Articles of José Pertierra

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US / Cuba Relations: What Would Constitute Normal?


President Dwight D. Eisenhower broke diplomatic relations with Cuba on January 3, 1961. Fifty-four years later, on Monday the 20th of July, the United States and Cuba will advance toward normalization of diplomatic relations. Presumably, the US will no longer treat Cuba as its enemy and treat the island simply as its next-door neighbor. Maybe … The raising of the flags at the embassies on the 20th of July is much anticipated. But what does this all really mean?

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Presentation In Memory Of President Chavez


Hugo was the second of 6 brothers and sisters. He was so poor that his family couldn’t afford to buy him shoes. His grandmother Rosa Inés took him to his first ever day of classes. Hugo wore a pair of alpargatas that she had made out of soft cloth and rope. But the kindergarten teacher would not allow the little boy into the class, until the family could find a way to buy him some shoes. President Chávez remembers he had no toys as a boy and said that he made do by playing with his brother, Adán, imaginary games using imaginary toys: imagen that.

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Murder in Paradise

Families of victims

Bridgetown, Barbados. It was a peaceful Wednesday afternoon in Barbados 35 years ago. Dalton Guiller had just finished a round of waterskiing and was refueling his boat on shore when a roar in the sky startled him. A low-flying and apparently damaged airliner was fast approaching from the west toward the beach. “It didn’t look right. It was too low. I then saw the plane rise slightly, bank to the right and crash into the water: nose and wing first,” said Guiller.

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Judge Lenard’s Cruel and Bizarre Decision against Rene

Rene Gonzalez

On Friday, September 16, a federal district court judge made a bizarre ruling concerning one of the Cuban Five defendants who completes his jail sentence on October 7. Judge Joan Lenard ruled that René Gonzalez, who has already served thirteen years in a federal penitentiary for being an unregistered agent of the Cuban government, will be forced for the next three years to live in Miami on what is called “supervised release.”

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El Paso Diary: The Expert’s Ignorance and the 71 Objections From the Prosecution

Luis Posada Carriles, terrorista

El Paso Diary: Day 41 of the Posada Carriles Trial By José Pertierra The attorney for one of the convicted killers of Chilean diplomat, Orlando Letelier, testified today in El Paso on behalf of Luis Posada Carriles. José Dionisio Suárez Esquivel was convicted for conspiring to murder Letelier and his assistant Ronni Karpen Moffitt in

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El Paso Diary: The Witness From María Elvira, Live!


El Paso Diary: Day 39 of the Posada Carriles Trial By José Pertierra The María Elvira, Live! show came to El Paso this week. Luis Posada Carriles’ defense attorney turned the federal trial into a television talk show. The defense called Roberto Hernández del Llano as a star witness in an attempt to impeach the previous testimony

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El Paso Diary: The Sound and Fury of Otto Reich

Portada de Newsweek. Foto: Página web de Otto Reich

The defendant’s name was barely mentioned in court in today. Instead, Judge Kathleen Cardone allowed the defense attorney to put the New York Times, its journalist Ann Louise Bardach and the Republic of Cuba on trial. Last week, after 11 grueling weeks and 23 witnesses, the Government rested. The prosecution’s final witness was Ann Louise Bardach. Now it is the defense’s turn to present its case-in-chief.

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El Paso Diary: Swinging Doors

Ann Louise Bardach

A pair of swinging doors separates the well of the court from the seating area for the press and invited guests. They swing four or five times every time someone pushes on them to pass through. This afternoon, after the defense attorney for Luis Posada Carriles finished his cross-examination of the journalist Ann Louise Bardach, he barreled through the doors with such force that they swung 12 times altogether. I know because I counted.

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El Paso Diary: Posada Tango

Posada y su abogado Arturo Hernández. Foto: EFE

It’s one thing for an attorney to zealously defend his client’s interests and quite another for him to embrace the defendant’s premises. An attorney is most effective, when he keeps a certain critical distance. Here in El Paso, Luis Posada Carriles’ attorney has adopted his client’s cause as his own—thus coloring his cross-examination to the point of silliness. His nutty questions about Cuba are pregnant with the false postulates of certain exiles in Little Havana who haven’t set foot on Cuban soil in more than five decades. It’s evident that the Miami defense attorney hasn’t done his research.

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El Paso Diary: Bardach in Wonderland

Ann Louise Bardach

Winter said its goodbyes to El Paso last night. Spring is here. But the equinox doesn’t bring flowers to El Paso: only dust, lots of dust. Forty-mile-an-hour winds blew through this border town this afternoon. Leaving the courthouse exhausted from an afternoon of cross-examination by Luis Posada Carriles’ attorney, Ann Louise Bardach confronted the storms from the Chihuahuan Desert that blew sand in her eyes as she leaned into the wind to return to her hotel. This is her fourth day on the stand. Bardach is now confident and self-assured as a witness. Her husband Bob gave her a kiss on the cheek, and with a brisk step she took her place, ready for battle.