Archive for Thursday, September 29, 2005

Envoy rips U.S. judge’s ruling on extradition

September 29, 2005

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— A top Venezuela diplomat Wednesday criticized a U.S. immigration judge's ruling that a militant Cuban exile accused of blowing up a Cuban airliner cannot be deported to Venezuela because he could face torture there.

Bernardo Alvarez, Venezuela's ambassador to the United States, said there "isn't a shred of evidence" that Luis Posada Carriles, a former CIA operative, would be mistreated in Venezuela and demanded that U.S. authorities extradite him.

"Venezuela is prepared to offer him a house made of gold and feed him caviar every day if he is extradited to stand trial in Venezuela," Alvarez said in a written statement. He called Posada "the Osama bin Laden of Latin America."

Now in custody in El Paso, Texas, Posada is wanted in Venezuela because the Cuban airliner downed in 1976 originated there. Seventy-three people were killed.

Matthew Archambeault, a lawyer for Posada, 77, said it's unlikely U.S. authorities will accept Venezuelan assurances that Posada will not be tortured because of the tense relations between the two countries and Venezuela's close ties to Cuba.

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