Yesterday there was some confusion when the US Government rejected the request by Venezuela to arrest Posada Capriles, essentially the US Government said that Venezuela had not supported the case and reiterated that Venezuela had yet to request the extradition of Posada Capriles. Some newswires carried the news as “US rejects extradition” and too many loudmouths of the Chavez administration criticized the action.
But today the situation is quite clear. First, there is the press release by the Venezuelan Embassy in the US, which leaves no doubt as to the status of the request and makes quite clear that despite all of the noise, protests and criticisms, Venezuela has yet to request the extradition:
1.- The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Washington, D.C. received this afternoon a diplomatic note from the U.S. Department of State concerning the request for preventative arrest with the purpose of extradition of Mr. Luis Posada Carriles. This request, which U.S. authorities have denied, was presented when clear evidence emerged that Mr. Posada was in the United States. The request for Mr. Posada’s arrest was a preventative nature, made while the Government of Venezuela compiled the necessary documentary and legal documentation necessary for a formal extradition request.
2.- According to the note sent to the Embassy of Venezuela, the denial of the request for preventative detention does not prevent Venezuela from formally requesting extradition of Mr. Posada, a Venezuela citizen, pursuant to the Extradition Treaty in force between the two countries.
Even today the Vice-president says that the extradition request “still stands”, despite the fact that it has yet to exist. Just part of the charade, when he was prompted by the reporters about the fact that no request existed he said that the request has 700 pages and the Venezuelan Government ahs two months to present it. In fact, the Vice-Minister of Interior Relations said today that it will not be until Tuesday when the formal extradition request is presented by the Venezuelan Government.
I have been told by a good source that Chavez said in private that he did not want Posada Carriles extradited to Venezuela. According to this report Chavez said something like “I don’t want that old man here, imagine he may die and I would be blamed for it”. Thus, like so much of this Government this is just hot air for political gain, nothing else. I still think the US should extradite Posada to Venezuela, but I am not sure whether they will or not.