April 05, 2011

Nemesis or Killer?

It seems that lately I can’t think about Cuba without the “liar, liar, Posada Carriles trial” popping into my mind… taking up precious storage space that should rightly belong to songs by Chucho Valdez or Perez Prado, or even classic routines by Ricky and Lucy.

Most people are familiar with Ricky and Lucy, and some have heard of Chucho and Prado, but almost none have heard of Luis Posada Carriles?

“Isn’t he that Castro nemesis guy?” The young waitress, a Berkeley student, just took a lucky shot in the dark.

I keep coming across articles and comments that refer to anti-Castro veteran Posada Carriles as “Castro’s nemesis,” and I’m not sure I understand why. Is Posada Castro’s nemesis? Or is he just someone who met Castro briefly while they were young and has been obsessed ever since? Would you call Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Castro’s nemesis? Orlando Bosch? Jared Lee Loughner?

Does hating someone to the point of inhumanity make you their nemesis? And just how many nemeses does Castro have?

According to Dictionary.com, the word nemesis is a noun with some latitude; (1. something that a person cannot conquer, achieve, etc 2. an opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome. )

Somehow even meaning #2 seems inappropriate, as Posada never had any political aspirations outside the small part of the Cuban-American community that funds him and the powerful U.S. interests that protect him.

Still, the term “Castro’s nemesis,” which appears in many or most media descriptions of the ex-CIA agent now on trial, seems to buy a lot of forgiveness in red states and federal courts. It seems hand-picked by the anti-Castro movement, although it inaccurately describes the crimes that Posada lied about to U.S. officials after his illegal entry into the U.S.

In his 50-year career as an anti-Castro cold warrior, Posada has only killed innocents; students, teachers, tourists, bureaucrats, athletes, and is now showing us the weakness of our own legal system and our meager commitment to justice.

Will Posada reveal some ugly secrets about our past if he’s found guilty of lying?

And if Judge Cardone is successful in releasing him from his crimes, will future American children be taught that Carriles was a “freedom fighter” like Washington and Adams?


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