprisoned the U.S. agents for operating on their soil.

Those agents would be American heroes. The U.S. government would move heaven and Earth to get them back.

This sort of scenario has occurred, except that, in the real-life version, which unfolded 15 years ago last month, the Americans play the role of the foreign government, and Cuba — yes, Fidel Castro’s Cuba — plays the role of the aggrieved United States.

In the early 1990s, after the demise of the Soviet Union made the collapse of Cuba’s communist government seem inevitable, Miami’s militant Cuban exile groups ratcheted up their efforts to overthrow Castro by any means possible, including terrorist attacks. In 1994, for example, Rodolfo Frometa, the leader of an exile group, was nabbed in an FBI sting trying to buy a Stinger missile, a grenade launcher and anti-tank rockets that he said he planned to use to attack Cuba. In 1995, Cuban police arrested two Cuban Americans after they tried to plant a bomb at a resort in Varadero.

Those actions clearly violated U.S. neutrality laws, but America’s justice system mostly looked the other way. Although Frometa was charged, convicted and sentenced to almost four years in jail, law enforcement agencies rarely investigated allegations involving exile militants, and if they did, prosecutors rarely pursued charges. Too often, Florida’s politicians served as apologists for the exile community’s hard-line elements.

But the Cubans had their own agents on the ground in Florida. An intelligence network known as La Red Avispa was dispatched in the early 1990s to infiltrate militant exile groups. It had some successes. Agents thwarted a 1994 plan to set off bombs at the iconic Tropicana nightclub, a tourist hot spot in Havana. And they short-circuited a 1998 scheme to send a boat filled with explosives from the Miami River to the Dominican Republic to be used in an assassination attempt against Castro.

In the spring of 1998, Cuban agents uncovered a plot to blow up an airplane filled with beach-bound tourists from Europe or Latin America. The plot resonated: Before 2001, the most deadly act of air terrorism in the Americas had been the 1976 midair bombing of Cubana Airlines Flight 455, which killed all 73 passengers and crew members.

Castro enlisted his friend, Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to carry a secret message about the plot to President Bill Clinton. The White House took the threat seriously enough that the Federal Aviation Administration warned airlines.

In June of that year, FBI agents flew to Havana to meet with their Cuban counterparts. During three days in a safe house, the Cubans provided the FBI with evidence their agents had gathered on various plots, including the planned airplane attack and an ongoing campaign of bombings at Havana hotels that had taken the life of an Italian Canadian businessman.

But the FBI never arrested anyone in connection with the airplane plot or the hotel attacks — even after exile militant Luis Posada Carriles bragged about his role in the Havana bombings to the New York Times in July 1998. Instead, on Sept. 12, 1998, a heavily armed FBI SWAT team arrested the members of the Cuban intelligence network in Miami.

The five agents were tried in that hostile-to-anything-Cuban city, convicted on low-bar charges of “conspiracy to commit” everything from espionage to murder and sentenced to impossibly long prison terms, including one double life sentence plus 15 years.

Fifteen years later, four of the Cubans still languish in American prisons.

Now you begin to understand why the Cuban Five — as they have become known — are national heroes in their homeland, why pictures of their younger selves loom on highway billboards all over the island, why every Cuban schoolchild knows them by their first names: Gerardo, René, Ramon, Fernando and Antonio.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland has stated that the Cuban Five “were all convicted in U.S. courts of committing crimes against the United States, including spying, treason.” It is true that three of the five men — Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino and Fernando Gonzalez — did have, in part, military missions beyond simply infiltrating and reporting back on the activities of Miami’s exile groups. But their purpose was not to steal America’s military secrets or compromise U.S. security.

During the 1990s, Cuban authorities believed theirs might be the next Caribbean country to face an American military invasion. It wasn’t a stretch when you consider Grenada (1983), Panama (1989) and Haiti (1994). Then, too, there was the growing influence of militantly anti-Castro lobbying groups such as the Cuban American National Foundation, which were pushing Washington to overthrow Castro and his brother.

Based on its assessments of those earlier invasions, Cuban intelligence had developed a checklist of signals that an invasion might be imminent: a sudden influx of combat and reconnaissance aircraft to a southern military base, for example, or unexpected, unexplained visits by military brass to Southern Command headquarters in Miami.

Agents such as Antonio Guerrero — who worked as a janitor at the Boca Chica Naval Air Station in Key West from 1993 until his arrest in 1998 and is serving 22 years in prison — were Cuba’s low-tech equivalents of U.S. spy satellites, counting planes on runways and reporting back to Havana.

Of course, Cuban authorities were eager to vacuum up every tidbit of gossip their agents could find, and Havana occasionally pressured Guerrero to up his game; he responded mostly by sending clippings from base newspapers. No wonder. Guerrero spoke little English and had no security clearance; military secrets were well above his pay grade. And U.S. military secrets were never Cuba’s real priority — it just wanted to know if the Yankees were about to invade.

Seven months after the FBI charged the five with relatively insignificant counts — failing to register as foreign agents, using false identities and, more seriously but less specifically, conspiracy to commit espionage — prosecutors tacked on the charge that would galvanize Cuba’s exile community.

They charged Gerardo Hernandez, the leader of the network, with conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the shootdown three years earlier of two Brothers to the Rescue aircraft. Brothers to the Rescue, an anti-Castro group that had been rescuing rafters in the Straits of Florida but had lost its raison d’etre after a 1994 immigration deal between Washington and Havana, had been illegally violating Cuban airspace for more than a year, occasionally raining down anti-government leaflets on Havana. The Cubans protested the flights. The U.S. government did its best to prevent further incursions, but the wheels of the FAA bureaucracy ground slowly.

In early 1996, the Cubans sent messages to Washington through various intermediaries, warning that if the United States didn’t stop further Brothers flights, the Cubans would.
Washington didn’t.

So the Cubans did. On the afternoon of Feb. 24, 1996, Cuban fighter jets blew two small, unarmed Brothers to the Rescue aircraft out of the sky, killing all four men aboard.
The Cubans claim that the planes were inside their territory. The U.S. government claims — and the International Civil Aviation Organization agreed — that the planes were in international airspace when they were attacked.

But did Hernandez really know in advance that the Cuban government planned to shoot down those planes? Was he involved in the planning?

My answer is no. During my research for a book on the Cuban Five, I reviewed all 20,000-plus pages of the trial transcript and sifted through thousands of pages of decrypted communications between Havana and its agents. I found no evidence that Hernandez had any knowledge of, or influence on, the events that day.

The evidence instead paints a picture of a Cuban intelligence bureaucracy obsessed with compartmentalizing and controlling information. Hernandez, a field-level illegal intelligence officer, had no need to know what Cuba’s military planned. The messages and instructions from Havana were ambiguous, hardly slam-dunk evidence, particularly for a charge of conspiracy to commit murder. In one message, for example, Hernandez’s bosses refer to a plan to “perfect the confrontation” with Brothers to the Rescue, which prosecutors insisted meant shooting down the planes.

But as Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch pointed out — in her 2008 dissent from a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuitupholding the murder charge against Hernandez — “There are many ways a country could ‘confront’ foreign aircraft. Forced landings, warning shots, and forced escorted journeys out of a country’s territorial airspace are among them — as are shoot downs.” She said that prosecutors “presented no evidence” to link Hernandez to the shootdown. “I cannot say that a reasonable jury — given all the evidence — could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Hernandez agreed to a shoot down,” Kravitch wrote.

A “reasonable jury.” There’s the rub.

By the late 1990s, Miami juries had become so notorious in cases involving Cuban exiles that federal prosecutors in a different case opposed a defense motion for a change of venue from Puerto Rico to Miami for some Cuban exiles accused of plotting to assassinate Castro.

Miami “is a very difficult venue for securing a conviction for so-called freedom fighters,” former U.S. attorney Kendall Coffey explained to the Miami Herald at the time. “I had some convictions, but some acquittals that defied all reason.”

Anti-Cuban militants, in fact, were considered heroes. In 2008, more than 500 Miami exile movers and shakers gathered to honor Posada’s contributions to la causa — as the effort to overthrow Castro is known in the community — at a gala dinner.

His contributions? Besides the Havana hotel attacks (“I sleep like a baby,” he told the New York Times, commenting on the tourist who was killed), Posada is the alleged mastermind of the bombing of Cubana Flight 455. Cuba and Venezuela have asked for his extradition. The United States has refused.

In 2000, Posada was arrested in Panama in connection with a plot to assassinate Castro; he was convicted and served four yearsbefore receiving a still-controversial pardon. That pardon was revoked in 2008.

The closest the U.S. government has come to prosecuting Posada was in 2009, when the Obama administration charged him — not for his role in the Havana bombings but for lying about his role on an immigration form. He was acquitted.

Today, Posada, 85, walks the streets of Miami, a living contradiction in America’s war on terrorism. How to square his freedom with President George W. Bush’s post-Sept. 11 declaration that “any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime?” How to square Posada’s freedom with the continued imprisonment of the Cuban Five, whose primary goal was to prevent terrorist attacks?

It is a contradiction Americans should consider.