Venezuela rejects OAS anti-terrorism declaration

March 3, 2007 00:47

Venezuela refuses to sign OAS anti-terrorism declaration Venezuela refused to sign an anti-terrorism declaration approved on Friday by the Organization of American States, saying the US government is protecting a man accused of bombing a Cuban jetliner in 1976. Venezuela wants Luis Posada Carriles, a former CIA operative, to stand trial for allegedly plotting the bombing. The 79-year-old was arrested two years ago in Texas on an immigration violation and is being held in an El Paso jail while officials determine where to deport him. The Panama declaration condemned "terrorism in all its forms" and urged governments to work together to identify potential threats. Terrorism "is criminal and unjustifiable under any circumstances, no matter where it is committed, or who carries it out," the declaration read. A statement released by the Venezuelan Embassy in Panama said the country is committed to combating terrorism, but it refused to sign the OAS declaration because "the real fight against terrorism comes in strengthening judicial cooperation so that terrorists can be extradited and put on trial." It also criticized the US government for "giving cover and protection to the hemisphere's most prominent terrorist," a reference to Posada Carriles.

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