Cuban militant wanted as terrorist to ask for bail in U.S. court

Lawyers for a Cuban militant facing terrorism charges in Venezuela are expected to argue today that he should be released on bail before his immigration trial.

U.S. authorities have alleged that Luis Posada Carriles, a one-time CIA operative and staunch opponent of Cuban President Fidel Castro, entered the country illegally in March. Posada, 77, was arrested in Miami in May and has been held in a detention center in El Paso since.

Posada's arrest gained international attention and at times strained relations between the United States and several Latin American and Caribbean countries. Those governments want the United States to deport Posada to Venezuela to stand trial on charges that he orchestrated the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner.

According to a declassified CIA document released last month, Posada said shortly before the deadly bombing that he and others would "hit a Cuban airplane." The attack killed 73 people when the plane crashed off the coast of Barbados.

Venezuelan officials allege that Posada planned the bombing from Caracas, Venezuela.

Posada was acquitted of the bombing by a Venezuelan military court, but that decision was later thrown out when officials argued that Posada should be tried in a civilian court. He escaped from a Venezuelan prison in 1985 before the civilian trial was completed.

Posada, also an ex-Venezuelan security official and naturalized Venezuelan citizen, has denied any involvement in the bombing and has pledged to seek asylum in the United States.

His Miami lawyer, Eduardo Soto, has argued that Posada never gave up his U.S. residency.

He has claimed that he sneaked into the United States from Mexico, AP reports.

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