U.S. attorney: Cuban militant shouldn't be deported
Tuesday, August 30, 2005; Posted: 11:02 a.m. EDT
EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- A Cuban militant and accused terrorist is not eligible for asylum in the United States but shouldn't be sent back to Cuba, a lawyer for the government told a judge in the opening day of the man's deportation hearing.
Lead government attorney Gina Garrett-Jackson told the judge Monday that federal officials hadn't yet decided if they would oppose Posada's deportation to Venezuela, where he has been accused of orchestrating the deadly 1976 bombing of a Cuba jetliner.
She cited concerns about torture in opposing his potential deportation to Cuba.
Isn't that rich. A country with an Attorney General who authorized torture on terrorist suspects is scared that Cuba, a country where torture has never been alleged, even by otherwise hostile organizations like Amnesty Int'l., may excercise similar techniques on their Osama Bin Laden.
A number of governments that had citizens aboard the jetliner have demanded the deportation of the one-time CIA operative. The government of Venezuela has requested that the 77-year-old Posada be sent back to that country to stand trial on charges accusing him of plotting the bombing while in Caracas.
A recently declassified CIA document quotes an unnamed former Venezuelan official saying that shortly before the bombing Posada was heard to say that he and others "are going to hit a Cuban airplane."
He was acquitted by a Venezuelan military court but that decision was later thrown out when it was decided that he should be tried in a civilian court. He escaped from a Venezuelan jail in 1985 before the trial had been completed.
The chief of the Organization of American States said Monday that the U.S. should extradite Posada if there is evidence of links to the 1976 bombing. "If evidence against him exists in Venezuela, extradition must proceed," OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza said. "He should be extradited to Venezuela to face justice."
Read the whole story here. Do something about it here. A week ago, Bush may have been able to deny Venezuela its right to extradite Posada, but after Robertson put a spotlight on our relations with that country, the Administration is is a much more difficult bind.