The following statement was posted June 15. Sorry for the late posting here:
Venezuela’s National Assembly Urges U.S. to Detain Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles
* Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez indicates that this agreement of the Venezuelan legislature tells the U.S. that it has one path in the case: “Extradite Posada to Venezuela or put him on trial in the U.S. for the crime of terrorism.”
The Venezuelan National Assembly agreed today to “urge the United States of America to respect the Extradition Treaty it has with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and begin the necessary process for the extradition of terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. The agreement was authored in remembrance of the five-year-anniversary of the filing of the extradition request for Posada, which was presented to U.S. authorities by the Venezuelan government on June 15, 2005.
The agreement was delivered by Cilia Flores, the president of the National Assembly, and was introduced by parliamentarian Aurora Morales. In attendance during the plenary session were Bernardo Alvarez, Venezuela’s ambassador to the White House, and Jose Pertierra, Venezuela’s lawyer for the extradition request. They sat alongside family members of the victims of Posada’s terrorist acts.
The National Assembly’s agreement cited the bombing of a Cubana de Aviacion passenger plane in 1976 in which 73 civilians were killed, “including the Cuban National Youth Fencing Team, a pregnant athlete and a nine-year-old girl.” Posada masterminded the attack and was detained for it in Venezuela, but he escaped in 1985 before his trial could be completed, leaving unresolved before the courts 73 charges of homicide.
Also responsible for terrorist acts in Central America and Cuba, Posada has been living freely in the U.S. since 2005, and has faced only minor immigration offenses.
“There is an extradition request made by Venezuela, in accordance with all of the necessary constitutional and legal requirements and procedures. The Supreme National Tribunal has acted, the Public Ministry has acted…Regardless, today we reach five years since the request was made and still his extradition has not been achieved,” stated Flores.
“This conduct by the U.S. government contradicts what has been the supposed war on terrorism and the accusation against other countries regarding terrorism when the most wanted terrorist of the Western Hemisphere is being protected in the U.S.,” explained Ambassador Alvarez.
“Today, with the support of Venezuela’s legislature, we tell the U.S. that it has but one path in this case – extradite Posada to Venezuela or put him on trial in the U.S. for the crime of terrorism. This is the only option that the U.S. has to confirm that it is not applying double standards in the war on terrorism,” he added.
The National Assembly’s agreement also reaffirmed Venezuela’s commitment to “grant Luis Posada Carriles his legal rights and to respect his human rights, as is established in the Constitution of the Republic.”
Venezuela and the United States signed an extradition treaty in 1922 that remains in force.
Press and Communications Office of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S./ 15 June 2010