Worrisome abuse of a Venezuelan Official at JFK

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Worrisome abuse of a Venezuelan Official at JFK

Post by admin » Sun Sep 24, 2006 11:48 am

http://www.comcast.net/news/index.jsp?c ... 83767.html

Venezuelan Official Detained at JFK
By IAN JAMES, Associated Press Writer

Sun Sep 24, 5:39 AM

NEW YORK - Venezuela's foreign minister said he was illegally detained for 90 minutes by officials at a New York airport and accused them of treating him abusively by trying to frisk and handcuff him.

U.S. officials called Saturday's incident regrettable and said they had apologized to Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro. Maduro called that insufficient and said Venezuela would seek a legal challenge through the U.N. to what he called a "flagrant violation of international law" and his diplomatic immunity.

"We were detained for an hour and a half, threatened by police with being beaten," Maduro told reporters at Venezuela's mission to the U.N. "We hold the U.S. government responsible."

A U.N. diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said Maduro's trip was delayed because he had showed up late without a ticket, prompting extra screening.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke denied that Maduro was mistreated at John F. Kennedy International Airport when he was selected for an added security check.

"He began to articulate his frustration with secondary screening right after he went through," a metal detector, Knocke said. "Port Authority officials confronted him when the situation became a ruckus."

Maduro said when one official ordered him to go to another room for a strip-search, he refused. He told CNN en Espanol that the official pushed him and yelled at him.

He told reporters the situation only worsened when he explained he was the Venezuelan foreign minister and showed his diplomatic passport.

Maduro said authorities at one point ordered him and other officials to spread their arms and legs and be frisked, but he said they forcefully refused. He said officers also threatened to handcuff him.

"We responded with the dignity of Venezuelan revolutionaries ... with strength," Maduro told reporters at Venezuela's mission to the U.N. "It's a Nazi government, a racist government."

If this is how U.S. authorities treat a foreign minister, he said, "what won't they do to Arab people for wearing a turban?"

He said his passport and ticket were seized and eventually returned, but the incident prevented him from flying home Saturday.

U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said it was a "regrettable incident" for which "the U.S. government has apologized."

The two countries' relations _ strained for several years _ took a particularly confrontational turn this week, when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, speaking at the annual U.N. General Assembly, called President Bush "the devil." U.S. officials often call Chavez a threat to democracy.

Maduro told reporters that the treatment of him and other Venezuelan officials seemed in part to be an "attempt to provoke us."

He said about an hour and 20 minutes into his detention, he received a call from U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, who apologized and said State Department officials were on their way to resolve the matter.

Five minutes later, State Department officials arrived and ordered Maduro and the others to spread their arms and legs to be frisked by police, he said.

Maduro said Venezuela has lodged a protest with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and that the incident should be investigated so that those responsible are punished. He said those who detained him did not make any particular accusations.

Earlier Saturday, Chavez said on Venezuelan television that U.S. officials had detained Maduro after linking him to a failed coup that Chavez led in 1992.

"They have held him accusing him of participating in terrorist acts," Chavez said in Venezuela. "He didn't even participate in that patriotic rebellion."

Chavez also said Bush may be seeking to kill him for calling him "the devil" at the U.N.

Venezuela is among the top five suppliers of crude to the U.S., but relations soured in 2002 after the Bush administration swiftly recognized leaders who briefly ousted Chavez in a coup.


AP U.N. Correspondent Edith M. Lederer and Natalie Obiko Pearson, in Caracas, Venezuela, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Empress Verite

Another Attempt To Control Dissent

Post by Empress Verite » Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:12 pm

Sak Pase all?

Thanks Guy for posting this

I'm sorry that this happened to the Venezualan official. Unfortunately, outspoken people or folks who are associated with that administration will be targeted for mistreatment in the US by officials. However, this type of mistreatment has been happening to black people especially ones with dreadlocks forever. The airport was a battleground for those of us who travelled and wore our hair naturally and who did not wear designer duds. The fact is that the system sterotyped these folks as drug traffickers and subjected them to harassment mainly at customs and so forth.

Recently, Venezuala took over from Columbia as the leader in drug production. This is primarily cocaine and it is trafficked in various ways and passes through Ayiti and Cuba. Several Haitian boats were apprehended a couple of years ago and the Haitian crew is locked up and serving some serious time. The young Haitian woman (15 or so) who was recently apprehended at customs in Miami for carying cocaine hidden in her shoes and other clothing found on her and in her suitcase got the stuff from Ayiti. This product was supposedly hidden on her by her parents who probably got it from Venezuala. Moreover, Haitian villagers found cocaine floating in their water a couple of years back from a boat that capsized and they were selling the stuff in PaP.

I have upmost sympathy for anyone who has to go through this kind of mistreatment. Still, them now us always. He referred to the turban wearing Muslim and Arabs or Siks well, I have always had that anxiety. Those folks have color, class and religious capital. In other words, their ethnicity provides them with a certain amount of currency that we can say is denied or evades folks like me. So I would like to say to them that in their current dilemna, please let's not forget that it is continues to plague folks like me and while they may see the end of this kind of mistreatment soon when will we see it?

I have been following Hugo Chavez very closely. In fact, I was surprised that FOX news featured his speech at the Harlem Baptist Church. It was great to see him trying to appeal to the Black and mixed race folks. (Did you go Guy?) I appreciate his tenacity and his commitment to helping poor people including Haitians by providing them with cheap oil. I also think that he along with Evo Morales from Bolivia are leading another movement similar to the Indigenista movement that led to the Indigenist in Ayiti. Unfortunately, the anti black issue gets put to the back burner as the rhetoric becomes more about metiza/o.

I saw a great documentary/interview with him please follow the link below. http://www.gregpalast.com/section/articles. Also with Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia on Democracy Now! http://www.democracynow.org/article. Greg Palast also tried to interview him and that's probably on his website.

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