Nearly five years later, his case still isn’t settled.
Posada Carriles, 82, is on trial this month in El Paso, where he faces perjury, immigration fraud and other charges.
The anti-Castro militant must certainly feel betrayed. He served in the U.S. military. He was a CIA operative. He was an insider who worked with the U.S. government to undermine Cuba’s socialist government and leftist organizations that supported Cuba.
Now U.S. authorities are pursuing Posada Carriles, accusing him of lying to immigration authorities – one of the very skills that the CIA once taught him so that he’d be able to travel undetected.
Posada Carriles claims that an immigrant smuggler helped him cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally into Brownsville, Texas, in 2005.
U.S. authorities return most illegal immigrants to their countries, but the case of Posada Carriles isn’t so simple.
He’s a Cuban native with Venezuelan citizenship. He’s wanted in both Venezuela and Cuba. He says he could be tortured or killed if extradited to either of those countries. American authorities have agreed not to send him there.
They say no other country has agreed to take Posada Carriles. I haven’t found anything in Posada Carriles’ court record showing that U.S. authorities asked any other countries to take Posada Carriles. If someone has further information on that, let me know and I’ll post it.
Posada Carriles has been free on bond for most of the time since reaching the U.S. in 2005. The U.S. judicial system has treated him with extraordinary leniency, given his background.
Raymond Adams, head of the El Paso District Office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, said in 2006 that Posada Carriles was a lawbreaker who had admitted his involvement in bombings in Havana and an assassination plot against Fidel Castro.
Still, Posada Carriles has been free in between court appearances, for the most part.
In an August 2006 letter to Posada Carriles, Adams explained why his application for naturalization was denied:
…USCIS has determined that you are statutorily ineligible for naturalization on multiple grounds. Your application is hereby denied for failing to establish that you are a person of good moral character, for having advocated the unlawful destruction of property, and for lacking sufficient attachment to the principles of the Constitution.Adams wrote that immigration officials had interviewed Posada Carriles on April 26 to April 27, 2006. Posada Carriles had the opportunity to review and make changes to his naturalization application, known as the N-400 form.
…You made more than 90 changes on the N-400, and then swore to the truth and completeness of its contents.Even then, Adams wrote, Posada Carriles wasn't entirely truthful with immigration officials.
Adams also said past convictions made Posada Carriles ineligible for naturalization.
In April 2004, Posada Carriles was convicted of crimes against national security and counterfeiting public records in Panama. He spent nearly four years in jail awaiting a resolution of that case.
He was sentenced to an eight-year term, but the president of Panama granted a pardon on Aug. 25, 2004.
According to your statements at your naturalization interview, on the day that you received your pardon, you procured, received, and presented a fraudulent United States passport to travel from Panama to Honduras after your release from prison. You were fully aware that this passport was false, that it had not been lawfully issued to you, and that you had no legal claim to present yourself as a United States citizen to government officials of any country. You continued to engage in unlawful acts when, in or around March 2005, during the regulatory period, you entered the United States and several other countries illegally, thus showing your lack of reformation of character. Additionally, the absence of reformation and rehabilitation is demonstrated by the false testimony you provided during your naturalization interview…Adams said the pardon didn’t erase his criminal conviction. He wrote:
…USCIS finds that your pardon is not effective for immigration purposes.He continued:
…Your involvement in terrorist activity and your refusal to answer any questions relating to your involvement or to explain your past statements admitting a central role in this commission of terrorist activities simply and independently justify the denial of naturalization for lack of good moral character.Adams cited Posada Carriles’ 1998 interview with Maria Elvira Salazar. The anti-Castro militant said:
…You planned the hotel and tourist site bombings in Cuba in 1997. By organizing the bombings, recruiting and directing others, and supplying the impetus to effectuate the bombings, you directly advocated for the necessity and propriety of causing the unlawful damage, injury, or destruction of property.
Let them call me whatever they want to call me. The only option that we the Cubans have is to fight…a violent regime with violence.Adams wrote:
These statements, as well as your past admissions, further demonstrate your advocacy of the duty, necessity, or propriety of killing officers of a government or of the unlawful damage, injury or destruction of property. Likewise, your involvement in the planned assassination of Fidel Castro in Panama in 2000, which you admitted to the FBI, shows that you have advocated the propriety of killing government officials.
…USCIS finds that the severity of your past involvement in criminal, terrorist, and fraudulent activities warrants a finding that you have not demonstrated good moral character for at least one year preceding the date of your application. As demonstrated below, your false testimony and illegal entry to the United States…independently justifies the denial of your application because it demonstrates unequivocally that you do not now possess the good moral character necessary to justify the extraordinary benefit of naturalization.