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Castro blames US release of militant for attempted plane hijack

[JURIST] The two Cuban soldiers who last week killed an army officer while attempting to hijack a plane [Reuters report] to flee the island were encouraged to do so by last month's US release of anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles [JURIST news archive], according to a statement Cuban President Fidel Castro sent to journalists on Monday. Castro warned that the freeing of a "monster of terror" will result in more terrorist actions in Cuba. He wrote that "The impunity and the material benefits that have been rewarded [by the US] for nearly half a century for all violent action against Cuba stimulate such acts."

In April, Carriles was released from a New Mexico jail [JURIST report] after posting bond amidst ongoing debate concerning his release. Carriles is due to be deported for entering the US illegally. A US immigration judge delayed his deportation in 2005 [JURIST report], after having determined that Carriles cannot be sent to Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen, or to Cuba, the country of his birth, for fears that he would be tortured. Carriles is accused of orchestrating the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner [Wikipedia backgrounder], as well as numerous assassination attempts on Cuban President Fidel Castro, and has previously sought asylum in the US. A lawyer representing the Venezuelan government has accused the US of preventing Carriles' extradition [JURIST report] and obstructing justice. Castro issued a statement last month condemning [JURIST report] the US court's decision to release Carriles on bail. Carriles is wanted in both countries on terrorism charges. AP has more.

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