Saturday, April 29, 2006
The people who work for the U.S. government are obviously quite shameless. According to them Venezuela is not co-operating in the war on terroris. Never mind that the U.S. is harboring a person who is accused of blowing up an airliner, is harboring (and just set completely free!!) military officers involved in bombings, and has no qualms about haboring Patricia Poleo, who is accused of been involved in the blowing up of a Venezuelan prosecutor. No, according to the U.S. its Venezuela that isn't co-operative:
Washington: Cuba, Venezuela not helping in war on terrorism
A State Department report blasted Cuba and Venezuela for not cooperating in the war on terrorism.
BY PABLO BACHELET
WASHINGTON - The State Department on Friday blasted Venezuela and Cuba for doing little in the war on terrorism and criticized Havana for refusing to hand over U.S. fugitives even as it made demands on anti-Castro activist Luis Posada Carriles and five Cuban agents held in the United States.
''Cuba remained a state sponsor of terrorism, while Venezuela virtually ceased its cooperation in the global war on terror, tolerating terrorists in its territory and seeking closer relations with Cuba and Iran,'' according to the State Department's 2005 Country Reports on Terrorism.
But the annual congressionally mandated report also said ''there is some dispute about the existence and extent of Cuba's bioweapons program,'' as the Bush administration continued to backtrack on earlier claims that Cuba possessed a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort.
The State Department also lists several recent encounters between Iranian, North Korean and Cuban officials but falls short of linking these contacts to bioweapons technology transfers.
In an unusually detailed response to Cuba's longtime demands that the United States hand over five of its agents convicted in 2001 of spying for Cuba, the State Department said some U.S. fugitives have been living on the island since the 1970s and that Cuba was ''nonresponsive'' to U.S. demands that they be handed over.
''On the other hand, the Cuban regime publicly demanded the return of five of its agents convicted of espionage in the United States,'' the report said.
Cuba says the five are heroes who defended against attacks by exile groups.
The United States made a similar point with Posada Carriles, a former CIA operative and Venezuelan citizen accused of masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cubana Airlines plane, killing more than 70. ''Cuba did not extradite suspected terrorists during the year, but demanded that the United States surrender to Cuba Luis Posada Carriles,'' the report stated.
The report, which tackles terrorism issues worldwide, uses stern language on Venezuela but falls short of listing it as a state sponsor of terrorism, as some Venezuela officials feared.
Last year, the State Department called Venezuela's counterterrorism cooperation ``inconsistent at best.''
Now cooperation is ''negligible,'' and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez collaborated more with Cuba and Iran and was ``unwilling to deny safe haven to members of Colombian terrorists groups, as called for in U.N. resolutions.''
U.S. officials have complained that Chávez has been systematically cutting links with the United States, including limiting contacts between U.S. military personnel and their counterparts in Venezuela and ignoring or harassing William Brownfield, the U.S. ambassador in Caracas.
Washington said Chávez has turned increasingly authoritarian at home and promotes an aggressive form of populism abroad. The Bush administration has blocked or objected to Venezuelan arms purchases, saying they were overblown given the nation's defense needs.
Venezuelan ambassador in Washington, Bernardo Alvarez, said the State Department report was ``immoral and cynical.''
He said Washington demands collaboration on terrorism but has been silent to Venezuela's requested extradition of Posada Carriles and two Venezuelan officers charged with bombing foreign consular buildings in Caracas.