Fidel Made Them Do It

Posada Carriles is in jail -- again -- for plotting against Castro. And again, he's sure it's Castro's fault.

Barrera seemed unconvinced.

"State whether you transported the explosives and devices suitable for making a bomb from the Jacu farm to Panama City in the red car driven by José Manuel Hurtado, and what your objectives were in importing these explosives to Panamanian territory during the celebration of the Ibero-American Presidential Summit."

"I already said that I didn't import explosives to Panama, and one would have to be crazy to get on a highway with explosives because of the checkpoints.

Pedro Remón (far left) and Luis Posada Carriles pose in a visitors lounge at Panama's National Police headquarters; Novo (standing) and Jimenez in Miami-Dade last year
Courtesy Wood + Zapata
Pedro Remón (far left) and Luis Posada Carriles pose in a visitors lounge at Panama's National Police headquarters; Novo (standing) and Jimenez in Miami-Dade last year

"Those explosives were placed by Fidel Castro," he added.

Evidently irate, Jimenez asked authorities why they had not tried to find a terrorism expert "who could say whether four old men could carry out an act of terrorism in a half-hour in a city full of police and vigilance."

In his statement Jimenez admitted he had been suspicious of the idea that Delgado would defect. Perhaps he wondered why a wily comandante would turn to four old men to facilitate a dangerous desertion, which, if bungled, could cost him his life. Four conspicuous old men who were high on the Castro spy network's list of most-wanted counterrevolutionary terrorists.

In his May 29 statement, Remón said he knew for a fact that the Marlins bag and explosives arrived in Panama aboard a Cuban jet carrying Cuban government security personnel. He said "a witness" told him he had seen such a plane unloaded in the cargo section of the airport on November 16 without being inspected. Following the plan formulated in June, Cuban agents then sneaked the bag into Posada's red rental car, Remón said.

"How can you prove this, who did it, and when and where did they do it, according to your version?" Barrera asked Remón.

Unfortunately he could not say. "Madam prosecutor, I must withhold such sensitive information for security reasons," he replied. "It is unfortunate, but I cannot provide proof with first and last names and risk endangering the lives of people inside and outside of Cuba." But this kind of trap is "well-known by Castro-communist intelligence services," he noted.

As of press time, General Delgado had not responded to a request to comment on whether he used this supposedly well-worn trick to fool Posada. But spokesman Luis Fernandez indicated the Castro regime wouldn't put much stock in the defection-based defense: "Posada is a terrorist, and the only credibility that this repugnant character has is his historical record of criminal activities against Cuba."

"An impartial judge would have to absolve my clients," said defense lawyer Martin Cruz, who estimated a judge would not hear the case before November.

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