Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina's political campaign contributed $350 to the Luis Posada Carilles defense fund. Last Friday, the 83-year-old Cuban American and ex-CIA operative was acquitted by an El Paso jury of 11 federal charges. He was accused of lying to federal agents about his alleged involvement in a string of bombings in Havana that killed an Italian tourist and injured 12 others.
Posada, a veteran of the Bay of Pigs invasion, is also the alleged mastermind behind the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people in Venezuela. He was found not guilty by a military tribunal, but escaped prison while awaiting a civilian trial.
Posada was arrested by American federal authorities after his illegal entry into the United States in 2005, when he first applied for poltical asylum and subsequently for citizenship. Prosecutors accused Posada of lying about the way he entered the country, as well as making statements denying his participation in terrorist activities. Following his acquittal, the former wet-works specialist would have been deported if not for the Department of Homeland Security's reluctance to send Carilles to the only two countries that will take him: Cuba and Venezuela.
Robaina's campaign gave the $350 to the defense fund on February 15, according to its first finance report.
It looks like he has also shored up his campaign team. Robaina has hired Cuban American political consultant Gus Garcia, former Lincoln Diaz-Balart campaign manager Ana Carbonell, lobbyist Hugo Arza and African American political consultants Kim McCray and Stephanie Broomfield Warnell, who have established ties with Rev. Victor Curry and many black ministers in Miami-Dade.