Monday, April 18, 2005

Castro Goes Cuckoo for Carriles...

Fidel Castro has stirred up his fans in the reactionary left with a rousing two hour and forty minute speech earlier this week. Coming from the cacophony of "progressive" message boards, I revisit them from time-to-time, this story is attracting the usual pack of ankle-biters.
Caribbean Net News (AFP): Castro slams US for harboring terror suspect

"I am going to report a grave situation," the Cuban leader, 78, stated late Monday in a two-hour-and-40-minute special appearance on official media, in which he lashed out at rival US President George W. Bush as a "hypocrite" for his policies on international terrorism.

"We are going to tell the world about his garbage and his maneuvers," Castro said in a bid to throw the international spotlight on the case of fugitive Cuban anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles, who has turned up in the United States, and according to Castro has been in Miami for 19 days with US protection.

Posada Carriles, 76, is a chemist by training who was convicted and sentenced to eight years in jail in Panama for trying to murder Castro during a Latin American presidential summit in 2000. But he was pardoned and released from jail by Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso last year.

Far from harboring Mr. Carriles, it would seem that U.S. officials are not sure of his exact location. I couldn't find any reports that Posada Carriles has turned up yet, but his lawyer is apparently communicating with U.S. immigration officials. However, the anonymous immigration official quoted in the Miami Herald seems to think Mr. Carriles won't be staying in the U.S. long if he shows up at an immigration office.

If Posada, 77, comes forward, a high-level U.S. official in Washington, D.C., said he would be immediately detained and put in deportation proceedings -- though it's unlikely he would be sent back to the island. Cuba has said Posada would face a firing squad.

The U.S. official in Washington, who is in a position to know and spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Herald on Wednesday that ``if Posada Carriles is in the United States, we would consider him to be an excludable alien.''

The official added: ``If he presents himself, he will be immediately detained until we obtain a final order of deportation.''

The U.S. official said it would be unlikely that Posada would be deported to Cuba ''because of torture concerns,'' but did not rule out the possibility of considering extradition to Venezuela, where he escaped from prison while his alleged role in the 1976 airplane bombing was pending.

Note the officials use of the term "excludable alien" in reference to Posada Carriles. I found the term "inadmissable" has replaced the term "excludable" and could refer to people that have criminal records, certain health problems, are thought to be subversive or are unable to support themselves financially. I also found a note on FindLaw about the deportability of excludable aliens.

A common ground of deportability provides that an alien may be subject to deportation if he was excludable when he entered the United States. There are many grounds of excludability found in the law.

If the immigration official is accurate in his classification of Carriles as an "excludable alien", that would certainly make Carriles deportable. The "torture concerns" expressed by the unnamed official could prevent a deportation under Article 3 of the U.N. Covention Against Torture ratified by the Senate in October 1994.

1. No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.

However, according to an overview (PDF) of the U.S. implementation of CAT Article 3 presented to Congress by legislative attorney Michael Garcia, Carriles' status as an "excludable alien" at the time he re-entered the U.S. disqualifies him from CAT Article 3 protections.

These authorities, which require the withholding or deferral of the removal of an alien to a country where he is more likely than not to be tortured, generally provide aliens already residing within the United States a greater degree of protection than aliens arriving in the United States who are deemed inadmissible on security or related grounds such as terrorism.

Having said all that, even if Carriles has been residing here in the U.S. for many years, he would certainly be extraditable to Venezuela. Of course, considering the ever closer relationship between Venezuela's Chavez and Cuba's Castro, anything is possible once Carriles arrive in Venezuala.


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