Thursday, June 16, 2005

Posada Update IX 

After some false starts, yesterday the Venezuelan government handed in a formal and certified extradition request to the U.S. government. Also, several days ago the Venezuelan government turned over to the U.S. additional evidence to bolster its case for his preventive detention. It will be recalled that the U.S. previously rejected Venezuela's request for preventive detention of Posada who is accused of blowing up a Cuban airliner in 1976 killing over 70 people. In the U.S. governments eyes if not for immigration charges against him he would be free to go.

It bears mentioning that Venezuela has already been much more accommodating of the U.S. legal requirements than the U.S. has been of others in matters where terrorists are involved. By this point in the game with Afghanistan the U.S. had already begun its bombing campaign which led to the slaughter of a good many Afghans. Repeated pleas by the Afghans to see the evidence against Bin-Laden before turning him over were rebuffed by the U.S. So I guess the moral of the story is if you have B-2 bombers, smart bombs, and missiles you don't have to bother with the legal formalities of extradition. In this hypocritical calculus of the U.S. one cruise missile is worth more than reams of evidence. It is the weak, like Venezuela, who are left to follow the "rules" and the "law". When you spend $400 billion per year on a military like the U.S. does you get to make your own law.

On a related matter, a Colombian drug trafficker wanted by the U.S. escaped from the maximum security prison run by Venezuela's investigative police, the DISIP. This escape, which couldn't have happened without LOTS of help (not 3 or 4 people but at a minimum dozens) points up problems with the Venezuelan state that Chavez needs to confront, quite apart from whether or not the U.S. ever turns over Posada. As this is a significant topic in its own right it will be dealt with in an upcoming post.


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