Monday, September 28, 2009

Mayoral candidate Tomas Regalado has links to a convicted terrorist

Miami New Times has an interesting post on its Riptide 2.0 blog by staff writer Tim Elfrink.

Elfrink writes that Miami mayoral candidate Tomas Regalado once held a fundraiser in 1983 for a man later convicted of terrorism and sentenced to life in federal prison.

A search of Miami Herald archives backs up Elfrink's story:
Miami Herald, The (FL) - Wednesday, September 7, 1983

A weekend fund-raiser for Eduardo Arocena , the alleged leader of the terrorist anti-Castro group Omega 7, netted about $21,000 in donations and pledges, organizers of the drive said Tuesday.

The organizers want to use the money to hire a private attorney for Arocena , who was arrested in Little Havana last July. Arocena , now in a New York jail, is charged with the interstate transportation of explosives and with the attempted assassination of the Cuban delegate to the United Nations.

A total of $18,414.10 was collected Saturday, said Tomas Regalado , Jr., news director of WRHC radio, a sponsor of the drive. Some $3,000 more was pledged, Regalado said.
However Elfrink reports that a spokesman for Regalado denies he ever held a fundraiser for Arocena.
"Commissioner Regalado has never planned nor held a fundraiser for Mr. Arocena," says Eric Duran, a spokesman for Miami's longest serving commissioner, who was first elected in 1996.
Elfrink notes that it's unlikely that Regalado's coziness with Arocena will cost him votes.
"In the town where noted anti-Castro terrorists Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles are still walking free - and hailed as heroes by some - it's not as if supporting Arocena would cost Regalado too many votes."
Or as one former journalist wrote in an email to Random Pixels: "Please. In this town, funding a terrorist/freedom fighter is practically a job requisite."

Arocena is still in prison despite efforts a few years ago by supporters to have him pardoned by former president George W. Bush.

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