- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 2, 2005

Venezuela tango

Venezuela’s ambassador in Washington demanded the extradition of a man accused of blowing up an airliner in 1976, while the U.S. ambassador in Venezuela dismissed the latest claims that the United States is planning to invade the South American nation.

Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez last week called for the extradition of Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles on charges of planting a bomb on a Cuban airliner that exploded over Venezuela.

He challenged a U.S. immigration judge’s ruling against Mr. Posada’s extradition over concerns he could be tortured in Venezuela.

“Venezuela is prepared to offer him a house made of gold and feed him caviar every day, if he is extradited to stand trial in Venezuela,” Mr. Alvarez said.

In Venezuela, U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield dismissed claims by President Hugo Chavez about an American plot he said is called “Plan Balboa” to invade and overthrow the left-wing leader.

“No ‘Plan Balboa’ exists,” Mr. Brownfield said.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

• Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi of Malta, who meets with President Bush. He holds an 11 a.m. press conference at the National Press Club.

Culture Minister Sun Jiazheng of China, who addresses invited guests of Viacom Inc. and the Chinese Embassy at the National Press Club.

• A delegation from Afghanistan consisting of: Hedayat Aminarsala, minister of commerce and the chief adviser to President Hamid Karzai; Obaidullah Ramin, minister of agriculture; and Mir Mohammad Sediq, minister of mines and industry. They will address a conference organized by the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce and the Afghanistan International Chamber of Commerce.

• Elaine Cavalleiro, the director of diversity and educational inclusion in Brazil’s Education Ministry. She addresses the Inter-American Dialogue.

• John Hutton, appointed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to direct government reform, who addresses the Brookings Institution.

Wednesday

• British Home Secretary Charles Clarke, who discusses Britain’s efforts to combat terrorism in a briefing at the Heritage Foundation.

• A delegation from Iraq consisting of: Munthir al-Fadhal, a member of the Constitutional Commission; Ali Feissal al-Lami, director of the De-Ba’athification Committee; Mishkat Moumin, former environmental minister; Abdul Karim Muhammadawi of the Iraqi Hezbollah; Mohammad Taher Ahmed al-Abed Raba, a member of the Iraqi National Assembly; Kosrat Rasul of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan; Mustafa Safwat Rashid Sidqi, a member of the Independent Election Commission; and Abdul Aziz al-Wandawi, a member of the De-Ba’athification Committee. They address a forum at the American Enterprise Institute.

Aleksandr Dugin, a leading Russian political analyst, who addresses the W.P. Casey Forum at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

Atzo Nicolai, minister for European affairs of the Netherlands, who discusses U.S.-European relations at a briefing at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

Thursday

Udit Raj, chairman of the All-India Confederation of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Organizations and leader of India’s Justice Party, and Kancha Ilaiah, head of the political science department at Osmania University in Hyderabad, India. They hold a 9 a.m. press conference at the National Press Club on discrimination in India.

cCanadian lawyer Robert Amsterdam, who discusses his defense of Russian oil executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky in a briefing at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Friday

• Ambassador Andres Rozental, president of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations and a former senior adviser to President Vicente Fox. He addresses the Inter-American Dialogue.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@

washingtontimes.com.

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