EDITORIAL: Patriots and terrorists

In 2005 John Bolton, President Bush’s UN ambassador, had advice for UN member states deliberating about a convention on terrorism. He called for “a clear, strong declaration.” He condemned “the targeting and deliberate killing by terrorists of civilians and non-combatants.”

U.S. hypocrisy on terrorism must have struck the participants at the Youth Conference for the Cuban Five, meeting in Havana, April 29-30. The heroism of the five Cuban men stuck in U.S. jails was the main theme there. A United Nations report has accused the U.S. government of “arbitrary detention” of these men, who put their lives at stake in Florida tracking terrorists coddled by multiple U.S. administrations.

In their peaceful efforts to stop terrorist attacks against Cuba, these men hurt no one, took no lives and did no harm to government documents, installations or persons.

In terrible contrast, Florida-based anti-Cuban terrorists, with documented CIA backing, have murdered 3,500 people, caused permanent disability to 2,000 more and caused losses worth billions due to sabotage.

A prime leader of that pack, against whom the Cuban Five represented a finger in the dyke, was Luis Posada Carriles He returned to U.S. soil two years ago and the U.S. government remains silent on his crimes. On April 19, the Bush administration allowed him to go home to his house in Miami.

The U.S. failure to prosecute Posada as a terrorist, or extradite him to Venezuela as mandated by international treaties, sends the message that terrorists of his ilk can operate with impunity.

In a speech several years ago, Cuban President Fidel Castro noted that the U.S. has never “punished a single one of the hundreds of individuals who have hijacked and diverted to that country dozens of Cuban aircraft, not even those who committed murder.”

While jailing those who tried to protect their country from terrorism, the Bush administration is making nice to a known terrorist. It underscores the phoniness of Bush’s “war on terror”