Refusal to extradite terrorist to Venezuela exposes Washington’s hypocrisy

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has once again issued a call for the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles, an internationally infamous murderer and terrorist who, among his many crimes, bombed a Cuban airliner in 1976.

This request comes even as the United States is engaged in unprecedented efforts to bully nations around the world into refusing to offer political asylum to Edward Snowden, a former CIA contract worker who has released documents showing widespread spying by the National Security Agency on millions of U.S citizens and on governments and civilians around the world, including U.S. allies.

Venezuela, along with several other countries, has also indicated that it is willing to offer political asylum to Snowden.

Posada Carriles has proven himself to be a butcher and terrorist many times over. In addition to the 1976 bombing, Carriles has bragged about a series of deadly bombings of hotels and nightclubs in Havana, Cuba, in 1997. As part of a still secret career with the CIA, he participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, and the Iran-Contra Affair, in which the U.S. secretly sold missiles to Iran to raise money to send arms to the infamous “contras’ who were fighting the progressive government of Nicaragua.

In 2011, Venezuela’s Ministry of Public Affairs announced that they had recently uncovered evidence of a reign of terror by Carriles while he was chief of operations of the DISIP, the infamous secret police organization of Venezuela that existed until the Bolivarian revolution led by Hugo Chávez. Included in his résumé of terror were several murders, and the horrendous torture of two women — one of whom was pregnant — who were repeatedly beaten and repeatedly subjected to near drowning.

Of course, the U.S. government has been well aware of Carriles’ activities for a long time.

Peter Kornbluh, of the National Security Archive project, was able to use the Freedom of Information Act to get many formerly secret documents pertaining to Carriles declassified. They show a long history of nefarious activities going back to 1961, punctuated by regular reports to high ranking government figures such as Henry Kissinger.

Spurred by worldwide condemnation, the U.S. government actually brought charges against Carriles in January 2011, but not for his real crimes. He was charged only with lying to immigration officials. He was acquitted of these charges by a Texas federal court in a jury trial.

The U.S. Justice Department expressed that it was “disappointed by the decision” of the jury in El Paso. But José Pertierra, the attorney who is representing the Venezuelan government in its efforts to extradite Carriles, told La Jornada: “I suggest that the United States government not feel so disappointed and extradite him instead.” (The Nation, March 2011)

The mainstream lapdog press which have hounded Edward Snowden with charges of “treasonous” espionage, and of “endangering people’s lives” have little to say about the extradition of real criminals like Luis Posada Carriles. Cases like this expose the real nature of imperialism. n

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