Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Santiago Alvarez and Osvaldo Mitat to plead guilty
Cuban exiles Santiago Alvarez and Osvaldo Mitat cut plea deals on one count of conspiring to possess illegal weapons, which carries a five-year maximum prison penalty. The men, who remain in custody, face sentencing Nov. 14. Jay Weaver's article here. The following interesting note from Vanessa Blum's article:
Before his arrest, Alvarez was best known for his support of Cuban militant Luis Posada Carilles. Cuban and Venezuelan authorities accuse Posada of orchestrating the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976 that killed 73 people.When Posada mysteriously arrived in Miami in 2005 after years in hiding, Alvarez acted as his chief spokesman and defender. Posada is in federal custody in El Paso, Texas, where he has been held since his arrest on immigration charges.Last year, an immigration judge ruled Posada should be deported but said he could not be sent to Cuba or Venezuela.On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Norbert Garney ruled Posada should be set free while he waits to be deported, according to Posada's El Paso attorney, Felipe D.J. Millan. If a federal district judge upholds the ruling, Posada could be released in about 30 days, Millan said.