AFP. 1 February 2002. Former intelligence chief says Chavez backed Colombian rebels.
BOGOTA -- Venezuela's former intelligence chief on Friday denounced President Hugo Chavez for his alleged support for Marxist guerrillas seeking to topple the government of neighbouring Colombia. Colonel Jesus Urdaneta, a former friend and military colleague of Chavez, said he had received orders from Chavez to help the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Latin America's oldest and largest insurgency. "He always backed the guerrillas and said they were not enemies of Venezuela. But for us patriots who opposed him, his views were treachery to his own country," Urdaneta told Colombia's Radio Caracol network. He said he possessed documentary proof showing the government offering money, fuel, and others forms of support to the rebels. On one occasion Chavez offered 300,000 dollars to the rebels but Urdaneta said he managed to stop the transfer. He also alleged that Chavez was well-informed of clandestine military contacts between rebel forces and the Venezuelan military. "I have a lot of proof about that," he said. The allegations emerged with the publication Wednesday by a Caracas daily El Universal of a document dated August 10, 1999 and signed by Ramon Rodriguez Chacin, Chavez's special envoy to Colombia's rebels, detailing an agreement to provide medical and other support for the FARC. Rodriguez Chacin, who on Thursday was sworn in as Venezuela's Minister of Justice and of the Interior, denied having signed the document. On Thursday, Colombian Air Force commander Hector Velasco said a Venezuelan plane was intercepted over Colombian airspace with a cargo of ammunition for the rebels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barry Stoller http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ProletarianNews