By ALICIA A. CALDWELL | Associated Press Writer
A Cuban militant accused of masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner has applied to become a U.S. citizen, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Luis Posada Carriles, who has been jailed in El Paso on immigration charges since May, is scheduled to be interviewed Wednesday as part of his application.
Felipe D.J. Millan, an immigration lawyer hired by Posada’s Miami lawyers, said he will accompany Posada during the interview but declined to provide details of the application.
Posada, a former CIA operative and a fervent foe of Cuban President Fidel Castro, is accused by Cuba and Venezuela of plotting the 1976 bombing while living in Venezuela. He has denied involvement in the bombing, which killed 73 people.
Posada escaped from a Venezuelan prison in 1985 while awaiting retrial on the airline bombing charges, and Venezuela has formally sought his extradition.
He was jailed last year on immigration charges after being accused of sneaking into Texas from Mexico in March 2005. He was arrested in May after speaking to reporters in Miami.
In September, an immigration judge ruled that Posada should be deported, but said that the aging militant could not be sent to Cuba, where he was born, or Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen, because of the potential that he would be tortured. He has remained jailed since that decision.
Earlier this month, his Miami lawyers asked that a federal judge decide if the government can keep him jailed indefinitely while they look for a country where they can deport him.