Tom Burke [spokesperson, National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera]: "The main legal issue is: the imprisonment, trials, and sentencing of Colombian revolutionaries in U.S. courts is a violation of the Colombian people's sovereignty. Ricardo Palmera is a political prisoner of the U.S. government. The U.S. has no right to put Ricardo Palmera on trial or to imprison him.
The Bush administration is using the U.S. judicial system as a tool in the U.S. counter-insurgency war in Colombia. The U.S. Military directs the war and commands the Colombian Military from the U.S. Southern Command. The U.S. is attempting to criminalize Ricardo Palmera, his comrade Sonia, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). To the great disappointment of the Bush administration, the State Department, and the Department of Justice, the effort has largely failed. Ricardo Palmera's testimony in the three trials has convinced U.S. jurors that the Colombian people's struggle is political. Ricardo Palmera is a freedom fighter rebelling against the tyranny of an oligarcy and their corrupt, narco-trafficking government that is supported by the wealthy ruling class of the U.S."