For a Government that is so inefficient in carrying out Justice, the Venezuelan Government has been amazingly diligent in the case of Cuban exile Luis Posada Carries. Posada Carriles, who is 77, is accused of plotting to blow up a plane from Cubana de Aviacion in 1976 while in Venezuela. In fact, Posada was jailed, tried twice and acquitted by both a Venezuelan military and a civilian Court, but the case was appealed at that time and Posada was jailed again. He escaped disguised as a priest.
Cuba also wants Posada Capriles for bombings in that country, but Venezuelan authorities had requested the extradition of Posada, using the reciprocal extradition treaty with the US, even before he had officially resurfaced in the US, which would take precedence over any Cuban request. Castro held a rally asking the US to jail Posada, which the US did the minute he resurfaced, but has not asked that he be sent to Cuba. The US, of course, would never turn Posada over to Cuban authorities, where he might not get a fair trail and would be jailed or sentenced to death, by a fairly bad system of Justice.
The question is why is Venezuela so intent in extraditing him? You see, Venezuelan law is very quirky. For reasons that I have never been able to understand in Venezuela, if you are over 75, you can not be jailed. I imagine there is some intent of being merciful there, but it still boggles my mind that such a law exists in our penal code.
Thus, if Posada Carriles, who is 77, were to be sent here, he would be seen by a judge the first day and then he could have his lawyers request that the Court substitute whatever location or place he pleases as a substitute to jail time. Given that Posada Capriles has no home in Venezuela, he could choose a Hotel, for example, and the Court would have to grant it automatically, it would have no choice, as long as he does not step out of its boundaries .The latter is definitely an important cost to the Nation.
Thus, you have to really wonder when the Vice-President says that Venezuela will not turn Posada over to Cuba, whether he really means it. The other option is to have Posada solve a few of his personal problems at once: He would have a country to live in, a comfortable place to stay and the assurance that he can not be extradited anywhere. Moreover, he has lived in Venezuela before. Given his current status as a man with no country, that certainly seems like an extremely nice choice. At the same time, Venezuela would look really silly after fighting to get him with such intensity, to have him half-free and holding Court in front of the press daily.
The only thing there is no chance of, is that he will be found innocent for a third time.
Note added: The Penal Code actually says this applies for people above 70, not 75 and that house arrest will last up to four years.