Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nonaligned want terrorism redefined

Iran, Syria, North Korea and more than 100 other nations are pushing to broaden the world's definition of "terrorism" to include the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

Converging on Fidel Castro's communist Cuba for a summit this week, members of the Nonaligned Movement complain of a double standard: powerful nations like the United States and Israel decide for the world who the terrorists are, but face no punishment for their own acts of aggression.

A draft of the group's joint declaration condemns "terrorism in all its forms," especially violence that targets civilians.

Terrorism should not be associated with any religion or nationality, says the draft. It singles out a favored phrase of President Bush in declaring that member countries "totally reject the use of the term 'axis of evil' by a certain state to target other states under the pretext of combating terrorism."

A Cuban official said sarcastically on Tuesday that the U.S. could one day accuse the entire Nonaligned Movement of supporting terrorism. "Reading some news reports ... I'm left to believe that the axis of evil is growing," said Abelardo Moreno, Cuba's vice foreign minister. "Soon, the (axis of evil) will be made up of 118 countries."

Cuba says the U.S. is particularly hypocritical in the case of a former CIA operative and Castro foe wanted in Venezuela in the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner from Caracas that killed 73 people.

On Monday, as the U.S. sought global support for its response to the Sept. 11 attacks five years ago, a federal magistrate in Texas said Luis Posada Carriles should be released while he waits to be deported anywhere but Cuba or Venezuela, where the U.S. fears he could be tortured.



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