Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Bush On Horns Of Dilemma

Aside from the usual trouble between the USA and Venezuela, or maybe because of it, the Luis Posada Carriles issue is making big waves which seem to be rocking every boat. Or at least that's the Venezuelan side of the story.

The Americans say it was all just a little mistake which the Venezuelans could rectify quite easily if they really wanted to.

Does any of this sound familiar?

US officials may face Caracas ban
Venezuela is threatening to refuse entry to US officials in response to the decision to bar Venezuela's top judge from entering the United States.

US immigration officials cancelled Supreme Court President Omar Mora's US entry permit last week.

The US cited an "error" on the visa, described by Venezuelan Vice-President Jose Vicente Rangel as a "slight to Venezuela's dignity".
Mr Mora last week insisted the cancellation of his visa was linked to calls by Venezuela for the US to extradite Luis Posada Carriles, wanted by Caracas for the bombing of a Cuban plane in 1976.

Mr Posada Carriles is currently in US custody facing immigration charges, after the US refused a Venezuelan extradition request it described as "flawed".

Thousands of Venezuelans marched through Caracas last week in support of the government's call to extradite Mr Posada Carriles.
You see, there's really no problem here that can't be fixed ... The visa had an "error" and the extradition request was "flawed" and the Venezuelans will never get their hands on Luis Posada Carriles because he's the Bush family's favorite terrorist. There. Now, wasn't that simple?

Oops! I wasn't supposed to mention that, was I? I don't think I was supposed to mention any of this because it shows so clearly that the so-called "War On Terror" is nothing but a sham.

Oops! I wasn't supposed to mention that, either, was I? Well Ex-Cuuuuuse Me! It's hard work keeping track of all the things I'm not supposed to mention, ok? So Give me a Break!

Sorry about that, folks. I don't mean to be more snarky than usual... I guess sometimes it just comes out that way. Oh well.

If you would like to read more from the BBC about the Luis Posada Carriles situation, you can explore these links:

May 17: Cuban 'bomber' arrested in US
An anti-communist militant accused of bombing a Cuban airliner in 1976 has been held in the US.

Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles is wanted by both Cuba and Venezuela in connection with the attack.
Recently declassified documents show Mr Posada Carriles used to work for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Bad luck on the timing of the declassification, eh what?

May 18: Profile: Cuban 'plane bomber'
Terror suspect Luis Posada Carriles poses a double headache for the United States: his alleged crimes relate to Cuba and its ally Venezuela, and he is a former CIA employee.

The 77-year-old was detained in Miami by immigration agents after apparently slipping into the US illegally.

But he is wanted abroad for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner, in which 73 died, and for 1997 bomb attacks on hotels in the Cuban capital Havana, which killed one.
Before his detention in Miami, Mr Posada Carriles, who was born in Cuba but has Venezuelan citizenship, insisted his "only objective" was to fight for Cuba's "freedom".

Reports suggest he was involved in operations against leftists across Latin America over the decades, from Guatemala to El Salvador.
All over the hemisphere, over the decades, what's the difference? And remember to translate the phrase "operations against leftists" into plain English, will you?

May 19: Cuban bomb suspect charged in US
A Cuban exile wanted for the bombing of an airliner in 1976 has been charged with illegal entry into the US.

Anti-communist militant Luis Posada Carriles was arrested in Miami on Tuesday, weeks after he smuggled himself into the US.

He will be held in custody until an immigration court hearing on 13 June, US immigration officials said.

Venezuela wants him extradited to stand trial over the bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people in 1976.

Both Cuba and Venezuela have accused the US of protecting Mr Posada Carriles by delaying the extradition process.

The US says it will not deport him to any country that would hand him over to Fidel Castro's regime in Cuba.

Venezuela said on Wednesday it would not hand Mr Posada Carriles over, and Mr Castro said he would be happy to see him tried there.
I'm sure he would!

May 20: US accused of 'terror hypocrisy'
Venezuela has said the US will be guilty of double standards on terrorism if it does not extradite a Cuban exile wanted over the bombing of a plane.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the man, Luis Posada Carriles, was "a self-confessed terrorist".
But was the confession extracted under torture or the threat of torture? Posada Carriles, with his CIA background, would certainly be capable of torturing himself to obtain a confession, wouldn't he? And then that confession would be worthless, wouldn't it?

May 27: US rejects 'bomber' arrest plea
The US has rejected Venezuela's request for it to arrest a Cuban-born man, Luis Posada Carriles, over a 1976 airline bombing that killed 73 people.

Washington told Caracas, which wants to see him extradited, that there was not enough evidence to back the request.
Earlier this week, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he would consider breaking diplomatic ties with the US if the extradition request was knocked back.

But on Friday, a statement from Venezuela's foreign ministry said Mr Chavez's comments "cannot be considered an ultimatum".
Gotta love that one. "If you don't do this then we'll do that." "Is that an ultimatum?" "No."

May 29: Venezuela rallies over Cuba exile
Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have rallied in the capital Caracas to demand the US extradites a Cuban exile accused of bombing an airliner in 1976.

The march comes a day after the US rejected Venezuela's request for it to arrest Cuban-born Luis Posada Carriles, saying there was not enough evidence.
Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took to the streets of the capital, blowing whistles and chanting anti-US slogans.
"Bush is protecting a terrorist while he is supposedly fighting against terrorism - that's hypocrisy," Pedro Caldera said.
And so president bush finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.