Cuba regrets CIA Bay of Pigs veteran died without trial

Havana (AFP) –


Havana expressed regret Thursday that a former CIA agent who led a bloody campaign against Fidel Castro had died without ever being brought to justice for "terrorist" crimes against Cuba.

Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban-born veteran of the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, died Wednesday aged 90 at his home near Miami.

"The murderer Luis Posada Carriles, who plunged Cuba into mourning, died with impunity," the official Granma newspaper said.

Posada went on to plot attacks and assassination attempts against Castro's government, becoming a hero to many Cuban exiles and a terrorist in the eyes of Havana.

Posada was "a terrorist financed by the CIA," Granma said, listing what it said was "a chronology of terror" he was responsible for. He died "unpunished, sheltered by the United States."

The Communist-ruled island's other main newspaper, Juventud Rebelde, said he had died "without facing justice for his crimes against Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and El Salvador, among other countries that he helped to shower with death."

Among the attacks he was accused of masterminding was the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner, which killed 73 people.

He and the late anti-Castro militant Orlando Bosch were jailed in Venezuela for the bombing but never convicted. Posada, who denied involvement in the bombing, escaped the country after being held for eight years.

He was later part of a secret US operation in Central America to arm the Contra rebels fighting the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

Implicated in a spate of bombings targeting Cuban hotels, he was arrested in Panama in 2000 for plotting to assassinate Castro.

Pardoned in 2004 by Panama's president, he took refuge in Miami, where he fought off Venezuelan and Cuban demands for his extradition.

Castro, who died in 2016, referred to Posada and Bosch, who died in Florida in 2011, as the "most bloodthirsty exponents of imperialist terrorism" against Cuba.