Venezuela To Ask UN To Probe US Failure To Extradite Cuban
Apr. 20, 2007
Reprinted from Associated Press
CARACAS (AP)--Venezuela plans to ask the United Nations to investigate why the U.S. has failed to prosecute or extradite Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles despite charges he masterminded the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner, a lawyer representing the Venezuelan government said Friday.
Venezuela also plans to join with other countries in appealing to the Organization of American States and challenging the U.S. government's actions in international courts after the 79-year-old posted bail and was freed from jail on Thursday, lawyer Jose Pertierra told The Associated Press.
President Hugo Chavez's government made an extradition request for the U.S. to hand over Posada nearly two years ago to be tried for the bombing off Barbados, which killed 73 people and was allegedly planned in Caracas. Pertierra accused U.S. President George W. Bush's administration of flouting a 1922 extradition treaty with Venezuela.
"Venezuela is looking to approach governments and people through this hemisphere and around the world to jointly ask the United Nations... to investigate through hearings the conduct of the United States in the last almost two years in the way it has proceeded to protect this terrorist," Pertierra told the AP in a telephone interview from Washington.
He said Venezuela "plans to do the same thing at the Organization of American States, and it plans to do a similar thing before international tribunals" - possibly the Inernational Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, or the OAS' Inter-American Court on Human Rights in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Venezuela is in talks with other countries in Latin America and elsewhere to coordinate a diplomatic and legal response, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said Thursday. He also said delegations of lawmakers from Venezuela and other countries would travel to the European Parliament and the U.S. Congress to press their case for Posada to be tried.