Luis Clemente Posada Carriles (February 15, 1928 – May 23, 2018) was a Cuban exile militant and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent. He was considered a terrorist by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Government of Cuba, among others.
Born in Cienfuegos, Posada Carriles fled to the United States after a spell of anti-Castro activism as a student. He helped organize the Bay of Pigs invasion, and after it failed, became an agent for the CIA. He received training at Fort Benning, and from 1964 to 1967 was involved with a series of bombings and other covert activities against the Cuban government, before joining the Venezuelan intelligence service. Along with Orlando Bosch, he was involved in founding the Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations, described by the FBI as "an anti-Castro terrorist umbrella organization". Posada and CORU are widely considered responsible for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. Posada later admitted involvement in a string of bombings in 1997 targeting fashionable Cuban hotels and nightspots. In addition, he was jailed under accusations related to an assassination attempt on Fidel Castro in Panama in 2000, although he was later pardoned by Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso in the final days of her term. He denied involvement in the airline bombing and the alleged plot against Castro in Panama, but admitted to fighting to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba.
In 2005, Posada was held by US authorities in Texas on the charge of being in the country illegally: the charges were later dismissed. A judge ruled he could not be deported because he faced the threat of torture in Venezuela. The US government refused to repatriate Posada to Cuba, citing the same reason. His release on bail in 2007 elicited angry reactions from the Cuban and Venezuelan governments. The US Justice Department had urged the court to keep him in jail because he was "an admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and attacks", a flight risk and a danger to the community. The decision was also criticized within the US; an editorial in the Los Angeles Times stated that by releasing Carriles while detaining a number of suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, the US government was guilty of hypocrisy.
Posada died in May 2018 in Florida. He is considered "a heroic figure in the hardline anti-Castro exile community" in Miami. Reporter Ann Louise Bardach called him "Fidel Castro's most persistent would-be assassin, while Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archive has referred to him as "one of the most dangerous terrorists in recent history" and the "godfather of Cuban exile violence."
He is also known as Luis Clemente Faustino Posada Carriles and Posada Carriles.