FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Without Any Exception Whatsoever?

by RICARDO ALARCÓN De QUESADA

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.

.

 

 

Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada has served as Cuba’s UN ambassador, Foreign Minister and president of the National Assembly.

May 26, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Stage of Capitalism: Germany’s Assault on the IMF
Pepe Escobar
Hillary Clinton: A Major Gold-Digging Liability
Sam Pizzigati
America’s Cosmic Tax Gap
Ramzy Baroud
Time to End the ‘Hasbara’: Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story
José L. Flores
Wall Street’s New Man in Brazil: The Forces Behind Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment
Patrick Cockburn
The Battle of Fallujah: ISIS Unleashes Its Death Squads
John Feffer
The Coming Drone Blowback
Alex Ray
The Death Toll in Syria: What Do the Numbers Really Say?
Richard Pithouse
We Shall be the Prey and the Vulture
Binoy Kampmark
Trump and the Polls of Loathing
Manuel E. Yepe
A Cruise Ship Without Tourists Arrives in Havana
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt Negotiations: Will the IMF Exit the Troika?
Ajamu Nangwaya
Pan-Africanism, Feminism and Finding Missing Pan-Africanist Women
Howard Lisnoff
Israel, a Palestinian State and Anti-Semitism
May 25, 2016
Eric Draitser
Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?
Dan Arel
The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party
Marc Estrin
Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs
Sam Husseini
Layers of Islamophobia: Do Liberals Care That Hillary Returned “Muslim Money”?
Susan Babbitt
Invisible in Life, Invisible in Death: How Information Becomes Useless
Mel Gurtov
Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?
Kathy Kelly
Hammering for Peace
Dick Reavis
The Impeachment of Donald Trump
Wahid Azal
Behind the Politics of a Current Brouhaha in Iran: an Ex-President Ayatollah’s Daughter and the Baha’is
Jesse Jackson
Obama Must Recommit to Eliminating Nuclear Arms
Colin Todhunter
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey as Terror: the Role of Ankara in the Brexit Referendum
Dave Lindorff
72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail