May 27, 2005
Dr. Gonsalves calls for Yvonne Neptune release

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has called for the unconditional release from custody of former Prime Minister Yvonne Neptune and for the return of an accused terrorist Luis Posada Carilles to face trial in Venezuela.

Dr Gonsalves made the call as he addressed an OAS Conference on Legislative Action Against Terrorism in the Eastern Caribbean which opened at the Peace Memorial Hall Sunday evening.{{more}}

He made the call against the backdrop of the concerted war on terroism which has been waged since the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York USA on September 11, 2001.

The Prime Minister said that “the terrorist assaults on the United States have stirred in the breasts of many worldwide, a quest to curtail individual liberties, to pursue racial profiling, to promote religious bigotry and to narrow democratic, and even sovereign, spaces and governance. Some such persons were already pre-disposed to embark upon such a quest; the terrorist acts now induce them to travel upon that unfortunate and wholly wrong path.”

Yvonne Neptune was the prime minister in the government of deposed president of Haiti Jean Bertrand Aristide and has been held captive in Haiti for over nine months without charge. He has embarked on a hunger strike and has refused to leave his homeland.

Posada Carilles is the man accused of the bombing of a Cubana jet in 1976 which killed 76 passengers including Guyanese students returning to medical school in Cuba. He turned up in Miami recently seeking asylum and was only arrested following massive protests in Havana and in Miami seeking his arrest. He also admitted to involvement in the boming os a hotel in Cuba which killed an Italian tourist in 2001.

Prime Minister Gonsalves reiterated at the conference, his support for the global war on terroism.

He stated that “the evil and barbarism of the terrorists and their sponsors have prompted right-thinking, civilised people, and peace-loving nations to coalesce in an organized, determined effort to cripple, and hopefully defeat terrorism, if not fully, at least in its more malignant and destructive forms.”

He said he spoke “cautiously, since it appears that there is in the human condition, a permanence of evil jostling for supremacy with that which is good, noble and redemptive.” The Prime Minister therefore called for all nations across the globe to “act in a coordinated manner with a defined purpose to ensure that evil does not come anywhere near to triumphing”. He said “it is our goal to vanquish it.”