THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
An anti-Castro militant accused of illegally entering the United States withdrew his request for asylum on Wednesday.
The militant, Luis Posada Carriles, says he will be mistreated if he is returned to Venezuela to face charges that while in the capital, Caracas, he plotted the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner.
A lawyer for Mr. Posada, Matthew Archambeault, told Immigration Judge William L. Abbott that his client, a former C.I.A. operative, decided to withdraw the asylum request to avoid embarrassing the American government.
Some questions about his background that government lawyers asked Mr. Posada on Tuesday “may step in areas sensitive to the U.S. government” and other governments, Mr. Archambeault said.
Mr. Posada’s lawyers said they would now focus on trying to prevent his deportation to Venezuela.
Lawyers for the government and for Mr. Posada have agreed that he should not be deported to Cuba. The Cuban government has said that it will not seek Mr. Posada’s return but that it does support Venezuela’s request for extradition.
Judge Abbott has designated Venezuela, where Mr. Posada is a naturalized citizen, as the country where he should be sent. Lawyers for the American government have said they need more information before deciding whether they will oppose that decision.
A hearing on the issue is scheduled for Sept. 26.
After Wednesday’s hearing, Mr. Archambeault said Mr. Posada’s legal team “had been talking to the government all along” about the possibility of dropping the asylum request.
He said Mr. Posada, who by all accounts has a tremendous amount of knowledge about United States activities throughout Latin America, never wanted to do anything to harm this country or its reputation.
Mr. Posada, who also was a lieutenant in the United States Army, was trained by the C.I.A. to help in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961, though his lawyers said he did not participate.
Judge Abbott had said that Mr. Posada’s role in terrorist attacks, if any, would have been considered in his asylum case and had asked for briefs on whether the attempt to topple the Cuban government was one.