Day in the Five: The terrorist disconnect

United Nations
November 10, 2001

“Some governments still turn a blind eye to the terrorists, hoping the threat will pass them by,” U.S. President George W. Bush admonished his fellow world leaders in a speech to the United Nations on November 10, 2001, two months after 9/11. “They are mistaken,” he declared. “The allies of terror are equally guilty and equally accountable.”

Really, asked Ricardo Alarcon, the president of Cuba’s National Assembly? 

In an interview in Havana with the Miami New Times, Alarcon dissected the U.S. president’s speech: “Bush’s words are very categorical: ‘He who harbors a terrorist is as guilty as the terrorist himself.’ ‘A government that harbors a terrorist in its territory, that permits him to act, to live, to raise money, to organize himself, is as guilty as the terrorist.'”

He paused, then added pointedly: “Orlando Bosch [alleged mastermind of the 1976 Cubana airlines bombing as well as other terrorist acts] has been defined by the U.S. Department of Justice as a terrorist. Notorious, even. Where does he live? In Afghanistan? Or does he live in Miami? Is he keeping quiet? No.”

Alarcon could certainly have added the name of Luis Posada, another alleged Cuban exile terrorist, currently walking the streets of Miami. Posada goes on trial in El Paso in January 2011, not for committing terrorist acts but for the relatively minor immigration offence of lying—albeit about his role in the 1997 Havana hotel bombing campaign—in his asylum application.

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