Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Allegedly Facilitated Ties Between FARC and ETA
May 21, 2010 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — Documents and witness testimony accuse Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s government of assisting Colombia’s FARC guerilla group and of facilitating training sessions between the FARC and the Basque-separatist group ETA.
Judge Eloy Velasco of the National Court in Madrid has leveled charges of terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder against a Venezuelan government official and dozens of members of FARC and ETA.
Spanish authorities have asked Chávez’s government to extradite those accused, but so far Venezuela has has not responded to the international warrant.
The investigation began in March, when Velasco opened an investigation into Venezuela’s alleged links with the FARC and ETA. Soon after, Gen. Douglas Fraser, of the U.S. Southern Command, said the financial and logistical ties between the FARC and Venezuela were longstanding.
These new revelations, which have been investigated by Spanish officials in Colombia, Venezuela and France, have prompted the State Department’s assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs Arturo Valenzuela to say that the Obama administration is “extremely concerned” about the situation.
Chávez has denied any links between Venezuela, FARC and ETA. This government does not endorse nor support any terrorist group,” Chávez said in March, according to the Washington Post. “We have nothing to explain to anyone.”
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- Mexico’s economy recorded a growth of 4.3 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same period last year.
- Cuban head of state Raúl Castro held a rare meeting with Cardinal Jaime Ortega, a Catholic official who helped ease tensions over antigovernment protests recently.
- Haiti is struggling to revive and reinvent its mango industry after the Jan. 12 earthquake.
- A 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit Costa Rica Thursday, but no injuries or damage have been reported.
- Gilberto Jordan, a former Guatemalan special forces soldier now living in Florida, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury for lying on immigration papers about his involvement in a 1982 massacre in Dos Erres, Guatemala.
- President of Honduras Porfirio Lobo announced Wednesday that ousted former president Manuel Zelaya is welcome to return to Honduras and will face no criminal charges.
- University of Central Florida anthropologists working with the Belize Institute of Archaeology have published the results of a study that used airborne lasers to reveal the ruins of a Mayan city in western Belize.
- An activist in Colombia who lobbied for the rights of displaced families was shot dead while riding on a mototaxi near his residence in San Onofre, Sucre province.
- A poll released on Wednesday shows Colombia’s front-running presidential candidates Juan Manuel Santos and Antanas Mockus tied in the lead-up to the May 30 election.
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- Law enforcement officials in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais said Thursday that they are investigating off-duty police officers who reportedly formed a death squad between 2004 and 2009, killing 21 people.
- Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona apologized Thursday for driving over the foot of a cameraman outside the national team’s training grounds.
- Gustavo Cerati, an Argentine rock star, is in critical condition after undergoing surgery Wednesday for a potentially fatal blood clot.
Image: Que Comunismo! @ Flickr.