On June 15, 2010—five years to the day after it first asked the United States government to extradite anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles to face charges in Venezuela in connection with the deadly bombing of a Cubana Airlines plane in 1976—Venezuela’s National Assembly renewed its demand this week.
The Cuban-born Posada, who returned to the United States in 2005, is the alleged mastermind of both the Cubana Airlines bombing, which killed 73 people, and also a wave of bombings at Havana hotels in 1997 that killed an Italian-Canadian tourist.
The United States has refused to extradite Posada—claiming he would face torture in Venezuela.
“The gringo government accuses us of anything and everything,” Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, told his followers in a Twitter message this week, “but today marks five years since the extradition request of the grand terrorist Posada Carriles, to which they haven’t even responded.”
The Americans have charged Posada—but not for his involvement in either the airliner plot or the bombing campaign. Instead, he has been accused of the lesser—but still telling—crime of lying to authorities about his involvement in the Havana bombing campaign when he entered the U.S. in 2005. His trial is now set for January 2011.