UnNews:US sends Venezuelan Foreign Minister to Guantanamo
24 September 2006
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NEW YORK, New York -- US officials issued a vague apology on Sunday after claiming to have "accidentally" sent Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro to the terrorist detention facility in Guantanamo. The minister intended to travel back to his home country after a conference at the United Nations in New York, but found himself in a solitary confinement cell at Gitmo instead.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez linked the incident to his earlier comments against the US government, including remarks that Bush was "the devil incarnate, who came to Earth as a sign of the end times and the great battle between good and evil that is to come." American officials, however, dismiss such speculation and claim the whole event was just a misunderstanding blown out of proportion.
The situation began as Maduro was going through a security screening at JFK before his flight back to Caracas. After passing through the metal detector, he was selected to go through a secondary screening. Five hours later, he was incarcerated at Guantanamo. What exactly happened during that time gap varies drastically depending on the source.
The foreign minister and his Venezuelan assistants claim the "secondary screening" was just an excuse to get Mr. Maduro into a private room at the airport, where he was drugged and beaten. An officer then reportedly planted some heroin in his clothes, which officials immediately used to claim that the drug originated in Afghanistan, and that Mr. Maduro was clearly aiding the terrorists there by associating with the opium trade. Therefore, now labeled as an "enemy combatant", the foreign minister was shackled and put on a secret CIA flight to Guantanamo Bay.
The American account differs greatly, with airport officials saying Mr. Maduro was selected for a secondary screening randomly by a computer. He was said to be taken to a temporary holding room, along with others picked for such a screening. There, he was mixed up with notorious Colombian drug dealer Manuel Caberon, who officials claim may have been responsible for planting heroin in the foreign minister's pants. "All those Hispanics look the same to me," commented a TSA officer. In accordance with president George "The Decider" Bush's recent decree that "all drug dealers are terrorists," the man was shipped to Guantanamo.
The fate of Mr. Maduro may never have been discovered if not for a Red Cross official who happened to be meeting with Guantanamo prisoners at the time and recognized the Venezuelan foreign minister. After a few phone calls and millions of dollars in bribes, the man was finally freed. The Bush administration was apologetic and promised to ensure such incidents wouldn't happen again. Asked what concrete steps will be taken, White House press secretary Tony Snow explained, "From now on, we will forbid the Red Cross, and all other organizations, from visiting Guantanamo."
In unrelated news stemming from the recent UN conference, a number of French diplomats are still unaccounted for after France's criticism of US foreign policy. The entire Iranian delegation has also mysteriously disappeared after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's bold speech last week.
- AP "Venezuela: U.S. held foreign minister" "", September 24, 2006