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STATEMENT OF THE EMBASSY OF THE
BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA

EMBASSY OF THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA

WASHINGTON, D.C. May 4, 2006

STATEMENT

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 parties.

Ministerio de Comunicación e Información - Dirección de Medios Internacionales

Ministry of Communication and Information – International Media Department

Livia Suárez- Directora/Director- 5053349- lsuarez@mci.gov.ve / Belkis Herrera- Secretaria/Secretary- Telefax: 5053336- bherrera@mci.gov.ve

Marvyn Bolívar- 5053290- mbolivar@mci.gov.ve / Madeleine Camacho- 5053306- mcamacho@mci.gov.ve

Néstor Sánchez- 5053290- nsanchez@mci.gov.ve

Valentina Figuera- 5053290- vfiguera@mci.gov.ve / César Torres- 5053306- cetorres@mci.gov.ve