For Immediate Release: May 31st, 2007
Contact:  Medea Benjamin: medea[at]globalexchange.org

CODEPINK Condemns the Release of Posada Carriles and Calls for his Extradition to Venezuela

CODEPINK: Women for Peace is outraged that Luis Posada Carriles was released from detention in Texas on May 8 and is now living freely in Miami instead of being extradited to Venezuela to face terrorism charges. Posada Carriles is a CIA-trained Cuban exile implicated in a series of terrorist incidents, including the bombing of the Cubana Airlines civilian airliner that killed 73 people on October 6, 1976. A declassified CIA document from 1976 quotes Posada Carriles as saying, “We are going to hit a Cuban airplane.”

Posada was indicted in Caracas for seventy-three counts of murder in relation to the downing of the plane. While the case was pending and before judgment could be reached, he escaped from prison in 1985 and has been an international fugitive since. Venezuela has asked the U.S. government to abide by its treaty obligations to Venezuela and return him to finish his trial here.

Posada's criminal record also includes the planning of a series bombings of Havana tourist facilities in 1997, one of which caused the death of Italian Fabio di Celmo.

On September 19, 2001, President Bush affirmed the U.S. policy against terrorism:  “Anybody who harbors a terrorist, encourages terrorism, will be held accountable.  I would strongly urge any nation in the world to reject terrorism, expel terrorists.” On April 10, 2007, President Bush reiterated these sentiments, saying: “I vowed that if you harbored a terrorist you're equally as guilty as the terrorist.  That's a doctrine.  In order for this country to be credible, when the President says something, he must mean it.  I meant it….”

The US refusal to extradite Posada Carriles to face trial in Venezuela is inconsistent with the stated principles and policy of the United States and tarnishes the U.S. standing in the international community. We urge the U.S. government to return Posada Carriles to Venezuela to face charges for his terrorist actions. Our government must be consistent in its condemnation of terrorism and self-confessed terrorists such as Posada Carriles must be held accountable for their actions.