PEP COLUMN: Carrilles must be extradited
Luis Posada Carriles is a Cuban-born terrorist who was charged with masterminding the 1976 Cubana terrorist tragedy in Barbados. Since the year 2005, Carriles has been resident in the United States, and the government of Venezuela has been seeking – without success to date – to persuade the American government to extradite him so that he might be put on trial.
Earlier this week, the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) wrote to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxine McClean, requesting that our Government officially inform the president, attorney general and the secretary of state of the United States that Barbados fully supports and endorses the Venezuelan request for the extradition of Carriles.
The following is an outline of our reasons for making such a request of our Government:
No man should be permitted to charged with murder or any other serious crime and escape being tried in a properly constituted court of law.
So why should Luis Posada Carriles be treated any differently?
In the immediate aftermath of the October 6, 1976 tragedy in which a Cubana aircraft was bombed in our airspace and plunged into the sea just off Paradise Beach, St James.
The Barbados Government was deeply involved in the criminal investigation into the Cubana multiple homicide from the very outset. Indeed, it was our early intervention that alerted the Trinidadian authorities to the presence in Trinidad of the two Venezuelan criminals who had planted the bombs on the aircraft – Freddy Lugo and Hernan Lozano Ricardo – and the need to act swiftly to secure their arrests.
One of Barbados’ top police investigators – former Commissioner of Police Orville Durant – was sent to Trinidad to interrogate the said Freddy Lugo and Hernan Lozano Ricardo, and it was as a result of the joint Barbados and Trinidad Police interrogation that the links to the two Venezuelan-based masterminds Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch were unearthed.
But most importantly, it was as a result of a meeting in Trinidad of Police and other government officials from Barbados, Cuba, Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago, that a collective, sovereign decision was made by these four governments to select Venezuela as the venue for the trial of the four accused: Lugo, Ricardo, Bosch and Carriles.
And so, the trial in Venezuela was not merely a Venezuelan affair or a Cuban affair. It was very much a Barbadian affair as well.
After all, the crime that had been committed was very much centred on Barbados, and the Barbados governmental and police authorities had been involved in all the key investigations and in the fundamental decision relating to the staging of the trial.
So when, in the midst of the trial, Carriles – who had been remanded in custody – walked out of his Venezuelan prison and was spirited out of Venezuela, a monumental insult and injury had been inflicted not only on the governments and people of Venezuela and Cuba, but on the Government and people of Barbados too.