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Latino Organizations Demand Liberation of Five Cubans Detained in U.S.

The 2010 National Latino Congreso approved resolutions calling for the extradition of terrorist Luis Posada Carriles and the liberation of the five Cuban political prisoners that have remained imprisoned in the United States since 1998.

More than 150 community-based Latino organizations were represented in the congress, which was held from January 29-31 in El Paso, Texas.

The first resolution -- approved for the first time in 2007 -- demands the U.S. extradite terrorist Posada Carriles.

This year the resolution was amended to add details about the particularities of the judicial proceedings carried out in the Posada case. In 2009, for instance, a new case against the terrorist was opened by a federal court, although not specifically for the 1976 bombing of an airliner that left 73 dead or the 1997 bombing of various hotels and bars in Havana, but for lying to immigration authorities about his role during the latter terrorist attacks that killed one person.

Based on international law, since 2005 the Venezuelan government has reiterated its formal request of extradition of Posada, who remains a fugitive of justice in Venezuela. The United States and Venezuela signed an extradition agreement in 1922 that came into force in 1923.

The second resolution demands that the administration of President Barack Obama free five Cubans detained by U.S. authorities in Miami 10 years ago.

Known as ‘The Cuban Five’, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and René González were detained during attempts to thwart actions by anti-Cuba terrorist organizations that operate in Florida. This resolution was also approved for the first time in 2007 and was updated in 2008 and 2010.    

The resolution also denounced outrages against The Five and their relatives, whose requests for visas to travel to the U.S. have been denied and delayed. Amnesty International has rejected these measure by stating that it is a “serious [human rights] violation by the U.S. government.” In the resolution, the National Latino Congreso demanded that the Obama administration carry out its obligation under international law to issue humanitarian visas to the relatives of the five Cubans until they are freed.    

The National Latino Congreso has been held annually since 2006, and this year it was supported by more than 40 elected officials in the United States.

Since its first meeting, the main goal of the congress has been to unify the agendas of the Latino community-based organizations in fields ranging from health, education, immigrant rights and foreign policy.

Bolivarian News Agency (ABN) / February 5, 2010

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