EMBASSY OF THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA
May 4, 2006
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela categorically
rejects any impunity for terrorists and urges the United States
government to comply with the law. The United States released from
custody last Friday two Venezuelan ex-military officers who are wanted
by the authorities in Venezuela for terrorism. Lieutenant. José
Antonio Colina and Lieutenant.
Germán Rodolfo Varela are both fugitives from justice in Venezuela.
They are accused of bombing the diplomatic missions of Colombia and
Spain in Caracas in February, 2003. They fled to Miami in December,
2003, to avoid prosecution for their crimes in Venezuela.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
yesterday informed the Foreign Ministries of Colombia and Spain of the
release by Washington of the two terrorists responsible for bombing
their embassies in February, 2003.
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela presented a
request to the United States Department of State for their preventive
detention on January 28, 2004. Rather than execute the extradition
detainer, the United States government preferred to instead proceed
only with immigration detainers against them.
On March 16, 2004, Venezuela presented formal extradition requests to
the United States Department of State. Rather than abide by its
obligations under the international treaties and conventions that
mandate the detention and extradition of the two accused terrorists,
the United States released them from immigration custody on Friday,
April 28 with orders of supervised release from the Immigration Customs
and Enforcement Agency (ICE) of the United States.
These two men are accused of terrorism and therefore are a threat to the
community. They are also fugitives from justice and therefore likely to
abscond from ICE supervised release.
It is well settled law that extradition proceedings take precedence
over immigration matters. Venezuela once again calls upon the United
States government not to shelter their terrorists of choice. All
terrorists are criminals and ought be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
The United States is obligated to immediately detain Lt. Colina and Lt.
Varela on the extradition detainers filed by Venezuela and to commence
extradition proceedings against them, pursuant to international
treaties and conventions to which the United States and Venezuela are
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