[Ppnews] The Cuban 5 - Without Any Exception Whatsoever?

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Oct 23 16:48:37 EDT 2009

October 23-25, 2009

The Untold Story of the Cuban Five

Without Any Exception Whatsoever?


Venezuela’s formal request for the extradition of 
Luis Posada Carriles was well founded. There is 
an Extradition Treaty between Venezuela and the 
United States, ratified by both countries in 
1922, which has been implemented for a century.

Venezuela followed the letter of the law, with 
its Supreme Court issuing an arrest warrant for 
the fugitive who had absconded from a Venezuelan 
prison in 1985.  The Venezuelan government 
formally transmitted its extradition request to 
the United States government on June 15, 2005.

According to the Treaty, Washington should have 
immediately detained Posada and submitted his 
case to a federal court for an extradition 
process in which the Secretary of State would 
have the final word. That’s how Montesquieu's 
idea of “separation of powers” allegedly works in America.

But nothing of the sort has happened. The US 
government has instead chosen not to detain 
Posada Carriles or to submit the case to a federal court for extradition.

The US could have also detained Posada under its 
own Patriot Act, which gives the Attorney General 
the authority to detain a terrorist until his 
ultimate removal from the United States.  The 
Patriot Act obviates the need to consult with the 
courts in order to detain someone the federal 
government considers a terrorist.  The Attorney 
General need only certify the person as a 
terrorist.  (See Section 1226 (A) of Title 8 of 
the United States Code). By deciding not to 
certify Posada as a terrorist and allow him to 
roam free, the United States is in clear 
violation of its own Patriot Act. And by ignoring 
the extradition treaty with Venezuela and several 
international conventions on terrorism, 
Washington grossly violated the US Constitution, 
specifically Article VI which establishes that 
such international treaties “shall be the supreme law of the land.”

Bush decided that Posada's mendacity to a 
bureaucrat was a more serious offense than 73 
counts of first-degree murder. And instead of 
abiding by the US constitutional and treaty 
obligations, Bush preferred to try and convince 
other governments to help him shelter and protect 
Posada. No other government, however, was prepared to do that.

The Bush administration flatly ignored certain 
international conventions that are among the main 
pillars in the fight against international 
terrorism: the Montreal Convention for the 
Suppression of Illicit Acts Against Civil 
Aviation and the Protection of Passengers and the 
International Convention against Terrorist Acts 
Committed with the Use of Bombs.

Both Conventions introduced a very specific 
provision to make it impossible for any suspect 
of such crimes to escape prosecution. They 
established one alternative to extradition and 
only one. If any State does not comply with an 
extradition request, it shall be obligated to 
immediately prosecute and put on trial the 
alleged criminal for the same crime as if it had 
been committed in its own territory. That has to 
be done, according to both Conventions, “without any exception whatsoever.”

In September 2001, a few days after 9/11, the 
Bush Administration urged the UN Security Council 
to adopt mandatory and concrete measures that 
every country must take, under the threat of 
force in case of non compliance. Security Council 
Resolution 1373, introduced by the US delegation 
and approved unanimously, made it an enforceable 
obligation for all member states to cooperate in 
prosecuting fugitive suspects, denying them 
shelter, condemning political excuses not to 
extradite and demanding the full application of 
all international agreements against terrorism, 
including the two Conventions cited above.

To ensure implementation of Resolution 1373, a 
special permanent UN Security Council committee 
was established.  It meets regularly in its New 
York headquarters. At every meeting, the United 
States is denounced for being in clear violation 
of Resolution 1373 with its hypocritical double 
standard on terrorism, as reflected in its 
protection of Luis Posada Carriles and the incarceration of the Cuban Five.

The next round of the charade known as the Posada 
“trial” is scheduled for March 1, 2010.  Posada 
is to be “tried” on perjury charges. By then it 
will be five years of US adamant efforts in 
protecting a terrorist and not allowing him to be 
tried for his real crimes. By then, five 
anti-terrorist heroes will be in the middle of 
their 12th year of unjust, cruel punishment.

By not respecting its international treaty 
obligations, Washington is undermining the main 
legal instruments which were conceived to sustain 
the struggle against terrorism, which is supposed 
to be of a highest priority for the United 
States. The damage to US credibility may not be 
clearly perceived by many Americans because the 
big corporate media do not allow them to 
ascertain it.  They are not permitted to know how 
the hypocrisy and arrogance permeating US policy 
is universally rejected. To imagine the 
possibility of the US playing any leadership role 
in the world, not to mention the idea of being 
respected, is to indulge in irrational, unfounded daydreaming.

Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada is president of the Cuban National Assembly.

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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