"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" -- John 4:20
Frankenstein's monsters have chosen to settle where they began their lifetime of terror. Actually, the fact that the U.S. harbors terrorists in Miami doesn't surprise me. They helped to create them here.
I recently read that Luis Posada Carriles was feted in a Miami country club whose members yearn for the Cuba before Fidel Castro. This is the same Posada Carriles who masterminded and blew up a Cubana Airliner while in flight with 73 human beings on board -- most, young people from the Cuban olympic fencing team. When convenient, Posada Carriles has also laid claim to plotting the murder of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. At other moments, he has admitted to reporters of planning numerous attacks which damaged tourist spots in Havana and killed at least one person in the process. The fact is, that in the 1970s, he was the Western Hemisphere's Osama bin Laden, before the U.S. had even thought of training the bearded Saudi. Interestingly, they both have something in common: at different moments and for different purposes, they were taught their trade by the U.S. government.
Bin Laden should consider moving to Miami. I am sure some wacky group would find some reason for honoring him. If he's lucky and this particular organization has become powerful enough and contributes enough money during political races, Osama might even find himself standing on the dais during a presidential visit.
It is possible in Miami. Yes! A place where 'good' terrorists are revered by people blinded by hatred.
A couple of years back, during a visit to Miami, President George W. Bush had the 'honor' of sharing the stage with convicted terrorist Orlando Bosch -- also implicated in the Cubana bombing. Among many other crimes, Bosch was arrested in Florida in 1968 for attacking a Polish freighter with a 57 mm recoilless rifle simply because it flew the flag of a communist state. Bosch served time for this and other terrorist doings. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (at the time a businessman), Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (in the state legislature then) and Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero (then an up-and-coming attorney and Harvard grad) managed to have him pardoned by Jeb's dad, the first President Bush.
Four years ago I ran into Guillermo Novo by happenstance. He was working for the Allappattah Business Development Corporation, a quasi-public enterprise funded through the city and county of Miami and Miami-Dade, respectively. Novo is another convicted Cuban American terrorist. He was involved in the 1976 murder of Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier. He once fired a bazooka at the United Nations when Che Guevara was to speak.
But here was Guillermo, it was 2004, his hands shaking from old age, and collecting a paycheck from a Miami taxpayer-funded institution. It was as if a "terrorist experience a plus" want ad had been placed in The Miami Herald.
A friend recently told me that Miami Cuban exiles are a very united group. What brings them together, she said, is hatred.
Her words surprised me. The more I thought about them, though, the more I agreed with her. Their hatred is so ferocious and overpowering that most have become old, and in many ways useless, as they wage their war to overthrow the Cuban government from Miami street corners while sipping "cortaditos" in their over-starched and expensive linen guayaberas. No wonder the few with the misguided courage to really do something are lauded for the bravery that is missing in the many who live vicariously through them.
Sadly, in the end, Frankenstein's monsters, now living their waning years comfortably in Miami, are responsible for way too many deaths for the sake of American democracy. And most disturbing is the perception that they've had Uncle Sam's blessing along the way.
Alvaro Fernandez is editor and publisher of Progreso Weekly Magazine. He is a Cuban American and lives in Miami Beach, FL.