A Miami FBI informant and alleged Cuban intelligence collaborator testified Monday at the trial of Luis Posada Carriles that he helped smuggle the anti-Castro militant by sea from Mexico to Miami.
Gilberto Abascal is one of the prosecution's star witnesses in one set of charges against Posada: that he lied under oath when he told U.S. immigration officials he slipped across the Mexican border into Texas.
But Abascal's own tale is almost as intriguing as that of the 82-year-old Posada, a former CIA operative and veteran of dozens of violent plots, including nine bombings of Cuban tourist spots that killed one man in 1997.
Abascal testified he was aboard the yacht Santrina when it picked up Posada, who had lived for decades, in Mexico's Caribbean resort of Isla Mujeres and took him to Miami in 2005.
He identified the crew of the Santrina as himself; Santiago Alvarez, a wealthy Miami real estate developer and long-time Posada supporter; Osvaldo Mitat, a handyman who worked for Alvarez, and Miami exiles Jose Pujol and Ruben Lopez Castro.
Posada is on trial on 11 charges of lying under oath about three events: how he sneaked into the United States; his role in the nine bombings that hit Cuban tourism spots ; and whether he ever held a Guatemalan passport.
Abascal also was a key prosecution witness in the 2005 case against Alvarez, who served four years for stockpiling weapons and refusing to testify against Posada.
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